Broken Arrow High School

Broken Arrow High School

Broken Arrow High School

Broken Arrow High School

Broken Arrow High School

Broken Arrow High School

Broken Arrow High School

Broken Arrow High School

Broken Arrow High School

Graphics 'Modernize' Broken Arrow
by Coach and Athletic Director Magazine. Nov/Dec 2015

Broken Arrow High School’s athletic facilities weren’t built in the last two years, but that’s certainly the impression they leave with those in this eastern Oklahoma community. 

That was the intention when Director of Athletic Operations Ken Ellett led the program through a series of aesthetic improvements that continue to change the face of Broken Arrow’s stadium and gymnasium. Structures built of concrete and steel offer little appeal for fans, but with a few minor upgrades the atmosphere takes on an entirely different feel.

“It’s a reminder to anyone that walks into these facilities that this is about the kids and that’s why we’re here,” said Ellett. “It’s definitely a way to modernize and enhance what we’ve got going on.” 

Since Broken Arrow started working with, massive banners have been erected at the football stadium and gymnasium, with additional graphics added to the school’s wrestling room. The 40- foot stadium banners were so large that Ellett said separate pieces were “welded together,” displaying images of athletes from the football and soccer teams.

The football stadium was built in 2000, but the banners gave it a fresh look that has completely revitalized the spirit on campus, Ellett said. Some renovations include supersized video boards or modernized press boxes, but for Broken Arrow this was a way to bring the program something new without having to strain the budget. 

Ellett said that starts with a supportive administration that values the role of athletics in education. The district is invested in sports and plans to continue making improvements to its facilities in the coming years. 

“This is definitely a financially reasonable way to upgrade or enhance our facilities,” Ellett said. 

One of the things important to Broken Arrow was to create an all-inclusive atmosphere. Ellett said banners were placed at one end of the field, hung where the school’s state championship band program performs during games. More banners were placed around the student section, an area referred to as “the jungle.” 

Ellett said the school wanted to show its appreciation for everyone who has a hand in the athletic program, and that’s not just the athletes in uniform. 

“We’re trying to create a new culture that’s more in line with what we want our athletes to do or fans to do when they’re in the stands,” Ellett said. 

Planning for Broken Arrow’s project with goes back years, but Ellett can recall how it all started. The program sought feedback from numerous people, sorting through pictures and images to determine exactly how they wanted the banners to appear. Ellett jokes that some may insist they spent a little too much time planning, but it was critical that they make sure the project was done correctly. 

“No one person makes a decision,” he said. “It’s a group effort.” 

And they’re not finished. Though the project has been ongoing for a couple years, Ellett said the school still has plans to make improvements at the baseball and softball complex. 

He expects to work with to hang additional graphics and banners. 

These types of improvements are simple, but Ellett advises athletic administrators looking to make similar upgrades to do research before making decisions. There are a lot of great ideas out there, and he said programs should never be afraid to borrow them. 

“The bottom line is very few of us are original, and we’ve all seen something somewhere that we liked,” he said. 

“We called a lot of people where we really liked what we saw, and that’s how we first came into contact with Big Signs.” 

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