Revenue Through In-School Advertising Still on Table for Matawan Aberdeen Board of Education
The board of education is seeking public comment on the revenue-generating idea at their upcoming committee meeting.
The Matawan Aberdeen Board of Education is getting ready to decide whether or not they should sell advertising space throughout the district to corporate sponsors. Advertisements could potentially be placed on school buses, in classrooms, in hallways, at athletic fields and online.
Business Administrator James Strimple suggested at the Sept. 24 meeting that the board consider a resolution allowing Advantage3, an alternative revenue generation company, to conduct research about the possibility of making money by advertising at Matawan Regional High School and Matawan Aberdeen Middle School.
A sample resolution is expected to be on the agenda at the Oct. 8 committee meeting. At that time, the board is expected to consider and discuss the resolution, which could be voted on as early as the board's regular action meeting on Oct. 22.
Board member Ken Aitken said he hopes residents will attend the meeting to weigh in.
"I know that there are two schools of thought on it. Many people feel that we've been saturated already with advertising in our lives as Americans and maybe we shouldn't have it, but then the up side of it is we may have some money to put into some programs that we would not have been able to afford on our normal revenue stream," he said.
This is not the first time the board has discussed using Advantage3 to generate revenue for the district to reduce the impact on tax payers. For the 2012-13 school year, 75.8%, or $47,966,733, of the revenue needed to support the district's $63.2 million budget is being collected through taxes.
Roman Oben, the Northeast Regional Director for Advantage3, explained to the board at their April 16 meeting how the alternative revenue generation company can help the district supplement their budget.
During Oben's presentation, he showed a before and after photo of an auditorium wall. The section of wall was located behind the seats and is visible as people exit the auditorium. In the "before" photo, the wall was a flat cream color. In the "after" photo, it was the school's colors and had the school mascot next to an inspirational quote. The corporate sponsor's logo, which was placed in the bottom corner, was proportionately the smallest aspect of the advertisement. (See the photo gallery for sample advertisements submitted to Brick Memorial High School.)
The revenue is split, with 80% alotted to the school district and 20% to Advantage3. Profits can be used in any way that the district decides and it cannot be earmarked by the sponsor, Oben said. Additionally, the school is not bound by the corporation's agenda and has the right to refuse any advertisement in any location for any reason.
If the board passes a resolution authorizing Advantage3 to conduct research, they will have to pay an upfront fee for each entity. The company charges $7,500 per high school, $5,000 per middle school, $145 per vehicle, and $3,450 for the website. The 80-20 revenue split does not go into effect until the district has recouped these fees.
After the district selects which entities it would like researched and the fee is paid, the following project timeline is used, Oben explained:
- Asset Assessment. Advantage3 conducts a visit of each school, gathering data and professionally photographing all assets, such as the blank space above a white board in the classroom, an athletic field scoreboard, or blank walls within an auditorium.
- Asset Cataloging, Messaging and Packaging. Advantage3 creates an inventory of the district's assets and desired message and begins searching for an appropriate corporate match.
- First Review and Right of Refusal. The district reviews the marking presentation and gives direction, approval or refusal. No third party will see it without district sign-off.
- Market Launch. With the inventory and approved sales materials in hand, Advantage3 begins local and regional sponsor introductions, building toward national brands over time.
- Final Consideration and Right of Refusal. As Advantage3 brings the district sponsor opportunities, the district retains the right to accept or decline any offer, for any reason.
- Production. The production team creates and installs the sponsor integration at the sponsor's cost.
- Maintenance Restoration. Advantage3 repairs or replaces the signage for the life of the sponsor agreement. At the end of the term, Advantage3 removes the integration and restores the facility to its original condition.
According to Oben, Hazlet, Red Bank and Brick school districts are some of the area schools that use Advantage3 for advertising.