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Phoenix-area school districts use bus ads to generate revenue

(AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

PHOENIX — Seven Valley school districts have found a way to make money while they get your kids to and from school.

The districts have contracted with Alpha Media to put advertising on the side of school buses. Dentists, restaurants and other companies are promoting their businesses on the buses.

Alpha Media’s CEO Mike Beauchamp says his company does all of the work.

“We manage all facets of this program,” Beauchamp said. “Everything from selling the ad space to installing the ads on the buses, maintaining the ads, and making sure that the district gets paid each month.”

Districts have the final say on what can go on the buses, as things like cigarettes and alcohol are off limits.

Beauchamp said several types of companies have already taken advantage and placed advertisements on the certain vehicles.

“Typical advertisers include colleges and universities, local restaurants, credit unions and banks, insurance agents, and plumbers and electricians,” said Beauchamp.

The ads have raised over $5,000 for the Peoria Unified School District since it first started putting them on buses over two years ago. District Administrator Mike Sivertson says the ad campaign has been very encouraging.

“The community and the business leaders learn that it’s a viable way to get (their) message out, and at the same time, support their local schools and the school districts,” Sivertson said.

He added that several businesses have done well with the ads.

“Dentists, child care; those are the type of things that we see, and a lot of the interest that we get comes from the people that serve the kids of the community,” said Sivertson. He said the district uses money earned from the ads to pay for classroom and other school expenses.

In addition to Peoria, the other Valley school districts working with Alpha Media to put ads on their buses are Mesa Public Schools, Paradise Valley Unified School District, Cartwright School District, Washington Elementary School District, Balsz School District and the Apache Junction Unified School District. In Arizona, the Florence Unified School District and the Sahuarita Unified School District also have agreements with the company.

Alpha Media also puts ads on school buses in districts in Texas, Utah, South Carolina and California.

Beauchamp said in addition to turning a profit, his company wants to accomplish something else.

“We want to make districts money, help advertisers get some eyeballs on their ads, and get money back to the districts,” he said.

You can learn more about the company here.

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