Pilot stadium ad program a success

The pilot program to sell advertising at Wilton High School’s Veterans Memorial Stadium and Kristine Lilly Field raised $35,500 since last fall, according to the Wilton Athletic and Recreation Foundation.

J.R. Sherman, president of the foundation, reported to the Board of Selectmen May 7 that the costs of the program were under $9,000, to pay for the printing of the large banners that now decorate the bleachers and fences.

The banners have as much as a five-year lifespan, and many of the advertisers want to sign up for multi-year agreements, he said.

The money helps support the installation, maintenance and replacement of athletic turf facilities. At the moment there are not any specific expenditures scheduled.  

“Folks are chomping at the bit to get on board,” Sherman said, referring to the waiting list of advertising customers the program has been able to develop since last fall.

The advertising costs as much as $15,000 for a major corporate sponsorship and as little as $750, according to information provided by Sherman earlier this year. However, that may change as the organization gears up for a permanent program.

Wilton’s stadium and fields are behind others in surrounding Fairfield County towns in terms of generating income, but selling ads will allow the foundation to catch up and stay abreast for the long term.

The approved guidelines for selling advertising at Wilton High School’s football stadium include the exclusion of political content.

The long-term policies were approved for use by Town Counsel Ira Bloom. Selectman David Clune led the drive to sell ads at the Memorial Stadium and Lilly Field.