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Your Name Here: School districts selling naming rights

SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- While we wait for the mega-million dollar naming rights deal at the Bucks new arena, local school districts are lining up similar (though on a much smaller scale) for themselves.

Schools are selling naming rights to everything from gymnasiums to classrooms in order to save taxpayer money while still increasing revenue.

"Our school board, our district is looking for other ways to increase revenue," said Mukwonago Area School District superintendent Shawn McNulty."By having these sponsorships, that's one way to do it."

It's the right time for Mukwonago. Voters there passed a $49.5 million referendum in Spring 2016. Right now, there is all kinds of construction happening at the high school and the rights to some of those projects are up for grabs.

The Greenwald Foundation will pay $225K over 15 years for the new Greenwald Performing Arts Center and Lynch Dealerships of Mukwonago ponied up $100K for the 15-year rights to the new Lynch Stadium.

Other states do this too, and some do it big. In Katy, TX a sporting good company paid $2.5 million to get its name on the new athletic complex.

Mukwonago has a big menu for potential sponsorships. It's all laid out here. Everything from its new gymnasium ($500K), to the new music rooms ($5,000), to classrooms ($2,000 each), even playgrounds ($10,000). 

"It is another way for schools to get some resources," said McNulty. "To get some revenue to pay for things that would be tough to do without that help."

"It's one of our objectives, to not solely rely on our taxpayers to fund what we want to do in the district." said Mequon-Thiensville School District superintendet Matt Joynt.

The Mequon-Thiensville School District is getting even more innovative. Kohler Credit Union paid $150K for the sponsorship rights to the Homestead Highlanders' gymnasium but it came with something unique, a bank branch inside the high school.

"There is a financial benefit to signing a naming rights contract," said Joynt. "In this example with the Kohler Credit Union, we also are gaining the opportunity to work authentically within the field of financial literacy and improve what we are offering our students." 

There are plenty of other local school districts that have policies in place for naming rights and are working on making deals to help find new revenue streams. Johnson Creek has a particularly sleek looking digital brochure.

While administrators we talked with say they are open to a lot of potential partnerships, alcohol and tobacco sponsorships are off limits.

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