By Linda Dillman
A new scoreboard for Mike Locke Stadium, two for the main gymnasium, and one at a ball field at Canal Winchester High School will provide much more than athletic statistics—they also afford the district a revenue source and an opportunity for a new student curriculum.
Canal Winchester High School Athletic Director Pat Durbin said the old stadium scoreboard dates back to the time when the artificial turf and track were first installed.
“It’s extremely dated and we wanted a fresh look,” said Durbin. “The new scoreboards will also create a revenue source for the athletic office. For example, uniforms are always a concern and there is a fine line when purchasing them, which we try to stretch out and replace after three to six years. I’ve got to be a good steward of the funds we receive.”
Uniforms are not the only cost Durbin considers when budgeting for the athletic department. There are various sports for boys and girls, supplies, equipment, official’s contracts and the list goes on.
The new electronic scoreboards have space for eight static ads and unlimited digital space. Scoreboards at the baseball and softball fields have space for four static ads.
“The opportunities for digital ads are endless,” said Durbin, who said he is in contact with potential local advertisers. “I’m focused right now on businesses that have supported the athletic office in the past. We’re giving them the first option to purchase space and there are different packages.”
The cost of the scoreboards is approximately $200,000. Sponsorship packages range from $3,000 per year to $10,000 per year for a five year commitment (per year).
According to Durbin, the lifespan of the scoreboards is 15 to 20 years. He worked with district administrators to create a financing package for all of the scoreboards.
“There’s got to be a return on our investment,” said Durbin, who said the new boards should be installed by Aug. 1.
The return is not only monetary through sponsorships, but also an educational return in creating a curriculum to go along with the operation of the boards, which Durbin hopes to have up and running in time for the upcoming school year.
“I want to get our students involved with the boards and announcing,” said Durbin. “It gets harder and harder to get volunteers and if our students can earn credit while working for the athletic department, it can lead to careers beyond high school.”
In 2021, Hamilton Township Schools created a credentialed Media Design, Marketing, and Sales pathway to graduation under a similar situation when they installed a $484,000 Daktronics board in their high school stadium. Hamilton Township Schools Treasurer Adam Collier expected sponsorships to bring in $90,000 to $100,000 a year.
“I am very excited for the future of our student athletes and our athletic program,” said Durbin.