"Are We Going to Live in a Time Where Your Kid Goes to Red Bull High?" Yeah, Maybe.

tonysnow4.jpg
Photo Courtesy Starter
Tony Romo and Candice Crawford at the snowbound unveiling of Starter Field at Pleasant Grove in February
In April director Morgan Spurlock came to the Dallas International Film Festival to show his sponsored-from-start-to-finish documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, after which he and I engaged in a little post-screening Q&A at the Magnolia. During our chitchat, I asked him about a sequence in the film concerning budget-beleaguered schools in Florida that had sold to advertisers every available space, from chain-link fences to school buses. He was, from a distance, skeptical if not critical of the decision. I asked why -- why, in the midst of such a mammoth budget shortfall shouldn't the Dallas Independent School District wrap its buses in advertisers' logos or sell its stadiums' naming rights to the highest bidder?

Thankfully, Gadi Elkon of Pearl Snap Discount was there to capture that bit of our talk:
Morgan Spurlock: "But what comes with that? It's not just wrapping buses. There are things that come with that. It's never that simple. ... What we want to believe is that's the answer, and it's not. It's never, 'Well, we'll do this one thing, and that's all that will happen. We'll do that one thing. Then we'll put our machines in your schools ...'

Me: "But they already are in schools ..."

M.S.: "But they'll be more things: 'We're gonna get rid of other products. There'll be more opportunities. There will be more advertising. We want posters in the schools. We want to make sure people know where we are.' There will be more steps that I think will happen beyond just one. One will lead to five. It's a question: Are we going to live in a time where your kid goes to Red Bull High? That's what we're talking about. We're talking about letting corporate interests come into every day of your life things where they shouldn't normally be. Are we living in a time where there are such budget shortfalls, where we have such money problems, that, fine, the people with the money, the corporations, let's just let them pay for everything?"
That answer, in the case of the DISD, might just be: Yes. Already the city of Dallas is looking for companies to sponsors soccer facilities and anything else with a blank canvas. And, last night, at the DISD board meeting during which trustees approved next school year's carved-up budget, Mike Morath suggested the district follow City Manager Mary Suhm's lead and consider selling naming rights to stadiums and other facilities. Perhaps Alfred J. Loos Field House could become Lowe's Field House? Or maybe ... Lincoln Property High? Or how about W.T. White Castle?

The thing is, during yesterday's school board meeting the trustees approved, on their consent agenda, renaming the Pleasant Grove Practice Field to the Starter Field at Pleasant Grove, so rebranded for the sporting-goods manufacturer for which Tony Romo's a spokesman. As KXAS-Channel 5 noted in February, "Starter refurbished the formerly-dilapidated field, providing it with a new scoreboard, ticket booth, bleachers and fencing, as well as soccer balls, basketballs and apparel, including hats and shirts."

District and city officials had hoped to unveil the new facility during Super Bowl week festivities, but the celebrity wingding was buried beneath the ice and snow.

And, during yesterday's meeting, plans to rename several school facilities for local notables were quashed; so much for the Dwaine R. Caraway Media Center at Roosevelt High. DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander told me this morning the board thought: Why give away these privileges when surely there might be someone out there -- a company, an individual -- willing to pay for the naming rights.

"Look at the success we had at Arts Magnet," he says. "Nancy Hamon gave $10 million, and part of the school was renamed for her. There is precedent within the district and other school districts. It makes sense, particularly when budgets are especially tight and when we're trying to save positions. Something like this makes sense to explore."

The DISD board, like the Dallas City Council, will not meet in July. And, round midnight this morning, trustee Eric Cowan suggested tabling the discussion till a later date -- some time around the winter break, maybe. At that point, or perhaps before, says Dahlander, the board will "move forward with the possibility of having naming rights available, providing individuals and corporations with the possibility of buying naming rights."

The Starter deal, he says, was just the start, if you will. "Perhaps that was the beginning of something that could work out to really financially benefit the school district and various  schools in the long run."
My Voice Nation Help
14 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
W W
W W

Why not just put a flashing sign on the schools,?? Change the name every six months.. You certainly can't be worried about pride..

Sanders Kaufman
Sanders Kaufman

Halliburton High.  McMiddle SchoolBlackwater ElementaryBP Preschool

demon_lion
demon_lion

All of us  dream tofind a perfect authentic  nfl jerseys partner that  we can be with for the rest of our life. Forsome  of us, we usually wait for nfl  jerseys that somebody to come intoour lives. But now,  with the help of ourtechnology, waiting for that somebody to come cheap  nfl authentic jerseys will notanymore be a problem to us. We can now  look for authenticmlb jerseys single individual with has the same interest or  characters like yours.We can find the rightone for us by TroyPolamalu Jersey trying to communicate with other people. By communicating we can learn somethingabout  that person and learn more abouthis or her authentic  mlb jerseys personality. It wouldbe a great help for us to  easily findthe perfect person if we know the character of that certain individual. cheapnfl jerseys for those people who are shy and have a hard time  waiting for that someone to come, maybe memphisgrizzlies jerseys you can  trysurfing in the internet and mingle to those other single out there who is  also searching for someone to be theirpartner. Who knows, maybe you can find youthmlb jerseys someone  out therewith have authentic  nhl jerseys the characteristicsthat you are longing to be  with. Be oneof those who have finally found the answers to their dream mate.  Try and use the power of our technology,Miami  heat jerseys , by involving in someChristian  online authenticnba jerseys dating.  Don’twaste your time dreaming, start making step to make your dream into  reality. You can do this by meeting otherpeople even they are PeytonHillis jersey away by  thehelp of our technology, our waiting is finally over.

Guest
Guest

I'd rather my kids go to Red Bull High than Tom Hicks Elementary.

FruityPants McGillicutty
FruityPants McGillicutty

Legalize Marijuana, then... wait for it.... W.T. (All) White (Get) High School. Yeah, after 20 years, its still pure gold

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

"Or how about W.T. White Castle?"

W.T. White Castle would kick the butt of In-N-Out Can Academy!

LaceyB
LaceyB

Funny you should mention Lincoln Properties--completely overnight, and with no warning--our building transfered ownership to Lincoln from CWS. All I can say is that I hope they can keep drunken late-night revelers from walking in off the street and into "the most secure place to live in Uptown".Oh, and it would be awesome to see Vivid Films Textbooks. Oh, the pictorial ads...in our Math books. Math would be the favorite subject--of male students--all of a sudden.

Adam from East Dallas
Adam from East Dallas

If it's good enough for UT and A&M why not DISD? What is that little stadium in Austin called again... Darrell K Royal Texas War Memorial Stadium on Joe Jamail Field sponsored by Scotts Turf Grass as shown by Dell LED Scoreboard an affiliate of Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletic Center.I say run DISD like Jerry Jones just bought a NASCAR team running wild on Madison Avenue on Thanksgiving Day.

Anonymous
Anonymous

There's still a difference. Make the people who got rich building these corporations donate out of their own pocket. I have no problem with individuals buying naming rights. Corporations, not so much.

scooter
scooter

Skyline Chili High School? anyone?

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

How about 'Applebee's' insert school of choice....it would be the perfect name for the "neighborhood grill, I mean school".

Enrique De La Fuente
Enrique De La Fuente

WHOA!  Tony Romo must have found some time vortex cos' the last time a white woman was spotted in Pleasant Grove was probably in 1978.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

I'm honestly not sure how I feel about Morgan Spurlock, but he really needs more than just a slippery slope argument.

Craig
Craig

Morgan Spurlock is just a money making goon like everybody else.Not to mention a ripoff artist.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...