KATY Independent School District (ISD) is in Katy, Texas; near Houston. In January, 2011 the school board trustees met to brainstorm how they were going to achieve a revenue increase for the year. The meeting was prompted due to a major cost cutting reduction by the State of Texas, placing most schools in a serious condition.
Not to sit on their laurels, this group met with their special event general manager as well as the marketing team and everyone came to the table with a piece of the plan. The culmination of this high level meeting came up with a three-plan project; all of which would involve advertising.
While the goal is to use advertising, it is not for advertising sake alone. Their main mission is coordinating corporate, regional and local sponsorships that are more akin to a long lasting partnership with the school and community. At the top of their list is the focus to maintain a quality of excellence and respect.
Well crafted sponsorship and advertising as well as follow through branding would encompass the score board and the school field house, all four of the entrances at the stadium and the use of sideline signage. The anticipated revenue for this venture over a five year period would total around $1,066,500.
While this might not be the first time such a group has banded together for revenue discussions, the KATY Independent School District attendees may be some of the most far-thinking individuals to embrace such an innovative method. They have selected the most common venue areas, with the largest view points and the least intrusion for this advertising venture.
Tough economic times, budget cut backs and reduced school funding overall seems to have spurred the group at KATY ISD to a point where they are thinking more like a business than a school. Investment of marketing with a good return on investment will give the schools the kind of money they need to continue offering the best quality education.
To most of us, this just makes a lot of common sense. However, this may not be common sense to everyone. Across the country there has always been a bit of controversy regarding the blend of school activities and ads. The reasons for these attitudes vary, from poorly done ads to personal beliefs that advertising doesn’t have any place in a school sports activity. Since most of these same individuals usually bring nothing else as a recommendation to the table, the answer may end up closing down a number of school activities.
They have followed up with a full ‘marketing blitz’, downloads on the school website and invitations for school members to ‘join the game’. The marketing campaign is open to everyone to participate and help. The group at KATY Independent School District should be given a ‘thumbs up’ for their ingenuity. This group has proven themselves to be survivors in a time of crisis with the welfare of the students, school and community at heart.