After meeting Nebraska’s local Daktronics rep at an Athletic Director conference, Jenny Wagner, Centennial’s Athletic Director, made a trip to Brookings for a tour. She brought along Jessica Breitkreutz and Colin Bargen, Centennial’s Technology Integration Specialist and Secondary Principal, to explore how the display would expand beyond sports.
Reliable Products and Brand-New Curriculum
“We saw their manufacturing space, reliability lab and really got to experience what Daktronics is,” Jenny said of the tour. “It was impressive beyond another level.”
The game changer was the Daktronics High School Production Curriculum. A first in the digital display market, the course outlines what students need to know to run the school’s equipment and helps the teacher walk through the basics and develop the class based on the basic, intermediate and advanced level version.
“Seeing how easy it was for Madison’s students to operate things put us at ease that our students would be able to grab hold and run with it.”
– Jenny Wagner
Sponsorships to Pay for the Display
Now that education and the entertainment are covered, how do you set up the sponsorships to pay for it? The Daktronics Sports Marketing team gave the group marketing materials and explained the process of securing sponsorships. Daktronics displays last an average of 10 years, so once sponsorship renewals come up at 5 years, all monies go straight to the school!
On the way to see Madison High School’s equipment in action, Jenny and Bud Postma, a former AD, visited about who to talk to in the community and what types of businesses would jump on board.
On the way home, the group reached a decision. “We can’t go with anyone other than Daktronics,” Jenny stated.
“It’s 150 times worth what the cost is. You’re getting so much more than just a board. I don’t want to have to pick up the phone and talk to anyone else besides my contact at Daktronics.”
– Jenny Wagner
Social Media Ignites on Fire
With her training and marketing tools in hand, Jenny lit up the phone lines to see how much funding she could secure. To increase visibility and help draw attention to the project, she released a rendering on social media of what the equipment would look like upon installation. “It ignited on fire!” she said. After one week, she had surpassed the amount needed from sponsors.
Why stop there? Jenny approached the School Board and pitched how much she could raise total due to strong interest, which was more than double her initial expectation. “I just needed their blessing to pass the motion for the project. They asked if we could have things in place for the district track meet we’re hosting on May 9. Daktronics said they could do it, so the Board gave me the go-ahead.”
After just two weeks, Jenny thought she could bring in up to $329,500. “This has been super exciting,” she said. “Not only will the school and community benefit with the upgraded facilities, but Jessica can teach our students the curriculum in our video editing and graphic design classes to create ads for our sponsors. Not every student is an athlete, so this will give them the perfect opportunity to shine in the community. They are the future, after all, and will be someone’s employees one day.”
From a need, to a bigger dream, to reality, “There is a reason to partner with Daktronics,” Jenny attested. “They go above and beyond. Every school is lucky if they’d go with them.”
Watch the full story at http://www.daktronics.com/centennial