Monday AM October 5th, 2009

Advertisements for the Houston Astros are on eight buses in the Humble Independent School District. Funds generated by the ads go to the district's general operating fund which pays teacher salaries — among other things. Ed Mayberry reports.

Astros logoFunding is a major issue facing school districts.  Humble ISD actually began its bus advertising program last year, but there were disruptions with Hurricane Ike.  Even so, the district was able to make enough extra money to warrant a continuation.  Shawn Bertani is with the Astros.

"It's not on the windows of the buses and it's not on the flat panel.  It's actually on the back of the bus above the windows as it starts to curve towards the rood.  It's placed right there.  So it's featuring Lance Berkman on the left side in an action shot, and then the copy says 'for tickets' and then big and bold on the right side 'Astros dot com.'  With the advertising on a moving vehicle, you want to be direct and short, because there's not necessarily a lot of time to be reading an ad." 

Humble Superintendent Dr. Guy Sconzo says the district sold the bus advertising to help prevent a reduction in staff or academic and extracurricular activities.

"Well, you know, we ended our first year of bus advertising experience this last school year, and we realized almost a quarter-million dollars more in revenue.  Advertising in general is not new--you'll see lost of advertisements, and have for many, many years, in athletic stadiums.  All of the funds that we realize from school bus advertising goes directly into our operating budget fund." 

Humble ISD is facing a budget deficit of more than $17 million.  Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.
 

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...