Fans attending Glenbard High School District 87 athletic events will soon be seeing advertising next to the score of the game on scoreboards at all four high schools.
The school board voted unanimously this week to approve an eight-year agreement with iHigh, a firm that will coordinate advertising sponsorships for new LED panels to be attached to eight existing scoreboards at Glenbard athletic facilities.
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It's an effort to bring in extra revenue -- as much as $100,000 annually, by one estimate -- for school programs.
Rod Molek, Glenbard's assistant superintendent for human resources and student services, said the advertising will be "limited" -- only displayed during athletic events, and the school district has the right to approve all ads.
Schools may be able to advertise their own programs and events during nongame hours, though that use may be subject to varying local sign codes, Molek said.
The LED boards will be attached to the football stadium scoreboards at Glenbard North in Carol Stream, Glenbard East in Lombard, Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn and Glenbard South, which is located in an unincorporated area near Glen Ellyn. Additional boards will be attached to scoreboards in school gymnasiums, though those signs won't be subject to village approvals.
"We're working with the villages on whatever work is needed to have their approval," Molek said. "Each (town) is a little bit different."
The LED panels are set to be installed next summer and be ready for use at the start of next school year.
The agreement with iHigh calls for Glenbard to fund the $187,000 upfront cost to install the eight LED boards. The school district would receive all ad revenues until that cost is paid off, or until the start of the third year of the contract, whichever comes first.
Then, a revenue sharing agreement would go into effect in which the district would get 80 percent of revenues and iHigh would get 20 percent.
Advertisers would be required to sign a minimum two-year contract.
An online survey on the school district's website found 62 percent of 454 respondents were in favor of "limited and family appropriate" advertising on LED boards during athletic events, and another 17 percent said they would possibly be in favor.
iHigh currently facilitates advertising sponsorships for Glenbard's iHigh website, which provides online streaming of athletic events.