What's in a name? Nothing for Wake schools

Posted May 26, 2010 5:39 p.m. EDT
Updated May 26, 2010 9:45 p.m. EDT

School Funding (Generic)

— The idea of selling name rights at high school sporting events is not catching on with local companies, officials said Wednesday.

The Wake County Public School System is looking at $40 million less in funding for the upcoming school year, because of low revenue and state budget cuts.

To deal with economic woes, board member Keith Sutton suggested last month that the system find companies willing to pay for exposure at high school sporting events.

“It’s an interesting concept or proposal for schools in particular,” Cary High School Principal Douglas Thilman said.

The school board discussed the idea in 2003 but never decided on the matter.

Raleigh Chamber of Commerce President  Harvey Schmitt said he has pitched the idea to several companies, but hasn’t found anyone interested.

“It kind of sounds better than it actually is,” he said.

The school system has said it would consider a sponsor primarily for sports arenas and other facilities, but not renaming an entire school.

Board members told WRAL News on Wednesday that they are still open to the idea.

They are also looking at other revenue-generating options, like setting up a nonprofit fund so people can donate to the system and use it as a tax write-off.