Sam Houston State University is getting new state-of-the-art video boards for its facilities on campus for football, track and field, volleyball, basketball and softball.
The new boards are expected to be installed by the beginning of the Fall 2015 semester.
Jim and Tonya Ferris and Ann Wismer and Michael Landolt of the Wismer Distributing Company in Baytown, and Kurt Stevenson of Stevenson Beer Distributing Company in Trinity and Anheuser-Busch, have partnered with the SHSU Department of Athletics to make possible the addition of the video scoreboards.
“We greatly appreciate this generous gift in support of the Bearkat football, track and field, basketball, volleyball and softball programs,” said SHSU President Dana G. Hoyt. “The new boards will add a new dimension of entertainment, excitement and energy for our fans on game days.”
The football and track and field video scoreboard, which will replace the current board in Bowers Stadium, will be among the largest in the Football Championship Subdivision schools. Dimensions are 32 feet, 4 inches by 79 feet, 6 inches, and the board features a full LED, 15 mm, 480 x 1584 HD video display. It includes the capability for live video, custom animation with full-color graphics, and up-to-the-minute sports statistics, timing and results information.
The basketball and volleyball video board will be placed on the west wall of Johnson Coliseum, replacing the current scoreboard. It is 17 feet, 9.3 inches tall by 31 feet, 1.6 inches wide with a 10 mm video display. The board also includes the capability for live video, sports statistics, timing and scoring information.
The softball video board is 23 feet, 11.2 inches tall by 27 feet wide and includes a video screen. All three of the new boards will feature sponsor advertising opportunities to provide additional revenue for the Bearkat athletic program.
“These are first-class video boards for first-class athletic programs,” said Jim Ferris, class of ’69. “It is an honor to participate in such a major, positive upgrade for the university.”
Stevenson also attended SHSU in the late 1980s. Like Ferris, he has been a long-time supporter of the university through his involvement with a number of programs.
“It’s exciting for us to be able to give back to the university,” Stevenson said. “Both my mother and late father, Carol and Robb Stevenson, are Sam Houston graduates and have been actively involved with athletics, the Rodeo Club and the alumni association through the years.”
“Sam Houston State University is fortunate to have wonderful alumni and friends who give at such a high level to help this university succeed,” Bobby Williams, director of athletics, said. “Major projects of this type take a total team effort. We are very appreciative of our partnership with our university president, university advancement, the athletic department, and especially the individuals who have made this possible with their generous gifts.”
SHSU stands as the only athletic program to have earned five Southland Conference Commissioner’s Cups, symbolic of the league’s men’s and women’s all-sports championship. The Bearkats’ football, track and field, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and softball programs have combined to win eight league championships since 2010.
The success of Sam Houston’s athletic programs has brought nationwide attention to SHSU, with more than 50 Bearkat athletic events in the past four years being telecast on the ESPN family of networks.