Illinois officials are turning their attention to state road maps as a potential source of advertising cash. The Illinois Department of Transportation is asking businesses for ideas about possibly placing ads on the next batch of Illinois road maps that are due out later this year.
“We’re looking to see if we can’t get one or more companies to sponsor our official state maps,” said IDOT spokesman Matt Vanover. “We would want to make sure we have a legitimate business that fits well with our mission. We will not necessarily look (only) at the highest bidder.” That could include insurance, gasoline or trucking companies, Vanover said.
Just how much the state might make from the sponsorship idea is one reason IDOT is only soliciting ideas at this point.
Ideally, Vanover said, a sponsorship deal would cover the roughly $350,000 cost of printing new highway maps, although the department would consider a lesser amount.
IDOT prints new highway maps every two years. In 2003, the state printed nearly 3 million highway maps in various versions, including 1.7 million standard maps that most people place in their cars.