Sponsorship is defined as the provision of financial or material support to individuals, teams, events or organizations, outside the sponsor’s normal sphere of operations. This might involve sport, the arts, community or charity work (Pearson Education UK Website, 2006). For high schools, sponsorship is vital in the support of its various activities, especially sports-related events. High school administrators may contract with someone or an entity—including private companies or “education management organizations”— to sponsor events of the school.
However, the administrator remains legally responsible to the sponsor. The sponsor is ordinarily a state or local school board. In some states, public schools also have authority to issue charters, as do county school boards and city councils. If the sponsor deems an application solid, it will negotiate a more detailed charter (or contract) for a specified period of time (Finn 2000, p. 16).
We all know that high schools do not only entail academic work, courses in music and art, business training, general courses in home economics and industrial arts, and specialized industrial, technical, agricultural, and vocational homemaking curricula represent the range of the formal program of studies in state high schools. The teaching that the schools do cannot be completely assessed, however, without considering their extracurricular programs.
Reports from the schools show that in addition to studying formal school subjects, students have a chance to take part under school auspices in a variety of recreational activities, in the meetings of informal subject matter clubs, in the publication of some sort of school periodical, and in character-building or school service organizations. Almost all the high schools provide dances, organized athletics, and musical organizations, and a large proportion of high school pupils participate actively in these recreations.
The dances are ordinarily the only form of purely social activity which the schools sponsor. The organized athletics tend to be restricted to large-group sports. Boys usually have a chance to engage in football, baseball, track, and soccer; girls may take part in volleyball, softball, and soccer. Spectator participation in sports is often actively encouraged among both boys and girls, in connection with interschool athletic competitions. The musical organizations, like the athletics, tend to place chief emphasis on large-group activities.
Most schools have orchestras and glee clubs or choirs, and in all but the smallest schools there are likely, in addition, to be school bands. Except in the case of dancing, the school’s supervision of these activities involves a considerable amount of teaching— perhaps more accurately described, in the case of musical activities as well as athletics, as coaching. To help ease out these activities, sponsors are needed to defray financial costs. Another purpose of sponsorship is to enable information awareness.
School personnel usually work as a team to confront the high-risk behaviors of students. For example, high school teachers, coaches, counselors, and nurses can work together to enhance sexuality education at their schools. Abstinence lessons can be coupled with lessons that emphasize responsible, safer-sex practices for those females who choose to be sexually active. In addition, school personnel can work with the school food-service provider to ensure that there are appealing fruit and vegetable choices in the cafeteria and that fresh fruit juice machines are available on campus.
Furthermore, high schools and elementary schools can collaborate to teach conflict resolution skills throughout the K-I 2 curriculum so that students can learn how to handle confrontations without resorting to physical fights. Finally, college health personnel can work with other departments and organizations on campus to sponsor drug-free activities and to educate students about responsible alcohol use once they are of legal drinking age (Dinger, 2000, p. 19).
According to National Federation of State High School Associations marketing director Judy Thomas, “Schools never want to cut programs if they don’t have to. So if you need to rely on corporations; that’s what you need to do. ” The oversight group, best known for compiling rules of play for high school sports, has developed its own sponsorship program that includes credit card giant MBNA Corp. and Red Roof Inns. For more than a decade, shoe companies such as Nike and Adidas have sponsored basketball camps and supported powerhouse programs that often send graduates on to the pro ranks.
But the rising and more universal corporate interest in prep sports is due primarily to three factors: cost, availability and exposure. High school sponsorships generally cost only thousands or tens of thousands year or, in the case of shoe deals, simply the cost of shoes and other gear such as uniforms. The bargain prices represent a deep discount from the six- and seven-figure outlays required to get involved at the higher levels of competition (Fisher, 2002). Another international company, sports sponsorship has been a cornerstone of Coca-Cola’s global marketing efforts for almost a century.
Today, Coke is the biggest corporate sports sponsor in the world, spending around $1 billion a year. Sponsorship cover every major sport and occur at several levels: from grassroots sponsorship of 75,000 soccer training schools in Mexico, to college sports and a 100-year deal with the National Basketball Association for Sprite to be the official NBA soft drink. Of all sports activities, soccer and the World Cup in particular rank very high. The 1998 World Cup drew 3. 4 billion viewers, making it by far the largest single global sporting event.
Activities that Coke devised for the 2002 World Cup included having kids carry the national flags of competing teams onto the field and a Website that allowed soccer fans to predict game results (Ad Age Global, March 2002). In the final analysis, high school sponsorship does not only benefit the students, the school, but it also proffers income for sponsors themselves. With a number of schools still untouched by corporate America, the sponsorship also represents an open opportunity for companies to get advertising edge on its rivals.
Also, with high school sports gaining more exposure through cable television and the Internet than ever before, prep athletics no longer exist in a vacuum, heightening the marketing value for the sponsoring companies (Fisher, 2002). With both parties acquiring mutual benefits, high school sponsorship is indeed an effective move for the schools to forward their activities without financial worries.
Ad Age Global. (2002, March). Coke’s Good Sports, p. 18–19. Dinger, M. K. (2000). Health-Risk Behaviors of High School and College Females. JOPERD–The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 71(7), 19.inn, Chester E. , Jr. (2000). Charter Schools in Action : Renewing Public Education. NJ: Princeton University Press. Fisher, E. (2002, April 15). Are High-School Sports Keeping the Right Company? as More Corporations Sponsor More Scholastic Athletics, Critics Fear Impressionable Young Minds Are Receiving the Wrong Signals about Winning and Commercialism. Insight on the News, 18, 28. Sponsorship. (2006). Pearson Education UK Glossary. Retrieved 4 October 2006 at http://wps. pearsoned. co. uk/wps/media/objects/1452/1487687/glossary/glossary. html