Want your name or your business’s name on the new football stadium that Riverside-Brookfield High School plans to construct next summer?
Well, all you need to do is to contribute a substantial sum of money and it could happen.
District 208 Superintendent Kevin Skinkis is poised to publish newspaper advertisements stating that naming rights deals are available on all aspects of the new athletic facilities that will be built during the summer.
“We want to be able to put out there that we are looking for potential benefactors to make donations and receive naming rights for the new facility,” Skinkis said. “At this time no specific dollar amounts have been identified.”
Skinkis and the District 208 school board have decided not to specify a price for naming any portion of the proposed athletic complex, which consists of a stadium, field, track and tennis courts. If any business or individual expresses interest in making a contribution in exchange for naming rights, then amounts will be discussed and negotiated.
“We need to look at different ways of generating revenue,” District 208 school board President Matt Sinde said. “I think we ought to look at it and see what’s out there and what comes back.”
Naming rights have been commonplace in professional sports. The United Center and U.S. Cellular Field are but two examples of corporations paying to put their names on stadiums.
But naming rights deals are still rare at the high school level, but at least one public high school in Illinois has a naming rights deal for its football stadium. Vernon Hills High School’s football stadium is named Rust-Oleum Stadium after the Vernon Hills-based paint company donated $100,000 to help build the stadium.
The naming rights deal with Vernon Hills High School called for the stadium to be called Rust-Oleum Stadium for 20 years. Vernon Hills High School and its stadium were built in 2000.
Skinkis is familiar with Rust-Oleum Stadium, because he once worked as an assistant principal at nearby Mundelein High School.
Brian McDonald, the athletic director at Vernon Hills High School, said he didn’t know of any other naming rights deals for high school stadiums at public high schools in Illinois.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that nine high schools in the football hotbed of northeast Ohio have naming rights deals for their football stadiums. High schools in other states are also exploring naming rights deals.
McDonald says that he gets a few calls each year from high schools around the country asking about Vernon Hills’s naming rights deal.
Buying advertising space on scoreboards or paying to post banners inside high school gyms is becoming increasingly common.
When Skinkis suggested exploring naming rights to the school board, the members authorized him to go forward and see if any businesses or individuals would cough up some money to help defray the construction costs and have their names put on any portion of the new facility.
The present football stadium, which is scheduled to be demolished later this month, is named after Bill Shuey, a former athletic director at RBHS. Shuey got his name on the stadium the old fashioned way, by long service to the school, not because he contributed any money toward building the stadium.