Businesses should be wary of companies soliciting ads and sponsorships that claim to be in partnership with their local high schools.

The latest to blow the whistle on the practice is Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Ill. Evanston Now reports that an Arizona-based company, T.K.O. Sports, has been trying to sell ads to businesses that they say will be printed on T-shirts, to be provided free at ETHS events.

Chris Livatino, ETHS athletic director, told Evanston Now that he’d never heard of the company, which operates out of Fort Mohave, Ariz. Livatino warned that the company is definitely running a “scam.”

Evanston Now contacted T.K.O. Sports to ask who had approved the partnership with ETHS but has not yet received a response from the company.

The news comes after Hough High in Cornelius, N.C., alerted local businesses in early August of a similar scam. Boost Sports, which operates out of Texas, is calling businesses in the town of Lake Norman, where Hough is located, and asking if they want to buy things like Hough High t-shirts, banners and sponsorships.

Hough High Athletic Club President Richard Colven said Boost claims it is working with Hough High but that isn’t the case. “They are taking advantage of that because people want to help out,” Colven said. “People want to get their names involved with local schools and people want to help the students.”

According to a report from wsoctv.com, Boost Sports isn’t even using the correct husky mascot on the printed items it’s selling.

 

Andy Berg is Executive Editor of Athletic Business.