The “Stayward” billboard campaign attempting to convince Utah Jazz All-Star Gordon Hayward to stay in Utah next season will launch next week.
A mere month ago, Purple & Blues’ very own Ryan Aston detailed the start of the Stayward billboard campaign. The campaign featured Utah Jazz fans collecting money via GoFundMe to pay for a billboard seeking to show Gordon Hayward how beloved he is in the community and convince him to stay put next year despite being a free agent. Since that time, the news about the Stayward campaign has skyrocketed and become a major piece of news among the Jazz faithful.
And as the Salt Lake Tribune reported today, the Stayward billboard dream is about to become a reality. The GoFundMe goal of $5,000 was easily reached and it appears that the Stayward billboards will make their first appearance next week.
And, yes, you read that correctly. It’s now reported that there will be multiple billboards, not just the one that was originally planned. Per that same Salt Lake Tribune report, Garrett Jones, who started the campaign, is teaming up with Relic advertising agency and together they will put up not one, but eight Stayward billboards. One will be placed in downtown Salt Lake, with the other seven going along I-15 from Centerville to Murray where they will remain for 45 days.
Furthermore, as Jones had promised when he initially set up the GoFundMe campaign, additional funds over the costs of the billboards will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society which is an organization close to Gordon’s heart as one of his former college teammates is spearheading a fundraising campaign for it.
Therefore, along with the eight billboards pleading for Hayward to stay with the team that has helped him develop into the All-Star he is today, $900 will also be contributed to that remarkable cause.
There are two different designs that will be utilized for the billboards and both turned out pretty sharp in my opinion. You can see each one in the tweet below:
Both of them are great, but I personally like the one that enshrines Hayward among the names of Jazz legends the most. If he stays in Utah and continues to play as he did this past season, that association with other Jazz greats will most certainly end up being the case for his Jazz legacy.
The billboard campaign and the charitable donation on top of it are both incredible gestures that surely have to weigh in at least slightly to Hayward’s decision of whether to stay or to go. I’ve never heard of any instance like this where a fan base has gone so out of their way to show their adoration for a free agent and that has to feel good for him.
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Time will tell whether it proves effective or not, but regardless of the outcome, it’s certainly worth the effort and you have to applaud Jones and all those involved in putting the campaign together.
And as those billboards begin popping up next week, you can bet that Gordon Hayward will most certainly take notice. Hopefully as a result Jazz fans will be rewarded by seeing him indeed return next season in a Jazz uniform.