Two in One

By Staff

Athletic Management, 15.6, October/November 2003,

If businesses in a community are willing to buy ads in game programs and school yearbooks, what would happen if you put the two publications together? Officials with the Portland, Maine, public school system think their district-wide athletics yearbook will generate as much as $22,000 to supplement sports in sixth through 12th grades this year.

Portland’s sports budget has remained static for years as costs have risen, says Director of Secondary Education Dana Allen. Thus, the innovative idea. Portland has hired East Coast Marketing Group, a local company that produces fund-raising publications for other non-profits, to sell ads and oversee production and printing. The district will provide ECMG with a marketing script for selling as well as team phtos, action shots, and text for the book.

The yearbooks will sell for about $5 apiece, with student-athletes pre-selling as many copies as possible. ECMG will take a share of the advertising revenue.

The district projects selling 1,000-1,500 copies. “We think there’s a market out there for businesses and families of kids who are actively involved in the athletic programs,” Allen says. “It appears as if we have everything to gain and nothing to lose, and the possibility of something really catching on and becoming institutionalized in our district.”