AACPS to Offer Corporate Sponsorship of Snow Days

January 26, 2016 | By | Reply More

A blizzard of epic proportions slammed into the East Coast last week leaving Maryland blanketed with more than two feet of snow, paralyzing the region for days. As with neighboring school districts, Anne Arundel County Public Schools faces a monumental task in clearing the snow from parking lots, sidewalks, and pathways before classes can resume for almost eighty thousand children. In the meantime, to the joy of children and the chagrin of working parents, snow days, which are built into the calendar, are being utilized to keep kids safe.

However, this year, snow days are not only providing children with winter fun, they are also providing Anne Arundel County Public Schools with some much-needed revenue. In anticipation of a snowier-than-usual winter, AACPS has reached out to several high-profile local businesses and offered them the opportunity to put their brand in front of consumers via paid sponsorships of snow days.

School Revenues Were Sorely Needed

“Money is tight for schools in Maryland, forcing school districts to get creative,” said Assistant to AACPS Assistant Under-Superintendent For Community Concern, Mike Bosier. “The casino contributions to our budget merely offset the reduction from the General Fund. It turns out that the gaming revenues thing was a big shell game. So we had to come up with new ideas to keep the lights on. So we thought…what assets do we have that are actually worth something? The answer hit us like a bolt out of the blue. Snow days. We close or delay schools if it’s so much as cloudy. We do that all the time. Sometimes in winter, the kids don’t to school for weeks at a time what with all the snow days. So why not use them to our advantage?”

School district administrators approached local businesses that seem to be popular destinations when schools are cancelled due to weather and presented them with a sponsorship package that would allow them to purchase naming rights for snow days. Bosier declined to disclose the pricing structure and would only say that it is “significant, yet fair.” He added that the program was a hit right away with businesses and all but two snow days have been sold through 2019. In fact, the school district is considering adding additional snow days to the schedule in order to meet demand.

Businesses Delighted With the Potential to Reach Consumers

“We have to say, this is a brilliant idea,” said Marianne Casey, spokesperson for the Westfield Annapolis Mall. “Snow days are a boon for us no matter how bad the roads. Let’s be honest, roads that are school-dangerous are not particularly mall-dangerous, so we are packed on snow days. We’d like to let more people know that they have a place to drive to when the roads are too bad to get to school. Sponsored snow days are the perfect way to do that!”

“The Westfield Annapolis Snow Day” was scheduled for this Wednesday, while “The Bow Tie Cinemas Snow Day” will take place on Thursday. Arundel Mills has purchased the next snow day, whether that occurs this Friday or during the next weather event. Plans are in the works to sell delayed openings for a discounted price.

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Category: Anne Arundel County

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