Football scoreboard ready to make money

Sponsorships projected to generate $32,000 a year

RAYMONDVILLE — After nearly a year, the school district’s new $434,349 video scoreboard is starting to pay off.

District officials are launching a campaign seeking sponsors to buy advertising on the big Jumbotron scoreboard, which Superintendent Stetson Roane pitched shortly after he was hired last year.

After school board members voted 5-2 to buy it in June 2018, Roane said he planned to use the scoreboard to generate revenue to pay off its purchase.

Now, officials are selling six spots, each ranging from $5,000 to $6,000, on the 36-foot-wide by 26½-foot-high scoreboard looming over Bearkat Stadium.

“This is an affordable marketing opportunity for local businesses,” Assistant Superintendent Benjamin Clinton said. “When they put their name up there, they’re supporting our kids.”

Officials project the sponsorships will generate $32,000 in annual revenue, he said.

Clinton said the city’s largest audio-video screen targets a big captive audience.

“We’ve got 5,000 people in that stadium on Friday night and they’re all staring at that scoreboard,” he said. “They’re going to be looking at that message.”

The district is selling two “premium” 11-foot-wide by 4-foot-high rectangular spots for $6,000 each per year while offering to broadcast their sponsors’ 30-second commercials on the scoreboard’s audio-video screen before and after football games.

As part of the deal, the district will offer premium advertisers the distinction of becoming home football game sponsors, giving them the opportunity to make half-time presentations while displaying their products.

The district is also selling four 5.42-foot-wide by 6.75-foot-high square spots for $5,000 each per year.

After the district sells the spots, officials plan to use the scoreboard to generate additional revenue, Clinton said.

“This is the first rollout of the marketing,” he said. “There’ll be other marketing opportunities coming up a little later.”

The campaign marks the first time officials sold advertising on the new scoreboard.

Big learning tool

Last year, officials focused on training students in computer technology classes to operate the scoreboard, Clinton said.

“We took the first year to let the students learn the operation,” he said. “We couldn’t sell advertising while they were learning the ropes.”

Now, with students skillfully operating it, officials are ready to use the scoreboard to make money, he said.

“They run the whole show,” he said. “It’s inspiring. We run three cameras during the entire game.”

A hit in the stands

After Roane took his job last year, some parents criticized his plan to buy a high-priced scoreboard.

At the time, Roane said he planned to replace the stadium’s 15-year-old scoreboard damaged in a wind storm two months earlier.

Now, the Jumbotron is a big hit in town, Clinton said.

In the stands at Bearkat Stadium, it’s creating a new dynamic, he said.

“It’s a huge enhancement to the game to see the replay — to see the crowd’s reaction,” Clinton said. “The quality of the audio, the quality of the video is a huge enhancement to the game experience.”