This spring, Morris Community High School's athletic facilities will start having business advertisements displayed as a way to raise money for athletic needs.
Last week, the District 101 board approved reducing the fee for athletic field sponsorships. The policy went from requiring a $1,000 minimum to $500, Superintendent Dr. Pat Halloran said Monday.
The $500 is a base and is for six months, he said. A renewal fee will then follow.
The prices can vary depending on the size of the sign, where it will be located and the amount of time the business wants the advertisement displayed, Athletic Director George Dergo said. Generally, the signs will be 4 feet by 8 feet.
"We've never done this, we're on new ground for this type of thing," he said. "We'll see how it evolves."
The idea initially came up when the school's baseball booster's club approached Dergo, he said. The club wanted to do it to raise money for a new scoreboard for the baseball field and to help with getting indoor batting cages, Dergo said Wednesday.
Rather than it be just a baseball-field thing, the district created a policy to make it an option for all sports. But the first set of advertisers are coming through the baseball boosters, so the first revenue will be earmarked for baseball needs, Halloran said.
"(Ultimately) it'll be used for all different types of athletic needs to help supplement," Halloran said. "It'll be beneficial for us."
Dergo has had multiple businesses express interest in providing sponsorships, but he would not comment on which ones until it became official. ATI Physical Therapy currently has signs on some of the school's scoreboards and facilities for being the school's sports medicine provider, Dergo said. The signs are part of their agreement.
Dergo did not have an exact date for when people might see new signs up, but said it would be before school let out for the summer.
"I think it'll be exciting for the high school," he said.
Anyone interested in more information on advertising on the school's sports facilities can contact Athletic Director George Dergo at (815) 941-5338 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.