Sponsorship pitch delivered to support Indian River High School athletics

DAGSBORO – Amid tight financial times and state funding cuts, Indian River School District athletics felt the budget-cutting axe for fiscal year 2017-18.

A moratorium on new athletic uniform purchases announced this past spring projected a savings of $75,000.

“We are going to put a moratorium on uniform purchases for the next year unless they get sponsors from the community,” said IRSD Director of Business Jan Steele at the March board of education meeting.

Todd Fuhrmann, athletic director at Indian River High School, has a game plan.

At Monday night’s IRSD board of education meeting he unveiled sponsorship opportunities for IRHS athletics.

Tiered monetary sponsorships include: Gold ($3,000), Silver ($2,000), Bronze ($1,000) and Supporter ($500).

Sponsorships include athletic fields/gym scoreboards, athletic uniforms and special areas.

The board of education balked at voting on the proposal Monday night. School board president Charles Bireley said he needed more time to go over the proposal.

“Really, anything normally when it is the magnitude of something like this it does go through the committee,” said Mr. Bireley.

Board member Dr. Heather Statler likewise said she needed more time to review. She applauded Mr. Fuhrmann for this initiative.

“I haven’t had a chance to look at this but I want to thank you … for the out-of-box thinking,” said Dr. Statler. “We want all of those great things for our students. I just appreciate the fact that you are bringing something like to us.”

The board of education plans to re-visit the sponsorship pitch at an upcoming meeting.

Under the proposal, scoreboard advertising will be visible year-long during all games and activities staged on that site. Scoreboard donations can be purchased on a year-to-year or multi-year basis.

Uniform sponsors are good for the life of the uniforms.

“Football jerseys aren’t going to have … Megee Plumbing & Heating or something like that on the back of them, right?” asked school board vice president Rodney Layfield.

“No sir,” said Mr. Fuhrmann. “Nothing on apparel; it’s against regulations.”

Mr. Layfield also inquired about sponsor screening.

“Who will make the decision on accepting the sponsors? Such as there are some businesses that have a not-so-reputable reputation out there, we wouldn’t want to accept money from the owner of a business that is a convicted felon,” said Mr. Layfield. “I would hate to see that happen at a high school level.”

“My plan would be to go our administrator first, then have discussions when those people come in,” said Mr. Fuhrmann. “So, any of our sponsors that are of that nature or we’re not sure of would be questioned.”

“I’m open to any suggestions,” said Mr. Fuhrmann. “If you see anything that looks wrong, I‘m open to anything.”

Proposed Sponsorship Opportunities

Athletic Fields Scoreboards

Stadium Field/Track: $5,000 (four available)

Field Hockey/Girls Lacrosse: $2,500 (four available)

Baseball: $2,500 (four available)

Softball: $2,500 (four available)

Gym (Volleyball, Basketball, Wrestling): $3,000 (eight available)

Athletic Uniforms (Good for four years)

Football: $15,000.

Fall Sports: $6,000 each.

Boys/Girls Basketball: $6,000 each.

Wrestling/Swimming: $5,000 each.

Baseball/Softball: $6,000 each.

Track and Field: $6,000.

Boys Lacrosse: $6,000.

Other Spring Sports: $6,000.

Special Areas

Four Locker Room/Shed: $5,000.

Under Stands Locker Room: $10,000.

Level Sponsorships:

Gold ($3,000)

  • stadium and gym advertising;
  • website advertising;
  • in-game announcements of sponsorship at stadium events;
  • two 30-second radio advertisements during IR home contests;
  • exclusive event sponsorship for one football game or basketball game;
  • four athletic season passes;
  • one tailgating pass for home football games.

Silver ($2,000)

  • stadium/gym advertising;
  • website advertising;
  • one 30-second radio advertisement during IR home contests;
  • In-game announcements of sponsorship at stadium events;
  • two athletic season passes;
  • one tailgating pass for home football games.

Bronze ($1,000)

  • stadium/gym advertising;
  • one 15-second advertisement during IR home events;
  • one tailgating pass for home football games;
  • two athletic passes.

Supporter ($500)

  • stadium/gym advertising;
  • one tailgating pass for home football games;
  • in game announcement of sponsorship;
  • two athletic season passes.

For more information, call 732-3196 or email IRHS Athletic Director Todd Fuhrmann at todd.fuhrmann@irsd.k12.de.us.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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