TRAVERSE CITY — Students are used to cluttered walls.
High school hallways are often covered with posters and fliers to publicize the latest dance, event, student government candidate and fundraiser.
After spring break, Traverse City students will be greeted with another item — official advertisements courtesy of Up North Media Inc. and its EverywhereUGO initiative, which places letter-size print ads in high-traffic areas like restrooms and waiting rooms.
TCAPS will receive 50 percent of the revenue from up to 200 ads placed at Traverse City Central and West senior high schools and Lars Hockstad auditorium at Central Grade School.
"The content is really spirited correctly, smartly and intelligently," said Brian Hagerty, Up North Media owner. "So we're not just seeing Bill Marsh pushing a Cavalier for $199 month. A lot of care and concern went into this. We're extraordinarily aware of the audience."
TCAPS worked with Up North Media to organize its Turkey Trot run last year and provide billboard advertising at Thirlby Field.
Alison Arnold, TCAPS' communications director, said the expanded relationship is an extension of the district's Partner in Education initiative, which encourages collaboration and donations from area businesses.
"It's an opportunity for community businesses and nonprofits to have a placement in the schools that is a really approachable investment," she said.
The TCAPS board revised its policy last fall to "encourage advertising, sponsorships, and trade agreements with profit and nonprofit organizations," but also to limit the types of advertising permitted in schools. The policy gives the district full editorial discretion over ad content, and guidelines prohibit ads with references to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, weapons or sexually explicit material, among other things.
"We have full editorial privilege on this," Arnold said. "If it's gambling or alcohol, those sort of things, Up North Media has a list and they have to say sorry, this isn't an option."
Hagerty said the advertising opportunities attracted inquiries from nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, and armed forces groups.
"We can't place anything we want. We have to run it by staff to make sure they're OK with it," Hagerty said.
Arnold said schools across the country look for alternative revenue streams, and marketing in schools grew considerably over the past five years.
"Public schools are really financially strapped — so strapped they have to figure out ways to generate revenue beyond traditional funding from state dollars," Arnold said. She estimates that the district will raise approximately $10,000 a year through EverywhereUGO advertising, assuming another 100 signs are placed in addition to the 100 installed this week over spring break.
"We're in a lot of conversations with schools all across northwest Michigan — conversations that might not have been welcomed in the past," Hagerty said. "Based on school infrastructure, they don't have the choice to be selective anymore."
TRAVERSE CITY — Students are used to cluttered walls.
FINAL: Joliet 5, Traverse City 2
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Heroin overdose kills man
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Gladiators capture tennis regional
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Editorial: Obama must set tone for IRS, Justice Dept.
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TCC girls beat Midland, qualify for state finals
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Beach Bums open tonight against Joliet
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No food truck buffet rolled out on first day
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Papa Roach is still swingin'
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Letters to the Editor: 05/17/2013
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Low-flying helicopters are coming
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Traverse City Light & Power joins SUN project
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Sports in Brief: 05/17/2013
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- FINAL: Joliet 5, Traverse City 2