- Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 11:00
- Written by Bobby Leach "The Rooster"
- Category: On the Fence
The media business is largely supported by advertisers that pay the bills as they say and frankly without advertising, our readers would not likely be reading this column. Our society has reached a point where creative and educated journalism are in demand but few understand that without the inclusion of a commercial placed before a news video or advertising messages displayed in newspapers and on websites, there would likely be no media source unless readers chose to purchase a daily newspaper for instance at $10 per issue.
Advertising is a necessary component to creating platforms that deliver important information to the masses and in the end, those advertisers are typically businesses that not only wish to sell their products or services, but have a sincere interest in the communities they serve.
Case in point, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee cleared the way for state associations and their member schools to place corporate advertising and/or commercial markings on the field of play. These types of markings previously were only allowed in the end zones and outside the field. The rule will state that while corporate advertising and/or commercial markings will be allowed, the markings may not obstruct the yard lines, hash marks or nine-yard marks.
For some fans I have spoken to, there is a shake of the head followed by something along the lines of "are you kidding me?" then usually shrugged off as just another example of the changing times. Advertising on athletic fields is nothing new and in recent years it has become clear that if there is an inch to place an advertising message anywhere in a sporting event, that inch is for rent at a fair rate.
Now I am sure you will hear or perhaps you personally feel that advertising should be kept outside the lines of athletic competition but in today's day and age that noble stance is simply not a practical. While I agree that replacing a school mascot logo at the 50-yard line with an insurance company message isn't in my opinion a the best option, I have to admit that for the right price I wouldn't mind, let me explain.
If a hypothetical company sponsored say Bolingbrook High School for the cost of the turf field, that could save the 365U taxpayers more than $1 million in taxes which could be spent towards the longevity of all athletics in the district as well as continued financial assistance to students in need. And why should companies support prep athletics and activities through advertising? Well for starters, there are studies that suggest upwards of 95% of all high school students participate in some sort of organized after school activity which translates to an awful lot of potential customers.
My advice to the readers on this matter is simple. Support those companies that support your community schools and athletic teams by choosing to shop there whenever possible. Personally I would rather do business with a company that understands it has a role in the community beyond providing a product or service. When I see an advertisement in a setting that supports my own children's activities, I pay more attention to it and note that when I have to pull my wallet out. I applaud this decision by the NFHS and hope there is a continued effort to open every potential advertising opportunity to businesses interested in supporting our school programs instead of raising participant fees and resident tax rates to cover the costs solely. I wonder how much naming rights for actual schools would go for. Imagine ABC Company High School...for the right price I can!