Mountain Brook High School lies in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama. They have about a thousand students and a very supportive network of parents and businesses. So when the school installed a new Daktronics video board on their football field, they successfully found sponsors to help them pay for it – and add funds to team budgets and the school as a whole.
Mountain Brook Athletic Director Benny Eaves says their sponsors already account for nearly $300,000 this year. Thanks to working with Daktronics Sports Marketing and a group of parents, they know exactly where that money will go.
Six of the eight anchor sponsorships are filled, at $25,000 each. Of that money:
- 40% will go to repay the Board of Education for financing the video display
- 5% goes to the athletics general fund
- 55% is divided among all sports based on an athletic department formula
There are three other sponsorship levels as well, in which 85% of the money goes to the team that sells the sponsorships, while 15% goes to the athletics general fund.
Once the video board is completely paid off, those formulas will change slightly to include savings for future board purchases and maintenance, as well as adding to the general fund for the high school.
“We also made a deal with the anchor sponsors that no one will call them for any other sponsorships,” explains Eaves. “We will put them up in other venues and the website and include them on social media too. I’ve had people call me that have never done business with the school before. They want to be on the video board. Sometimes that night. That’s happened two or three times.”
Eaves says they plan to approach some bigger businesses for the next season, and he expects great success, and suspects there could even be bidding wars.
“It’s not just a donation now,” he explains. “We give sponsors impressions. This is not just a sign on a fence. It also brings a lot of kids into the fold that may not be in athletics.”
As successful as the sponsorships are, that’s not the main reason Mountain Brook installed the video board. Eaves says providing student opportunities is important at every level, and students are already involved in operating the board.
“Students are running the board,” he says. “We also have an experienced teacher who operated a video board before at another school. We want to grow our student broadcast program, and we stole her away from another school. We’re getting the student program going.”
In fact, they plan to expand the Daktronics curriculum to get students involved even earlier than originally planned. “We want to start the curriculum at the junior high level,” says Eaves. “It helps grow the program and the product. We want to grow it from the bottom up to develop players. It affects so many kids – it’s not just a football board.”
It’s another niche to get [students] involved. Plus, it promotes community involvement.Benny Eaves, Mountain Brook High School Athletic Director