The Brenham School Board heard details on Monday about how a possible project to put in a new video display board at Cub Stadium could bring in considerable advertising revenue for the school district.

A mock-up of what a new video display board at
Cub Stadium could look like.
(courtesy Brenham ISD, VCR Now)

Brenham ISD Communications Director Brooke Trahan informed the board about a prospective partnership with VCR Now to replace the stadium’s current scoreboard with a customizable LED board.  The video board would provide for new advertising opportunities that are estimated to generate tens – and potentially hundreds – of thousands of dollars annually.

Trahan said the district has been looking at every way possible to "shake the tree" and make the most of limited ways to make revenue while the need for that new funding grows.

Funding for the project would most likely come through a government capital loan, which Trahan said would allow the district to obtain funds for capital projects without affecting its day-to-day operating budget or fund balance.  She noted that the first payment on the board would not come until 18 months after signing the contract, which would allow the district plenty of time to secure funding.  Loan options range from 3, 5 and 7-year terms with rates of roughly 4.85 percent. 

The current scoreboard at Cub Stadium.
(Mark Whitehead)

Given the district’s current budget situation, Trahan said the revenue model would likely allocate funding to either replenish the fund balance or bolster the general budget.  Actual revenue generated will depend on the advertising packages and options approved by trustees, as well as the level of interest from local businesses.  Low-end expectations for revenue brought in annually – after the payment for the video board – is $70,000, with the high end being, according to Trahan, well over six figures.

Also of note is that through this partnership, the school board would retain autonomy to tailor advertising options to align with the community’s needs and preferences.  Some examples could include digital advertising on the physical scoreboard and the LED display, video commercials during football games, and in-game sponsors for first downs, touchdowns, instant replays, sacks and the player of the game.  Trustees would also hold discretion to determine the number of advertisers featured on the video board simultaneously.  Some slots could remain static for a specific price, while others could rotate. 

Representatives from VCR Now also spoke about the positive impact the video board could have on students, saying it would open up Cub Stadium to become a classroom of sorts for those interested in video production.

Trustee Kyle Hafner said he would not be on board with this project unless he felt the district could pay it off quickly and have it generate "significant" revenue.  After talking with local business leaders, he said he feels confident that could happen in three years. 

Acting Superintendent Clay Gillentine said there is no denying that the project would benefit students and fans, but it could also greatly help out the district’s bottom line.

The item was only for discussion, so no action was taken by the school board.  The next steps are to meet with local businesses and community partners to gauge their interest and better determine the overall viability of the project.  Those will come prior to any form of action or resolution by trustees.

Businesses that are interested in exploring advertising opportunities can reach out to the central office at 979-277-3700 or via email at ahatfield@brenhamk-12.net.  Once project details are finalized, the district will reach out to businesses that have expressed interest, been partners in the past, or have been suggested by the school board or administration.

Click here to view the full video board presentation from Monday's school board meeting.

What’s your Reaction?


  1. When was the last time there was an article that said “BISD DECIDES TO NOT SPEND MONEY”?

  2. Just curious, who would be responsible for selling all of these ads, for building the digital content, for proof reading what will be shown in the Friday Night Lights, and for running all of this during the games? Will this require the district to hire yet another central office employee?

    Meanwhile, a former Brenham teacher was just named Teacher of the Year in Waller, I have to wander why he left. He was a beloved teacher supported by students and administration and yet he left. Is there any chance it might have had something to do with Brenham’s sub-par pay scales, crumbling facilities, and undisciplined classrooms? Just wandering!

  3. If this is such a money making screen, how come the companies that sell them don’t put them in for free and keep all the money generated from advertising?

    Before you go off with this one company, you better get competitive quotes from other companies.

    Looking online, the price range for this type of video display may range from $150,000 to $1,000,000. That probably does not even include the camera system required to do live video and playback options.

    If this is such a lucrative advertising device, then maybe local companies can donate towards the purchase and get preferential advertising rights.

    This is definitely not fair to the district teachers and classrooms, students that have greater needs than a giant TV.

    Oh, and we voted against the bonds.
    And the district is waaay overspending by millions, so why not go ahead and find a way to spend another huge chunk of money on something that is not needed. SMH 🙁

    1. Some companies do give the board for free and keep 100 of the revenue. Your suggestion of “If this is such a lucrative advertising device, then maybe local companies can donate towards the purchase and get preferential advertising rights.” was literally the presentation….glad we’re all doing our part to show our kids how to read and learn about a topic before rattling off comments.

