When students walk through the doors of Southgate Anderson High School, the words “Titan Pride” jump out at them from a red mural on the wall. So do advertisements for restaurants such as Wendy’s, Sonic and Ponderosa.There’s a spot on the wall for Eastern Michigan University and plugs for businesses such as Valvoline and Oakwood Hospital.
It’s a sign of the times in Michigan high schools as cash-strapped officials hope these paid ads bring in tens of thousands of dollars to help the bottom line.
Four school districts unveiled the ads in April and another 16 — from Troy to Wayne-Westland — will allow them come fall. Alternative Revenue Development, the Bloomfield Hills company behind the initiative, has a goal of signing up at least 150 districts across the state.
Organizers said districts can rake in $100,000 or more.
“We can’t count on the state in that they don’t have the money to send us,” said David Peden, superintendent of Southgate Community Schools, one of the first districts to allow the ads.
Several parents said they support the idea, so long as the ads are age-appropriate — no alcohol or tobacco ads.