Avon Schools has at least 150,000 reasons to like the new name for its high school football field. The Avon-based car dealership will pay the school district $30,000 per year for five years for the naming rights, Superintendent Mike Laub said Tuesday. After five years, the 4,200-student district has the right to renew the agreement for an additional five years.
The money will go into the district’s capital improvement fund rather than the $34 million annual general fund budget. Some of the money will be used for stadium beautification, Laub said.
The Firment name will be on the front entrance to the stadium, and its logo will be on the 20-yard lines of the field, said Larry Jaeger, vice president of brand marketing for Hunter Capital, which negotiated the deal. Jaeger said he believes Avon is the first Lorain County school district to have its stadium named after a company, but he recently negotiated a deal involving Brunswick Schools in Medina County and Brunswick Auto Mart. Jaeger said a ceremony naming the Avon field will occur at an Eagles game in August.
In the past, some school districts nationally have been criticized for taking money for naming rights from corporations such as Coca Cola, which critics say are trying to hook children on a sugary product linked to diabetes, obesity and tooth decay. Laub said while the district is interested in pursuing future partnerships, it would avoid sponsorships involving things like alcohol or unhealthy foods.
Laub said it was important that Firment is a local company that has supported the district in the past. Recent efforts have included buying scoreboards for about $17,000.
“They’re supportive of our school district in so many different ways and this gives them an opportunity to advertise in the community in which they run their business,” he said. “It’s a win-win.”