Should the Brick Township school district sell advertising in its facilities to fill its coffers?
The township Board of Education adopted a policy last week that will permit advertising “on the school property owned or leased by the district.” The policy states that all advertising must be approved by the Board of Education, which also has the power to reject any advertisement it deems inappropriate.
“There is advertising right now on scoreboards and score tables,” said Business Administrator James Edwards, who described that advertising as a “gray area.”
The advertisements on the scoreboards were sold by a nonprofit group that purchased the scoreboard, with the intent of defraying its cost. Future advertising, Edwards said, will likely be on a contract basis as opposed to a permanent fixture on a piece of district equipment.
“Going forward, we definitely need to have some kind of term limit, or time limit, so advertisers understand that their ad doesn’t stay on the scoreboard for the life of the scoreboard,” said Edwards.
In 2012, the board approved the creation of a marketing deck by Advantage3, a company that produced a book with mockups of school facilities and potential advertisements that could be placed on them. One such opportunity, for example, was a line of text under Brick Memorial High School’s outdoor sign which read, “Proudly Sponsored by [Your Name].”
The deck also includes mockups of advertisements on lockers, trophy cases, buses and cafeteria seats. When it was created, school officials said Brick Memorial’s entrance sign would receive about 630,000 impressions – or views – each month, and could generate as much as $150,000.
Though the deck was created four years ago, it was never utilized since there was no policy in place that allowed advertising in school facilities. The new policy, adopted on second reading last week, will allow the district to hire a firm to sell the advertising that is included in the deck, Edwards said.
The district will begin soliciting sales firms in the near future, said Edwards.