Parkway’s Friday Night Lights just got bigger


Brian Kessler

Finishing touches are being added to the Parkway North scoreboard before it debuts Friday, Sept. 11.

Friday night football is changing at Parkway high schools. Tonight, Sept. 11, a new video scoreboard debuts at North High as the Vikings host Rockwood Summit. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. All four Parkway high schools – Central, North, South and West – are rolling out the new scoreboards during the 2015-16 school year.

The scoreboards are part of a sports marketing program bringing new revenue to benefit students participating in high school athletics and activities. Initial sponsors providing funding for the North High scoreboard include Maryville University, Mercy, Signature Orthopedics and TJ’s Pizza. To-date, the sponsors have pledged nearly $750,000 in support over the next five years.

The scoreboards are part of a new sports marketing agreement with Kelly Sports Properties, approved by the Parkway School Board Jan. 14. Under the agreement, Kelly Sports Properties will manage a program to protect the use of Parkway’s logos, marks, school names and other related items known as “intellectual property.” The program is intended to generate additional revenue to help insure high school students have access to school-sponsored extracurricular opportunities, despite budget challenges that occur from time to time.

A few of the responsibilities of Kelly Sports are: protecting high school logos and school names (intellectual property), managing the licensing program, printing game and event programs, advertising at MSHSAA-sponsored games and activities, scoreboard signage at fields and public address announcements at games.

“This program will allow our coaches more time to coach and let parents spend less time fundraising and more time in the stands cheering,” Mike Roth, Parkway director of athletics and activities said. “Plus, the revenue will benefit all of our high school MSHSAA-sponsored activities equitably. This includes everything from sports and cheer/dance to music, drama and speech and debate.”

Students will also have the opportunity to get involved “behind the scenes.” North High students will operate three video cameras to assist in the production tonight.

“This is a great learning opportunity for our students,” Roth said. “Particularly for those interested in careers in sports marketing or television production.”

Kelly Sports does not charge a fee for their services to Parkway. They receive a percentage of the revenue generated through the program.