In tight budget situations, it doesn't take long for someone to suggest unorthodox ways to raise money. Some Texas school districts are accepting cash for advertising on their buses, buildings, and Web sites. Humble ISD near Houston has plans to sell rooftop space that is visible from approaching planes near Bush Intercontinental Airport, according to an article in the Texas Tribune by Morgan Smith.
The article deals with the obligatory controversies, such as the dubious wisdom of promoting fast food while teaching good nutrition.
At universities the most obvious use of marketing is probably at athletic facilities. Some may criticize the sponsorship of, say, Hooter's or Miller Lite on the stadium screen of an institution of higher learning, but money usually wins the argument.
A few of the school districts profiled in the article are disappointed in the amount of revenue the new strategy has produced. Nevertheless, the trend is apparently growing.
With a little imagination, one can easily see potential for community colleges for those wishing to pursue the option, if they haven't already. If tanning studios, liquor stores, tobacco products, or tattoo parlors are a little over the top, there are more appropriate local businesses that might take the bait if given the opportunity. Since students are all over their college's Web site, logging on to check grades, register for classes, and participate in online coursework, one would suspect the Web is a ripe possibility.
The Tribune piece points to media companies that offer such services.