      1. I was not at the board meeting. I saw the presentation slides as posted on this news article. I did listen to the full board meeting with the presentation from VCRNow.
        Neither the slide presentation, nor the board meeting went over actual hard numbers. The only numbers mentioned were…1. $250,000 to $1,000,000 for the cost, 4-5 years to pay back 2. Showed schools names, not actual installed sizes, not actual installed costs, not actual utilities cost, no maintenance costs over the years or maintenance contracts, not actual revenue received, not actual payback analysis, 3. Said life of panels was 10 years to 15-17 years, but their actual website shows +/- 5 years on outdoor panels, 4. Need to build/buy some kind of trailer to go along with this project, 5. Claims advertising can run all the time, but realistically this sign can only be seen from inside the stadium, 6. Need 3 people to run the booth.
        To be honest, after 2 years of looking into this, you would think there would be loads of information shown on this proposal. The sales pitch was very weak, the presentation was full of fluff and no information, and no realistic numbers on how it will pay for itself, and make the school lots of money. After 5-10 years, there will be expenses to fix problems, upgrade the software and computers.

  4. That scoreboard is a want not a need.The coaches have a broken down golf cart sitting at the stadium that’s needs replacing.Or maybe replace the one that has the front end that’s fixing to fall out of it that is used to haul trash with day in and day out.Maintenance is being cut people not being replaced when they retire and y’all are worried about a scoreboard!

  5. It’s been entertaining to read the comments over the last 2 days. The overall impression is that there are a group of people that support our teachers, value fiscal discipline, and want to fix our aging infrastructure. There is another group, however, that seems to prioritize athletic programs over academics. There cannot be an athletic program without athletes that are passing classes…oh wait, CO revamped the grading policy 2 years ago. Could this another reason why teachers are leaving?

    And to the individuals complaining about our “subpar” stadium: go watch a 6-man game in the Panhandle, then think about how blessed you are to have functioning facilities to walk to.

    1. Ok the Video Scoreboard might be a want for the Stadium and not a need but the paving of the Stadium parking lot is a need. I’m waiting fir the day when you get a lot of cars up in there for a football game or graduation and a heavy down pour comes or if everyone has to park on the street after heavy rains and everyone has to walk in the mud to get to the stadium.

  6. How about a swim coach? We do not currently have one-borrowing another coach from another sport. I bet if a football coach left another would be hired before 3:45 pm.

  7. After tuning in to the recent board meeting and giving the article a good read, I wanted to share some notes. It’s easy to jump to conclusions based on a headline or a quick comment, but I believe in making informed decisions.

    Here’s the scoop:
    -This was just a discussion item, nothing set in stone
    -Any move forward with advertising would only happen with committed contracts in place
    -Importantly, it wouldn’t dip into the general budget or fund balance
    -The potential partner discussed has a track record of 100% success in bringing revenue to schools.
    -BISD would maintain control over the whole deal, including contracts
    -There’s a a certified CTE pathway for students, providing real-world experience and a valuable certificate
    -And, of course, CTE brings in weighted funding, meaning extra revenue for BISD

    There are still details I would like to see personally, but I’m open minded about this. I have following the budget with the new interim CFO and it seems they is only so much cutting they can do. Reports seem to be somewhat positive and optimistic in delivery, but we all know the reality of what happens when business cannot get back on track financially. Yes, BISD business is educating our kids but they can’t do that if the finances are going the wrong way. There’s no one solution, and I think there are trying to put any option on the table for review.

  8. I have felt most aligned with Trustee Halfner as he’s been most fiscally concerned. He is going to be the first one to poke holes and ask all the questions for any financial items. If he’s given this his time for the past 6 months, and had some discussions with business that makes him feel we could “pay it off quickly and have it generate ‘significant’ revenue,” then I’m open to it.

  9. Parents just wanna so their kids name in lights! “That’s MY boy! Plus every realtor will surely have it booked back to back with their glossy picture. Enough already. For once Brenham School board learn to say NO!

  10. What’s wrong with this school board? Jumping all over the place. Can’t get a new school so we’re going to do this and that. Education is still the most important and qualified happy teachers with decent pay. Hire a superintendent with plan common sense who cares about improving education in the schools then things will start falling in place. As far as this board goes Get Over It! My God are you all crazy? You want something to do? Volunteer at ALL the schools. See what’s going on. They need you so badly. It will help you put BISD in perspective…Also you think that board my be annoying to a quiet neighborhood across the street?

    1. I’m not sure if you listen/attend the board meetings, but the board gives updates from all the events in the district that they attend each month. Some more than others but this is a new change from the old board. They are in our schools, and they do volunteer. Heck, they’re probably one of the most thankless VOLUNTEERS for BISD. Everybody is willing to point the finger at those actually stepping up, put themselves in the line of fire, make hard choices and try to do the best for our kids and community.

