For New Fundraising Sources, High Schools Turn to Video

By Carolyn Braff

Perhaps no sector of the sports-video industry has been hit harder by the economy than high schools. Programs that once relied on donations and car washes to help purchase equipment and send their athletes to regional tournaments must now find other sources of funding, and video is a key resource. Webb Electronics, through its VideoMascot program, is helping schools utilize that resource.

“With the economy and budgets getting tighter, we thought of a creative way to help them raise some additional funds, without washing any cars,” says Bill Bates, director of sales and marketing for Webb Electronics. “A football game at a high school level is really an event. Students are already taking pictures or video at those events, so we have developed a Web page where you can start selling those photos and videos to mom and dad.”

With all the pageantry that comes with high school football — cheerleaders, drill teams, the marching band, not to mention the game — there are plenty of opportunities to capture lasting impressions, and Webb Electronics hopes that VideoMascot will help high school programs capitalize on those impressions.

“We do all the work for you,” Bates says. “We develop the Web page and handle the transactions.”

The proprietary Web-based program allows schools to personalize the system to their needs. “You just have to notify all of your students to get in contact with their friends, mom and dad, and grandparents,” he explains. “They have the ability to go on the Web page and obtain all of the pictures that were taken during the school event. It’s a really good package.”

Webb Electronics has also recently increased its reach through merging with NTM Sports, a coaching-software company, and converting NTM’s customers to the Webb Electronics system. “The synergies were there,” Bates points out, “and it enabled us to expand our market.”

For the newly expanded company, the main goal remains the same: to help coaches break down a game in the most efficient, user-friendly way.

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