East Grand School District signs contract with Coca-Cola
A new paradigm is forming in high schools and school districts throughout the nation as private corporations join in sponsorship with public school districts to provide services in exchange for exclusive sales rights and advertising privileges.
While the business model is not new — both professional sports teams and college teams have engaged in such practices for years — the movement toward sponsorships in primary education facilities is a relatively new phenomenon.
The East Grand School District (EGSD) has already tested the waters of such contract negotiations; the EGSD signed a contract last year with the Adidas Corporation. Currently all sports teams in the EGSD except for the cheerleaders and ski teams wear Adidas sports wear, provided by the company per the contract. Adidas does not make cheerleading or ski sports wear available in the U.S.
This week the EGSD will finalize a contract with the Coca-Cola Bottling Company High Country whose offices are in Hot Sulphur Springs. The contract is for two years or until the EGSD purchases a minimum of 200 cases.
As part of the agreement the East Grand School District will be supplied with various sports hydration equipment pieces provided by Coca-Cola including water coolers, water bottles, cups and other items. The sports teams at EGSD will now exclusively use Coca-Cola products, including Coca-Cola’s sports drink Powerade. For their part in the agreement Coca-Cola will receive two public address announcements per athletic event using the P.A. system and have their logo printed on each published schedule and marquee. Coca-Cola also receives exclusive beverage sponsorship rights for all official events and functions.
The Press Box at the Middle Park High School (MPHS) football field was recently refurbished with new paint and siding and a portion of it formerly used as a storage area will now serve as a beverage station concession stand, selling Coke products and other MPHS Panther merchandise.
The MPHS Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) student group will be taking over management of the concessions this year, providing the students with valuable business experience. Athletic Director for EGSD and MPHS Football Coach Adam Bright explained, FBLA students will develop expense outlays for the concessions and determine how much each product costs the district, allowing the district to determine price margins and keep the concession stands stocked with items that sell regularly.
Bright presented the contract for approval to the Board of Education last week. He described the agreement as beneficial to both parties, reducing the beverage costs for the district’s athletic programs and reducing shipping costs.
Bright explained to the Board that Coke has agreed to donate $2 to the MPHS athletic fund for each case of products purchased by the District. Bright also pointed out to the Board that no vending machines are being placed inside the school facilities and the Coke contract is specifically for sports teams and concessions for athletic events.
So far this year the Middle Park Panthers are 1-2 losing their season opener in an away game to Battle Mountain. The Panthers brought the Trail Ridge Trophy home from Estes Park when they won a lop-sided victory over their local rivals during their second week of action. Last week the Panthers fell to Strasburg but look ahead to a game against The Academy at home this Friday. Kick-off is at 7 p.m.
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