Parkway moves on from Kelly Sports Properties


Ridwan Oyebamiji

The scoreboard was built after Parkway set up a deal to pay for it through advertising. This occured when Parkway was under the Kelly Sports Properties contract. “The district has posted a sports media position and we’re in the process of interviewing and hiring someone so that person will [be able to] take over some of the duties that Kelly has been performing,” Athletic Director Brian Kessler said.

Student-athlete welfare. Fundraising. Game sponsorship. Kelly Sports Properties is currently responsible for all these aspects of sports marketing for Parkway’s Athletic Department, but starting next semester, Parkway plans to grow an in-house program.

The district will use their home-grown sports marketing program in their sports marketing endeavors.

“About four and a half years ago, Parkway signed an agreement with Kelly Sports Properties,” Parkway Athletics Director Mike Roth said. “We had a five-year agreement in regards to sports marketing and all aspects of it, whether it’s partner development or [creating] websites and apps.”

After the contract expires Dec. 31, Parkway has no intention of renewing it.

“We feel the blueprint is there. This program was started after we consulted with Columbia Public schools; they also worked with Kelly Sports Properties, and they also had a five-year agreement that expired. Basically, they took it in-house in Columbia schools. We feel that we can do the same,” Roth said.

In addition to hiring a graphic designer for posters and advertising for sporting events, the Parkway Athletics and Communications Departments, as well as each high school’s athletic director, will work together in this new home-grown program.

“We’ll hire one person to deal with the sports marketing program, [and] it’ll still be a district-wide program,” Roth said. “They work very closely with the athletics departments at all four high schools. They will also work very closely with our district office, with our communications department, so a graphic artist is there to design all of the former responsibilities of [Kelly Sport Properties].”

With all these changes, Communications Director Annie Dickerson believes that this will give the district an opportunity to save more money.

“The goal of the sports marketing program is to generate new revenue, outside of traditional taxpayer funding, to directly benefit our student athletes and athletic [and] activity programs,” Dickerson said. “This shift allows us to improve how we design and implement the program so we can increase funding to benefit any student needs in athletics and activities.”

Roth feels that an in-house sports marketing program is beneficial for Parkway moving forward.

“We think we can save money and expand partnerships in the community, [such as] new sponsorships for the district,” Roth said.