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Sponsoring schools – Corporate deals raise millions

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Schools in Broward County collected $5 million last year from corporate sponsors, including Coca-Cola, Subway, McDonalds and Pizza Hut.

In exchange, the companies promote their products to the county’s 240,000 schoolchildren.

Corporate sponsorship, visible at many schools throughout the U.S., soon will play an even larger role in the Fort Lauderdale area.

The Miami Herald reports that the Broward County School Board wants the district to persuade more companies to become sponsors in exchange for money, services and products.

School officials have developed guidelines for contracts with sponsors.

For example, advertisements cannot advocate drugs, alcohol, sex or violence.

A contract with McArthur Dairy calls for the company to pay for gym shirts and shorts for students to wear in middle and elementary schools if they choose to do so.

In exchange, the company puts the name of one of its products, Milk Chug, on the clothing. McArthur Dairy, based in Fort Lauderdale, markets the individual-sized bottles of milk called Milk Chug to children.

The Herald is negotiating with a high school to help build an athletic field in exchange for naming the facility after the newspaper.

Coca-Cola has built marquees at three high schools, along with installing several soda vending machines. Book covers advertise fast-food restaurants. Pizza Hut gives coupons to schools to give to students, who then can get a free personal pizza while their families pay for the rest of the meal. Pizza Hut donates 20 percent of the sale back to the school.

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