Carroll looks to be first school district with personalized license plates

SOUTHLAKE -- Carroll is moving toward becoming the first school district in the state to sponsor personalized Texas license plates featuring its trademark mascot logo.

School board members on Monday approved a five-year marketing agreement for Carroll Dragon license plates.

The state-issued license plate would include Carroll's fire-breathing logo, used for all 11 schools, but district officials have not finalized a design for the background. The plan must be approved by the state, district spokeswoman Julie Thannum said.

The school district would get a 10 percent commission on each plate sold.

"I think it is a good idea," said trustee Craig Rothmeier. "It is a no risk opportunity for Carroll."

The idea was proposed by Austin-based My Plates, a company authorized by the state to design and market full-color specialty license plates. The state receives the bulk of the money from sales of such plates, Thannum said.

The company has sought to partner with school districts with active athletic programs, and Carroll is the first to go forward, My Plates spokeswoman Kim Miller Drummond said.

"A lot of the colleges already have that, but nobody's ever tapped into that for high school," Drummond said.

Under the agreement, the company and school district will evenly split the $5,000 implementation cost, but My Plates agreed to reimburse Carroll's $2,500 investment once the program is approved to market the program among families and fans, said Mike Dehnisch, a My Plates sales executive.

Carroll is aiming for the program to start by August to coincide with back-to-school activities. Customers would order the plates through My Plates' Web site. The cost for a plate without a personalized message is $55 for one year, which would generate $5.50 for the school district's operating budget. A personalized message costs extra, and the district would not get a percentage of that.

In 2002, Carroll schools created a marketing program to identify outside revenue to pay for day-to-day expenses.