[Guest post by DRJ]
You know football has become a big dollar sport, with high-priced coaches, lucrative deals for stadium and practice facility naming rights, and televised match-ups, right?
“National appeal turning high school football into big business.
Although Friday nights remain sacred in Texas – no live telecasts or Web casts of high school football games are permitted – the state’s best teams are finding national exposure by waiting a day.
This week, two Texas high school football games will be shown on national TV on Saturday: Euless Trinity at Odessa Permian and Miami Northwestern vs. Southlake Carroll. Those games, to be televised live on FSN Southwest and ESPNU, respectively, are the latest signs that high school sports have become big business.”
There’s big bucks available to high schools from fees for naming rights, expense-paid trips, and TV revenue:
“Enter TITUS Sports Marketing of Dallas, which finds businesses eager to associate themselves with high school sports in football-crazy Texas. In 2004, it sold the naming rights to an East Texas high school football stadium to a health care company, a deal worth $1.2 million over 12 years, TITUS President Dave Stephenson said. It also sold the naming rights to the indoor practice facility at Southlake Carroll, which has won four state titles in the last five years and 80 of its last 81 games.
For the [Miami Northwestern vs. Southlake Carroll] Clash of Champions, Stephenson said his company is paying the travel costs for Miami Northwestern, including airfare, charter buses, hotel bills – even admission to The Sixth Floor Museum, the downtown Dallas attraction devoted to the JFK assassination.
Similar games exist elsewhere. Earlier this month in Ohio, Burger King sponsored a series of 11 games called the Kirk Herbstreit Ohio vs. USA Challenge. At least 13 of USA Today’s preseason top 25 teams will play in similar national events this season, with title sponsors including Nike, Dodge and State Farm. “I think this will be very common in five years,” Stephenson said.”
Burger King, Nike, Dodge, and State Farm — those aren’t the names that remind me of high school football. But I’m game.