A video board is so much more than meets the eye. For Timber Creek High School, it is a resume-building opportunity for students, a steady revenue stream for the whole school, and a funding source for scholarships.
At this Orlando, Florida, high school, students have taken the reins and are single-handedly putting on shows during football games and other stadium events like soccer, lacrosse and flag football. They are gaining valuable skills and experience with both event production and sports marketing.
Daktronics Sports Marketing
With the help of DSM, TCHS developed a marketing plan to not only pay for their video board in full, but bring in profit year after year to use for other school athletics investments. They also decided to put some of this money toward a scholarship fund to help students with their college educations.
It’s the Orange County School District’s policy not to pay for video boards, so the booster club needed to raise all the money on their own.
“What set Daktronics apart was Sports Marketing. They gave us structure and guidance on how to go about raising funds,”
said Jim Foulks, Vice President of the TCHS Booster Club.
The club managed to raise $200,000 in just three months, all prior to the installation of the board. Foulks said the school has $40,000 worth of sponsors secured for the next year and expects to boost that number in future years.
TCHS has three tiers of sponsorships, and each tier includes different amounts of airtime and branding impressions.
“DSM provides guidance, but you also need the support of the volunteers and administration,” Foulks said about how the community’s engagement has helped them.
“Daktronics Sports Marketing was the biggest piece of the puzzle for us, but the curriculum package was big, too.”
– Jim Foulks, Vice President of Timber Creek High School Booster Club
TCHS already had a solid production course offering, so they built the Daktronics Curriculum into a TV/news production class, giving the students the opportunity to operate the board and create content. Cameron Stevens, the production teacher, had to teach himself how to use the board as well.
“The students use Display Studio, create ads, do all the music and audio, overall direction and run the boards,” Stevens said.
The schools also developed a sports marketing class, where student groups work directly with sponsors. They meet with them to make video advertisements with exactly the content the sponsor wants. This builds professional communication skills that will be valuable to students later in life.
Event production gives non-athlete students a chance to showcase their skills, as well.
On Friday nights, a group of students run the show completely on their own. With 15 total kids, they usually have some work first half and the others work second half. They also rotate between the various jobs of event production – scoring, running camera, switching feeds, etc.
“I am not in the control room with the kids during football games. I coach volleyball at UCF so I’m not available Friday nights. The kids ran it all on their own and for the most part did a great job. We’d run through everything throughout the week, so they were prepared,” Stevens said.
Stevens hopes to take the production students to the control room at UCF to see operation at a higher level. This could be a great networking opportunity for students who want to continue event production in college.
If fall sport seasons are cancelled due to COVID-19, Stevens plans to continue having students create content and work with TV projects, so they can keep developing their skills.
Learn more about video boards and how one can benefit your school and community at daktronics.com/whyvideo.