Treasurer calls for new technology for Lee Arena

Matt Kelly / Washburn Review

Any student who has been to Lee Arena has most likely seen the old static rolling sign on the scorer’s table, and as many students have noticed—It’s “flat wearing out.” At least, that’s what Vice President of Administration and Treasurer, Rick Anderson, said at the last Washburn University Board of Regents meeting.

“I don’t know how old they are—about 10 years old,” said Anderson. “The last time we talked about this in terms of moving toward an electronic sign, it was in the $130,000-$140,000 range. The price of that technology, of course, has come down now.

During the meeting, Anderson shared an action item calling for the purchase of new advertising technology for Lee Arena. He said the new sign is not just a necessary expense; it will likely be more effective than the sign currently in use, and would increase advertising revenue for Washburn.

“Another benefit to this is being able to probably charge more for the advertising because of how it rotates and catches people’s eyes,” said Anderson. “It’s a better form of advertising and, in most cases, has been successful in selling more ads—so we do expect to increase our profits overtime with additional ads.”

It was moved to approve the action item, and it carried.

Although no price was mentioned, signs like the one Washburn’s buying from Daktronics, Inc., tend to sell for well over $100,000, an expense Anderson said would be funded with revenue from previous years of advertising with the rolling sign.

Loren Ferré, director of athletics, agreed.

“On an annual basis right now, we’re bringing in about $45,000 off it,” said Ferre. “Unbelievably, we have been disciplined, and we have set money aside for this occasion. This will be a 10-to-12 year purchase, and then we’ll have to replace it again. Hopefully, technology will have improved again by then.”

According to Summer Harris, Washburn athletics marketing and ticket sales coordinator, although the sign will be expensive, it’s definitely justified. With the simpler electronic method of advertising, the money making process will be much more efficient—and the sign should pay itself off within a few years.

“We’re really excited about it, and I know a lot of our sponsors are excited as well,” said Harris. “Especially the ones that are already advertising through our rolling sign.”