SANDPOINT — There is a new buzz around Sandpoint athletics this year as electronic scoreboards have been installed at two of the fields used for a variety of sporting events.
The scoreboards were recently installed at the Sandpoint High School softball field and the Pine Street Athletic Field, and were donated by Coca-Cola through its new partnership with the high school.
SHS Assistant Principal Derek Dickinson said the school was previously in a partnership with Pepsi and, as the contract was expiring, they began discussions with Coca-Cola and what they could offer.
“We got to talking about different things that the school could use, and Coca-Cola had so many great services that they could provide, so we obviously thought that was a great opportunity to enhance some of our facilities by putting in some scoreboards that the players and the fans would appreciate,” Dickinson said. “These are really nice fields, a great complex, and this kind of brings them to another level.”
Andrew Lenz, marketing development manager for Coca-Cola in Spokane, said the company had been waiting for the opportunity to take over the contract with SHS.
The two bottling companies, he said, respectfully do not go after competitive business until contracts reach expiration.
“We knew the contract was expiring and gave our best deal we could possibly offer, which was the two scoreboards,” Lenz said. “And we couldn’t be happier.”
Lenz said he also appreciates the high school’s focus on athletics.
“It is overlooked in a lot of schools,” he said, adding that the fields in Sandpoint are “phenomenal.”
In addition to Coca-Cola, getting the scoreboards installed at the fields would not have been possible without the support of the Lake Pend Oreille School District’s facilities department and its director Matt Diel, as well as the crew from Three Amigos Underground, Dickinson said.
While there was power to where the SHS softball field scoreboard was installed, there was no power to the scoreboard location for the Pine Street Field.
“That’s where Three Amigos came in and saved the day with donating their services,” Dickinson said, adding that the company ran a line underground from the bathrooms on the east side of the field to the new scoreboard on the west side of the field.
The scoreboards are designed for baseball, Dickinson said, and while they don’t have a clock for timing, the scoring display can be used for multiple sporting events.
SHS activities and athletics director Kris Knowles said not only does the high school use the fields, but youth groups such as little league baseball and Strikers soccer often use them as well.
“Having scoreboards available all the way from youth sports through high school is a benefit for the whole community,” Knowles said. “I always try to look at things in that lens, not only what is best just for Sandpoint High School, but what can help all the regional and local activities.”
“And certainly our partnership with Coke, and what they have been able to do with the scoreboards is going to help not just SHS but the youth programs as well.”
Mary Malone can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.