School Sports Media Offers Solution for School Sports Programs, Local Businesses
SARATOGA SPRINGS – For the last decade, perhaps even longer, school districts across the country have faced significant budget cuts that only escalate every year. As a result, programs and extracurricular activities lose much needed funding. However, a business new to Saratoga Springs, School Sports Media, has a business model that’s saving many school sports from the death penalty.
How it works is SSM offers brand relationships with companies that are relevant and interested in sponsoring school sports program; each sponsorship is tailored to that particular school and business.
“We’re basically aligning local and regional sponsors who have marketing objectives in those local regions with school athletics that need to find new lines of revenue to keep those sports alive,” said Dave Shamberger, President of School Sports Media. “That’s essentially what we’re all about. Our business model is to drive revenue into school athletics through local sponsors.”
School Sports Media was created in 2010 by advertising sales veterans, including Shamberger. Owners of a leading advertising representation firm, Winstar Interactive Media, the SSM team has spent the better part of the past 20 years working closely with top brands. SSM opened its Saratoga Springs office five months ago. Since then, the company now exclusively represents Section II athletic championship games.
“We were down at SUNY Albany for the Class AA Football Championships with Price Chopper last weekend,” said Shamberger. “We were also at Shenendehowa with Price Chopper again. We had a couple of other sponsors working with us in Spa Park for cross country like Wheatfields and Healthy Living Market and Café. It’s neat what we’re doing.”
The SSM team is comprised of parents who have children in the public school system and have seen first-hand how budget cuts have affected students and student-athletes.
“I have three children and they’re in public schools and my business partners in Florida also have children that are in public school,” said Shamberger. “We started to see that budgets were impacting our children’s lives and schools were cutting programs, so we came up with the idea to bring sponsors in.”
SSM is a sponsor-driven organization, which means the company will approach schools when they find a sponsor that’s interested in a particular school. At the moment, SSM is working on sponsorships for the hockey team at Saratoga Springs High School.
“We’re working closely with the Saratoga Hockey program because we have a lot of local businesses that are interested in the hockey program because they happen to be a really good hockey team and they also get a lot of attendance at their games,” said Shamberger. “From a marketing perspective, it’s good to be there.”
Businesses and organizations that sponsor teams and programs are able to put up signage and booths, among dozens of other marketing tools, at games and events. Shamberger says it’s a win-win for both sides – the businesses get exposure but most importantly, the team gets much needed revenue so the student-athletes have the opportunity to continue playing the game that they love.