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Your Ad Here: Sponsorships Could Foot The Bill For Colorado Air Tanker Fleet [Updated]

Akradecki - Wikimedia - Creative Commons
Photo Illustration - Jim Hill/KUNC

Naming rights and sponsorships of stadiums is common place. So are sponsorships of race cars. How about for air tankers?

Statements like ‘a fire line was set by the Century Link Air Tanker’ might not be that outlandish if the sponsors of a bill to create a Colorado firefighting air tanker fleet have anything to say about it. The bill's sponsors are Republican Senator Steve King and Democrat Senator Cheri Jahn. They say some of the cost to pay for the planes could be covered by advertising.

King says selling ad space on Colorado’s fleet is a win-win for both the advertiser and state tax payers. “For example, the Colorado Rockies sign on the tail wing of a tanker. The advertising and so forth to offset the cost of those tankers,” says King.

Credit Tim Holmes / fireaviation.com
Screencap from Fireaviation.com showing a photoshopped mock-up of an air tanker with Colorado Rockies livery

While the selling of ad space on the state’s air tankers is not officially in the bill, a spokesman for Senator King says it would be up to the agency charged with maintaining the fleet, a new division of the Colorado Department of Public Safety, to make that decision.

Fire Aviation, a blog covering wildfire aviation stories, has charged its readers with creating photos of what advertising might look like on a state owned fleet and has set up a poll to pick the best photos. In the running? A FedEx ‘extinguisher’  BE-200, a Heinz ketchup Laval P3 and DC10 as well as a Colorado Rockies P2V.

What do you think? Check them out and vote for them here.

Update 4/19 8:48 a.m.: The Colorado Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously passed the bill creating a state maintained air tanker fleet Friday morning. However, they did not earmark any money for it. The bill continues toward a vote on the full Senate floor without funding.

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