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Advertising scam targets high school supporters

Oct 31, 2016

This image accompanies emails from a company claiming to support Aspen High School athletics; the school says it is not seeing any of the revenue.

The Aspen High School Booster Club is warning businesses about a potential advertising scam tied to sports calendars.

Three separate marketing organizations claim to be collecting ads for AHS sports calendars, but booster club board member Kim Allen said they are not acting on behalf of the school.


“The schools aren’t directly benefiting from it in any way because they aren’t seeing any of that money come back to them,” Allen said. “They’re really taking advantage of some small local businesses that don’t have a lot of funds to distribute out there.”


In past years, the school has used Big Game Promotions to sell advertising, but athletic director Jay Maher says that contract has been deactivated since last spring. After two years of weak returns, the booster club and student athletes decided to create the calendars independently.


Still, some local businesses have shelled out money to Big Game Promotions and two other companies, HS Backers and National Sports Publishing this year. Allen said none of these marketers actually produced posters.


Student athletes trying to sell ads for the legitimate fundraiser have been met with frustration from businesses that have already been contacted.

“They are giving us a bad name,” Allen said.  


For the winter and spring sports seasons, students will be approaching local businesses in person to avoid any confusion. The school is asking that supporters avoid writing checks to other entities.