Welcome to the next installment of our new ScoreVision Spotlight Series, where we aim to provide inspiration by showcasing ScoreVision customers who are doing some amazing things with their ScoreVision video scoreboards.
In this post, we are highlighting the Elkhorn Public School District, a school district located in the fast-growing town of Elkhorn, NE. The school district partnered with ScoreVision and the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation to raise funds to bring a ScoreVision football jumbotron to the football stadium that is shared by the district's two high schools. ScoreVision and the Foundation combined the advertising spots available on their future ScoreVision football jumbotron with some innovative game-time offerings to raise nearly $400,000 to bring the project to fruition. Beyond the installation of the 34'x26' football video scoreboard, the fundraising revenue is helping numerous educational and extracurricular efforts across many grades and schools throughout the growing district.
In this post, we'll walk you through the keys to Elkhorn Public Schools' fundraising success and provide actionable ideas you can apply to your own fundraising efforts. We encourage you to be inspired by these ideas and make them your own.
1. Partner with Your School Foundation
One of the factors in Elkhorn Public Schools' fundraising success was their ability to partner with the district's foundation, the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation.
Rather than take on the efforts of finding sponsors as individual high schools, the ScoreVision video scoreboard shared by the district's two high schools was purchased as an investment by the Foundation.
Partnering with the Foundation provided many benefits to the fundraising process. First, the Foundation's staff were already well-versed in raising funds and building connections with potential sponsors in the community.
Second, for any of the local businesses that were approached, the opportunity to sponsor the jumbotron project became bigger than simply purchasing an advertising spot. Because the Foundation supports all schools in the district, it was made clear to potential sponsors that funds raised for the video scoreboard project would not only benefit that investment and the high schools' athletics programs – the revenue generated would also impact students across all grades throughout the Elkhorn community. The Foundation was also able to showcase statistics about their impact on the community and demonstrate how sponsoring the video scoreboard project would help these companies play a part in supporting their local schools.
Putting the Foundation's experience with fundraising and sponsor outreach to work helped the project run very efficiently and increased the benefits of advertising on the ScoreVision video scoreboard.
2. Identify Your Top Prospects
Whether your athletics program can partner with your district foundation or not, the next step to raising sponsorship revenue applies to any school or facility.
Securing sponsors to fund your video scoreboard project starts with identifying the top businesses and donors to approach with the opportunity. This step can often seem the hardest, but whether your school is located in a big city, rural area, or somewhere in between, there are potential sponsors all around you.
Simply start by listing the businesses around your school in categories such as:
- Family restaurants, fast food restaurants, and grocery stores
- Hospitals, dentists, and urgent care clinics
- Nearby colleges and test preparation services
- Real estate agents, roofing companies, and other home-related service companies
Once you generate this list of businesses, use resources like Google, social media sites, and the connections of parents and colleagues to find contact information for these companies.
Parents of student-athletes as well as existing school vendors and donors can also make great prospects to reach out to with your sponsorship opportunity.
As you reach out, not every company might say "yes" to the opportunity, but it can be helpful to ask each business that said "no" for a recommendation to other businesses who may be interested. This way, you can continue to evolve your sponsor list and sell more sponsorships.
ScoreVision can also provide additional resources to assist in building this prospect list and securing sponsors. Reach out to your Regional Sales Representative today or contact us and we'll connect you with the representative for your area.
3. Personalize Your Packages
Though many schools find fundraising success using the pre-built sponsorship packages and materials that ScoreVision can provide, the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation chose to personalize their packages. They opted to offer five sponsorship tiers instead of four, and they offered a menu of optional add-ons and upgrades to sponsors. These upgrades included opportunities such as:
- PA shout-outs
- Sponsored animations
- Adding sound to halftime advertisements
- Special tailgating arrangements
- Hosting a vendor table
- Handing out promotional items
The Foundation displayed their sponsorship packages, pricing, availability, and upgrades in a brochure that they customized to include more thorough information. The brochure included a letter from the Superintendent, statements from the high school Athletic Directors, and statements and graphics about the impact the sponsorship dollars would have throughout the district and community.
These customizations to the fundraising materials provided by ScoreVision made the sponsorship opportunities even more appealing to the businesses they approached.
4. Infuse Sponsors Throughout Your Games
The Foundation's fundraising efforts made it clear to potential sponsors that this advertising opportunity would give businesses more than just a sign or banner at the football stadium – it would infuse their brand into the game-time experience.
Prior to the installation of their ScoreVision football video board, there was a strict no-advertising policy in the sporting facilities throughout the district. However, once the Foundation and district administration saw the opportunities for supporting students throughout the community with the revenue that could be generated, the district made an exception for the district football stadium.
With this new level of flexibility, the Foundation came up with ways to bring sponsors into the game-time experience using the video board and some other unique ideas.
On the scoreboard, sponsors could advertise through the standard placements such as brand ads, signature ads, and cinema ads. This included everything from TV-style commercials at halftime to logo ads at the bottom of the scoreboard.
Beyond the standard placements, sponsors also had the opportunity to have their logo on the branded background of the scoreboards, where fans would see their brand each time they checked the score. The sport animations (such as "First Down" and "Defense") could also be sponsored so their brand would be shown and associated with exciting plays during the game.
But the Foundation didn't limit sponsorship options to the video scoreboard – they looked to college- and professional-level sporting events for inspiration and offered opportunities such as special tailgating packages, pizza runs at halftime, PA shout-outs, and other creative ideas that could be personalized to what the businesses offered.
The Foundation highlighted the importance and benefits of reserving the advertising spaces for sponsors and limiting the amount of promotions that were given out for school clubs, activities, and miscellaneous shout-outs. This maximized the opportunities for sponsors to be shown and helped increase ROI on the video scoreboard project.
5. Promote the Impact of Sponsorship
The common theme throughout the Foundation's materials and fundraising approach was the impact that sponsoring the video scoreboard project would make. The Foundation quickly learned that the parts of the sponsorship opportunity that resonated most with potential sponsors were the student involvement and learning opportunities that come with getting a ScoreVision system, and knowing that their advertising dollars would not only help grow their business but also grow their communities. Their sponsorship would go directly into their community and school district.
The Foundation's #1 piece of advice for schools fundraising for a ScoreVision video board is to treat this exciting project as an opportunity for local businesses, not just the sale of advertisements.
Are You Using ScoreVision to its Full Potential?
We hope this post has sparked all kinds of creative fundraising ideas that you can bring to your own ScoreVision system. Stay tuned for future installments of our new ScoreVision Spotlight Series to learn how ScoreVision customers around the country are excelling at generating revenue, exciting fans, using ScoreVision outside of athletics, educating students, and more benefits of having a ScoreVision video scoreboard!
Is your school or facility doing cool and creative things with your ScoreVision system? Email us here letting us know what you're doing and/or tag us in your ScoreVision photos on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook for a chance to be featured on our blog, website, social media, and more!
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