How Marion School District Increased Sponsorships & Built Their Brand
In 2019, Marion High School was in the perfect position to expand its brand and community support. The football team was about to have its biggest season in 15 years, basketball was 2 years removed from having its first state championship, and baseball won its first conference championship.
Combine that with a new administration’s commitment to extracurricular activities and branding, and you get an organization that was ready to take the next step to elevate their athletic program.
- Build the Patriots Brand
- Increase Sponsorships
Marion High School, located just west of Memphis, TN, is a school well-known for its sports programs and its community’s loyalty to the school. Its proximity to interstate highways allows it to be a part of major events in Memphis, but because of its small size, it retains the community feel of a small town. It has a full-time athletic department with an experienced coaching staff and the facilities and equipment to train athletes to perform at their highest potential.
Marion adopted their Custom Website in 2017. In 2019, Mascot Media awarded Marion their Custom App after they won the 5A state basketball championship. Their Sports Network has created astounding results since its introduction.
School Name: Marion High School
City Population: 12,404
App: Search: Marion Patriots Athletics
Other products: Broadcasting, tickets, posters, schedule cards, magnets
Social Media: Twitter: @mpatathletics
CREATED A SUCCESSFUL BRAND
Right before Marion adopted their digital products, they went through an administration change that was instrumental in solidifying their presence as a memorable brand. Superintendent Dr. Fenter came on board in 2017 and believed in the power of branding to transform their school district. App administrators Landon West and Tyler Bennett were able to get access to the resources they needed to create a powerful brand identity and worked to create a branding guide that ensured the consistency of their logo usage, colors, and mascot.
Their Sports Network gave them a platform to achieve this. Instead of creating a social media page for each team, they post everything under their Marion Patriots Athletics Network (@mpatathletics) which “centralized everything and helped unify and strengthen [the Patriots Athletics] brand.” They were able to control their brand by ensuring they had a cohesive look across all touchpoints.
INCREASED COMMUNITY SUPPORT
For years, schools have gotten support from their community by displaying their local businesses on t-shirts, banners, and in the yearbook. But as advertising evolves and grows into the digital world, the local businesses of Marion, AR decided to show their support for Marion High School a little differently — by directly advertising on the Patriots Sports Network. This strategy allows businesses to reach their community by supporting their local athletes but also gives them an opportunity to align themselves with the school and get their brand in front of Marion residents. They are very proud of the “community financial support that has come out of [their platform].”
Before the adoption of a digital platform, Marion High School had 5 or 6 what they call “Patriot Partners.” These supporters were business owners that also had a kid who played sports. In only 2 years, the Patriot Partners roster has grown to 32 (an increase of 540%) — and they are confident they can get larger markets onboard because of the return that their other sponsors have received after advertising on their platform.