New model includes sponsored video displays that made it free to the school and attractive to administrators

Those who have attended basketball games or wrestling matches at McGrath Gymnasium this winter may have noticed that Newberg High School has added a bit of flash to the game day experience. SETH GORDON - Newberg High School's new scorer's table was made possible by a partnership between the school and a promotional company called Side Effects.

During the volleyball season, the school first rolled out a new scorer's table that features two video monitors facing Carolyn DeCrevel Court. 

Perhaps the best part for athletic director Tim Burke is that the new equipment didn't cost the school a penny. In fact, it will eventually add to the athletic departments coffers. 

That's due to an arrangement with a promotional company, Side Effects, which has sold sponsorships to local businesses to cover the cost of the table.

The sponsors then have video messages displayed on a rotating basis during sporting events. After the table is paid off, over two years, any further sponsorship money brought in will be split between NHS and Side Effects. 

Burke said he isn't a fan of filling up high school gyms with a lot of signs or advertising banners, but the table offers NHS the ability to invite several new businesses to be sponsors without making permanent additions to the walls. Increasing the diversity of sponsors benefits not only the school but the local businesses themselves. 

"It's not the normal guys we keep hitting up over and over again," Burke said. "If businesses want to donate, we'd sure take it, but we try to be sensitive to hitting the same ones. Once I say yes, as a business owner, the flood gates really open up. It's nice. I like it."

The table itself is also a big upgrade after Burke and trainer Gretchen Nylander have had to repair and remodel the old one several times. 

"It's bigger, longer and it has wheels, so it's nice that it's portable," Burke said. "On the front of it, essentially, are two large-screen TVs that are somewhat protected by some clear Plexiglas in front. Next to each TV monitor is our Newberg and tiger-eyes logos."

It also includes a built-in possession arrow and a computer to process the sponsor displays on the video monitors, which themselves are flanked by school logos. 

Through the computer, the monitors can also display situational graphics for various sports, signaling things like pins in wrestling or three-pointers in basketball, although Burke is still tinkering with that aspect of things. 

"It's pretty slick," Burke said. "It will jazz the gym up a little bit."

The table also allows NHS to connect its microphone into the speaker system through a port in the floor and therefore ditch the wireless microphones that have proven quite problematic over the years. 

Erik Elsey, a system designer at Lewis Audio Video, also lent his assistance to tune-up the sound system. 

"It was something he was just going to be here for an hour or so," Burke said. "He's here for several hours, he comes back and checks on it, so they've been incredible. That's why I love working with local businesses. They are great, so it's a nice partnership."

The connection to the sound system also includes an auxiliary input to facilitate the playing of music for warm-ups and halftime activities. 

It is compatible with a music service, Neptune GameTime, that the school district purchased last season. 

For a subscription fee, Neptune provides a list of songs that are pre-vetted for language and content, from which each team can make a playlist for their warm-up music. Neptune will also vet any songs that players request and NHS can utilize the system through the scorer's table in the gym or at any of its sporting events. 

"It creates a playlist so the kids get to warm up to what they want, but we are sure there is no profanity, no themes about drinking or drugs or anything inappropriate," Burke said. "That has been nice not to have to vet those myself because I can't understand half the words anyway."?

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