NEWTOWN SQUARE–In part three of the five-part series of recommendations to the budget made by the appointed seven-member Community Budget Committee, is recommendations on activity fees for the district.
The committee was formed in September and has been meeting monthly since then to review the district's budget and to analyze revenues and costs of district operations. Committee member Jim Lanzalotto urged the school board to communicate more openly with the public about the limitations they are faced with in the budget due to state mandates.
Opportunities to reduce costs and for potential revenue growth in the budget were discussed in five areas: Transportation, Facility Usage, Activity Fees, Advertising & Sponsorships, and Virtual Learning.
Marple Newtown Patch will cover the topics in a five-part series.
Advertising On School Property
"This is not a new thing," explained Maria Kane, a community budget committee member about advertising on buses. "It's happening all over the country and we've seen advertising on buses all over the country."
According to Kane, several other school districts have already adopted this marketing idea to generate revenue back to the district. Kane shared Parkland School District in Lehigh County has already adopted the model to advertise inside their school buses. The school district expects to generate $150,000 from advertising inside 46 out of the 96 buses in its fleet, according to Upper Macungie Patch.
"Most of these school districts are picking it up now in order to avoid tax increases and to close those budget gaps," said Kane. According to Kane, the advertisements will have to be approved by the school districts.
In addition, Kane said other school districts like Pennsbury in Bucks County have signed with larger advertising agencies to help increase revenue. According to Kane, the district projects to see approximately $424,000 per year in revenues.
And others, like Centenniel School District in Bucks County, have adopted several advertising/sponsorship measures including trademarking the school's name and mascots.
"I like their idea because what they've done was they have trademarked the name of their school as well as their mascot and they've joined up with Modell's and they're selling their products in Modell's," said Kane.
According to Kane, Centenniel is hoping to generate approximately $2.5 million in two and a half years in revenue from this advertising/sponsorship.
Where To Advertise in MNSD
Some areas of large space sponsorship in the district included:
- Culinary Arts Room–Partnering with The Restaurant School of Philadelphia or the JNA Culinary Institute and instead of paying a fee for sponsoring the facility and having their name prominently displayed, the school could have the rights to use the facility for a "satellite" summer course.
- Football Stadium–Large corporate sponsorship for field and goal posts as well as scoreboards. In addition, possibly advertising on game tickets (i.e., coupons for local restaurants).
- Locker Rooms–Exclusive advertising with a local sports vendor.
- Fitness Center–The six pillars of the Marple Newtown athletic program where each pillar could be sponsored for a two- or three-year agreement.
- Buses–Inside advertising that are age-appropriate.
- Gymnasium–Local business advertisements strategically placed around the gym.
- Cafeteria–Local restaurant signs and coupon deals.
Other ideas of sponsorships include invitational or competition events could be sponsored as well as a brick program for the high school, where family members can purchase customizable bricks in the name of their student for graduation.