      Also, in regards to the board in the “quiet neighborhood”. You still hear, Friday night games if you’re in an adjacent dwelling or other events being announced, like graduation now. They didn’t say anything about audio being ran all the time, so I don’t understand why you would make the assumption that there would be any drastic change than clear audio for existing events.,

  11. The video board could be a game-changer for our students. Do we have any examples of similar projects succeeding in boosting school revenue?

  12. Our budget is tight, and loans come with risks… Is it an option to explore partnerships with local businesses without a loan? What are other options?

  13. While I appreciate the potential revenue, our district is facing budget deficits. How can we be sure this won’t strain our finances further? Any safeguards in place?

  14. So sad that they can’t afford to equip the office staff at the schools with post it notes because they are “cutting the excess “, but can buy athletics whatever they want! Shameful and ridiculous!

    1. I listened to the board meeting and it didn’t sound like it was a thing for athletics as much as looking for an option to bring in money.

      1. Yes, but you know that Athletics asked for this and now they are trying to put this “make money” spin on it so people will buy into it.

  15. “The next steps are to meet with local businesses and community partners to gauge their interest and better determine the overall viability of the project. Those will come prior to any form of action or resolution by trustees.” I just wish people would do more reading or even listen/attend the board meetings before just making uninformed comments. I restated the end of the article so at least some read it here. That it was just a discussion. It sounds like if there’s not enough interest, no board if there’s enough interest, there’s a board that the school gets to own and earn money from.

  16. I can not think of a worse idea for this school district. A $6+ million deficit, disgruntled teachers, low wages across the board, too many “admin positions” in Central Office, countless discipline issues, and failing facilities are all things that need to be addressed before any sort of money on a scoreboard (much less $800,000) is spent. If even a dollar is spent on this stadium, which it shouldn’t be, it should go towards a locker room for girls to (finally) begin complying with Title IX, or towards fixing the aging bleachers.

    Not to mention this new athletic director has gotten all new uniforms (including ones that say “Cream City”) and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace weight equipment that was less than 5 years old already.

    1. Where does the money come for any of those projects? Everybody has a list of things that needs to be improved on the district clearly doesn’t have the money. Nobody wants to be a part of the solution. Just a group of complainers and finger pointers. It’s getting old.

      And when this doesn’t work out and there’s no other ways to bring in revenue, facilities continue to age and cost more and more to repair, class sizes, continue to grow, no money for teacher raises will leave the district with no options, but going out for a bond again, which they probably wouldn’t even have the money to do at that point on the hopes it will pass. And I’ll hold my breath for the state to give teachers their deserved raise or any funding that is “ suitable provisions,“ for public schools as outlined in the Texas Constitution.

  17. A little more info required before I can make a decision if this is a BISD project!
    What’s the cost to the district for administrative responsibility?

    1. I would reach out to the director or board for more information. I’m not sure if this is what you are meaning but they talked about this being tied to a CTE class. The teacher and students would run the board and the students could earn like a license or certification. They also mentioned junior high coaches helping run it for junior high game with an iPad.

  18. This is what’s wrong with leadership! A line from the Popeye cartoon when the character Wimpy says I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. Why would we possibly want to borrow money when you can’t pay up now! What do you have 5 maybe 6 games at home a year. We need to really stop spending like Congress. I hate commercials anyway. We don’t go to ball games to what’s on sale at Academy. High School football is just that non professional we don’t need instant replay to go after the Ref! We have people just getting by pay check to pay check so not a good time balance the budget cut off these endless fluff jobs at this school. If it was a really good idea then someone would be willing to pay for it and rent the space from the school.

  19. No one at the top is looking at how to give the classroom teachers a raise. Instead they are looking at athletics once again, and it’s just another way to keep up with the Joneses while classroom teachers are expected to teach with bare bones, long hours, and meager wages. While there is no raise in sight that could help with the current financial stresses many are feeling, BISD wants to go and take out a loan for this. What sense does this make? I’ll tell you-NONE!

    At this point if you’re not valuing the education of children or paying your educators what they deserve, there is no reason for teachers to stay. There will, once again, be a mass exodus of educators leaving BISD for higher ground for retirement purposes because time and time again they are shown that they don’t matter and that only certain athletic programs do. I can’t even begin to fathom WHY central administration and the board would even think about this right now. It’s time to drain the proverbial swamp.

    1. Totally get where you’re coming from, but here’s the deal: the budget is a tricky thing, and the district is cutting wherever they can. They’re not ignoring the classroom teachers; they’re just dealing with a tight financial situation. The loan idea might seem off, but it’s part of a bigger plan to fix the budget mess …and hopefully give teachers the raises they deserve.

