#Stayward campaign gains steam in Utah, eight billboards to debut Monday

Posted at 10:16 PM, May 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 00:16:11-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Most professional stars don't play their entire careers in one city.

That's partly why John Stockton and Karl Malone are so beloved by Utah Jazz fans. (Though Malone did play his final season with the LA Lakers).

With the offseason now underway following a second round exit to the Golden State Warriors, the focus has shifted to whether or not Utah Jazz star Gordon Hayward will stay in Utah, or move to another team this summer.

Hayward could exercise an option in his contract to become an unrestricted free agent. If he does, some major NBA teams in major markets could come calling.

"They might want to go and get a huge paycheck in another market," said Adam Stoker, owner of Provo-based advertising company, Relic.

Stoker points out that when super star players come to the end of their contract, they often leave small markets. Fortunately, he and another Jazz fan are doing everything they can to make sure that doesn't happen.

"I figured maybe a few fans would latch on and get something going," said Jazz fan Garrett Jones.

Jones came up with an idea to buy a billboard in Salt Lake City with a message reading 'StayWard' - a combination of Stay and Hayward. His GoFundMe campaign pulled in more than $6,000 to help pay for the billboard, but Stoker had bigger ideas.

"As soon as I heard about it, I said, 'Hey, let's see if we can get involved,'" Stoker said.

Stoker's advertising company has put in about 75 hours of work, at no charge, to come up with a design, and a pitch to billboard companies in hopes they might be able to buy more than just one billboard.

“We went to Compass and said, 'What billboard would you guys be willing to let us go up on?' and we were shocked by the answer,” Stoker said.

Instead of one billboard, they were given the green light to put up eight billboards throughout the Salt Lake Valley, from Centerville down to Murray. It's a project that would normally cost about $50,000 to run for a month, and yet, Stoker managed to secure it for the $6,000 that Jones was able to raise from the GofundMe.

Out of the eight locations, one in particular, was targeted for a special reason.

“Gordon Hayward lives in Sandy," Stoker pointed out. "So, we definitely have one strategically located in Murray to hit him on the way into the office.”

The billboards are set to go up Monday and will remain up until the end of June.