How A School District Plans to Use Advertising to Pay Their Way

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.
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Electronic Scoreboard Co-Op Advertising: Don’t leave money on the table

Co-Op advertising is probably the most powerful marketing tool and yet the least understood. Most people don’t even know that there are millions of co-op advertising dollars available and they go unused each year. This is leaving money on the table that could help your school. Taking advantage of co-op advertising in conjunction with your electronic scoreboard may be one of the best decisions you will make.

Co-Op (co-operative) advertising is basically a method for a manufacturer to have their brand on a retailers advertising. The manufacturer then reimburses the retailer, based on the percentage of exposure and the individual manufacturer co-op policy. As an example, it you have a 5’x5’ screen on your electronic scoreboard for an ad or video, and the manufacturers logo takes up one fourth of the display, the manufacturer will reimburse the retailer for 25% of the cost of the ad itself.
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Creative Sponsor Ideas for your electronic scoreboard

Creative Sponsor Ideas The investment into a high tech electronic scoreboard opens up many opportunities for your school. Today’s scoreboards offer an incredible array of displays, including easily changed logos, static and alternating screen shots and streaming video. Connecting to the internet can push your sponsorship to websites and social media pages, so anything that you place on your electronic scoreboard can go viral.

Historically, the typical sponsorship of an electronic keyboard has been via local businesses. Teams of volunteers hit the streets and convince a local business to invest their advertising dollars for a logo or catch line phrase. Since every company has a set budget, you might want to think about varying ‘levels’ of sponsorship. Logo placement with slogan, logo and slogan on school programs and flyers, video, video with feed to website and social media pages. Each level would be associated with an incremental pricing increase. You will want to be prepared with the potential number of anticipated ‘hits’ on the website that the sponsor may receive. You can sign your website up with the google analytics to gauge what readership the site has before, during and after a game.
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Marketing and your electronic scoreboard

So you have purchased your new electronic scoreboard. The teams are ecstatic, the school is proud and the fans are looking forward to seeing your new board. If you are going to take full advantage of the benefits and potential added revenue of the scoreboard, you must now dig your head into the concept of marketing.

Marketing is a unique talent. It’s a combination of knowledge, experience and knowing what works. Your electronic scoreboard can be an incredible resource, but you have to use it wisely. If you don’t have the budget to hire a marketing company, then you will be faced with starting the project yourself.

There is a wealth of information on the internet, but you probably don’t have the time to plow through all of the articles and newsfeeds to get yourself up-to-speed on this topic. You may, however, be able to locate a few companies that specialize in marketing for your particular venue and, for a simple fee, get the highlighted tips on the protocols. This will mean you still have to do the footwork, but you will be on the right path.
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The Debate: Should schools solicit sponsors for their scoreboards?

Sponsors have been an integral part of the athletic experience since the first group of teams got together on a school field. From small towns to mega metropolis areas, the sponsor was not only a method of revenue to help pay for the team, but represented a part of the local community that stood behind their team. Maybe it’s the times that we are in, but, for some reason, school officials are now questioning if sponsorship (ergo advertising) is something that should be accepted in a school sports environment.

I consider myself very lucky. I had the opportunity to split my growing up experience between a small town and a large city. I know what it’s like to live in a community so small that they loving say: “the good thing about a small town is that everyone knows everyone else. The bad thing about a small town is that everyone knows everyone else”. The good part of the town is that no matter what kind of sports event was happening, we had local businesses that supported the teams. Their kids and grandkids went to school with you; you shopped at their stores and saw their ads in the local paper. They participated in every church and school event and, it was common place to see their name or logo on the school scoreboard. In a city environment, it was really much the same. The sponsor names may change and their isn’t quite the same tight relationship as in a small town, but, the sponsor represented a business that was part of the school and team.
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How a high school is planning on getting their scoreboards for free

You have to admit, there are some pretty smart people at Romeo Community Schools in Michigan and Nancy Campbell, the Superintendent is leading the pack. Ms. Campbell is coordinating an all out effort to get new scoreboards for the school at no cost.

Romeo Community Schools has two rather old scoreboards in the gym at the high school. Circa 1959, to be exact. A schools scoreboard has a major affect on the overall morale of the school as well as the sports teams. An old fashioned scoreboard doesn’t motivate anyone and can actually lower attendance to games. Since there wasn’t any kind of budget allowed for scoreboard upgrade, it didn’t look to promising until Ms. Campbell came on the scene with the new idea.
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Designing the best electronic scoreboard ads

There’s no denying that we are surrounded by advertising and marketing via more venues than ever before. In the old days, we were limited to television, radio and billboard. The technology stream has opened up the worlds of the internet websites, social media and now even our smartphones. With the entire marketing buzz, it is often a conundrum when you are trying to design creative and imaginative advertising for your electronic scoreboards.

The general public is fairly savvy when judging the difference between a good ad and a bad one. One example of the demand for good ads is the incredible popularity of Super Bowl ads. There are people that may not be football fans, but they will go online just to view that year’s ingenuity in advertising.
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Newest Wave in Advertising: Advertising Scoreboards

With sports becoming more and more popular to watch on TV, many advertisers are starting to notice and are becoming a part of the action. A lot of the time, companies are taking advantage of advertising scoreboards, and are featuring their names along with the score and other pertinent information. Companies don’t want to be left in the dust when it comes to sports advertising, they want to continue to draw in customers and make money. The easiest way to sports advertise is to take advantage of advertising scoreboards. They are a really cost effective way to distribute your message to potential customers in a quick, efficient manner.
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Advertising Scoreboards: The Double Whammy

Everyone is familiar with advertising. People all over the world understand the importance behind being able to attract the attention of potential business through advertising. Without advertising, consumers would be unaware of the potential deals, sales, and new products offered by the multiple manufacturers throughout the world. Advertising is an age-old practice that has been going on for centuries. The developments in technology through the years have revolutionized the advertising industry. Advertisements are placed in radio shoes, television commercials, and on advertisement billboards across all across the highways of America. Through advertisements businesses have gone from ground zero to national, and small time business owners are able to attract the attention of the entire town. In early days we wouldn’t have been able to find anything we needed if it weren’t for advertisements. The world needs advertising.
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