      I get your worry about a teacher exodus, and it’s a real concern. But the current admin is stuck with problems they didn’t create, and they’re making tough choices to fix it. I do not envy them and wish I knew how to help. Does anyone have viable ideas to help be apart of the solution? I feel like we could do a better job as a community to work together, otherwise, it’s just going to be a mess exodus or revolving door of teachers and admin included. No one‘s going to want to come in to a bad situation if it continues to get worse. I commend both our educators and administration who have stuck around for our kids and our schools through everything they’ve been through the last few years, thank you!

    1. Who’s surprised? Any number would be too much for this community, even if other people were paying for it…

  20. So BISD can afford to get a new score board but couldn’t give employees raises. Makes sense.

    1. Are they supposed to take out a loan for a raise that takes them years to pay back? or do they make those teachers sign an agreement to stay for so many years? ….Or find a way to bring in money? If other people are willing to pay for this and commit and the district gets to own the board and revenue helps with the budget, which means they can eventually give teacher raises again.

      1. No loans necessary. Here is an actual solution: Fire 2/3 of the bloated coaching staff, cut the athletics budget and give ACTUAL TEACHERS a raise. Plus, this would give the district an excuse to begin the teaching of history. When I was a student at B.I.S.D., from 7th grade through 12th, history classes were taught by disinterested, unqualified and sometimes shockingly incompetent coaches. To justify removing so many coaches, first of all just look at the sheer number of coaches on staff versus the number of students enrolled. If B.I.S.D. took math or science half as seriously, the student outcomes would be stratospheric. Second, institute the administration of a basic competency test to measure both knowledge of the specific subjects these coaches “teach” as well as basic intelligence. Finally, the ultimate justification needed to fire unnecessary coaches is to remind all parties concerned that B.I.S.D. is comprised, shockingly to some, of SCHOOLS. These are not feeder programs for the NFL, Major League Baseball or any sport. The mission is to educate children. Failing all of this, we could fire ALL Of the coaching staff and make football an after school club, supported financially by the parents of participants and anyone else in the community who cared to donate (but not one more thin penny from the school budget).

  21. Brenham’s Cub Stadium is old outdated and behind time. Some 4A Districts and just about all 5A Districts now have Video Scoreboards at their Stadiums. Its time for an upgrade. We are probably the only Stadium in the state of Texas who still park on grass and have to walk a country mile to use thr restroom or go to the Concession Stand. Please upgrade and get the New Scoreboard.

  22. A video board in a stadium that need to be totally renovated. Why put up nice things in probably the worst stadium in a hundred mile radius. Even snook has better facilities them Brenham

    1. And your solution is building a completely new stadium when we can’t even pass a bond? Or scratch that and help bring money in the district how? Cut more staff? School supplies? Help the district enroll more kids in our growing classrooms?

      As far as Cub Stadium, it’s not great. It has new turf there, improve with a revenue generating video board, little bit improving over time is still cheaper? Heck maybe Blinn will be willing to because they use it for their team & events too and it would be cheaper than getting their own field.

      1. Don’t even THINK about a video scoreboard for Cub Stadium. Have you seen the inside of classrooms at Brenham Junior High?
        Teachers are sitting in desk chairs they bring from home to grade and work on lesson plans during their conference periods.
        Students are sitting in chairs that have cracks in them that pinch their legs and backsides. Desks are falling to pieces with legs falling off. Decent bookshelves are a rarity. Most of the furniture in the building was acquired from what teachers call “BISDMart”.
        When a new school was built or updated, all the old furniture was taken to a spot in the district. (Last time was the Alton Gym.)
        Teachers at BJHS were given “First choice” of whatever they needed for classroom use.
        Nothing is new, almost everything was handed down beginning with the furniture from the high school when they moved out of the building.
        Take that $800,000. and use it for decent desks/chairs/tables and desks for ALL the students at BJHS.

        1. Completely agree about the junior high situation. Would’ve been great for any kind of bond to get passed even if it was just for improvements like you mentioned and teacher raises. The problem is the district has enough bills…they need to generate more money. Everyone is suggesting things that cost money without any solution how to bring more in. This is annual revenue that could go to projects like you mentioned.

          Unfortunately, this project is probably gonna get rejected because of knee-jerk reaction. There’s plenty of bills and needs within the district. Teacher raises are needed. More classrooms are needed. Supplies are needed. Where does more money come from? Can I make enough cuts to be in the black? Can they make enough cuts to give raises?

          1. Hum…sounds like a government institution at work. So nice to have a high tech score board at taxpayer expense…. Sounds like a lot of other government ideas

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