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Outraged citizens force modification
to Golden Gate Bridge corporatization proposal

Outraged citizens have successfully forced reconsideration of a proposal to corporatize
San Francisco's most famous landmark.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Caitlin Cassady

October 16, 2007

A proposal for corporate sponsorship of the Golden Gate Bridge has been modified after outraged citizens opposed the idea of splashing corporate names on and around the landmark.

The initial proposal stated that corporate logos could be affixed to interpretive signage and fixed equipment such as trash cans, spokeswoman Mary Currie said. In the new version of the proposal a bridge partner would be limited to discrete logos on five interpretive sign locations surrounding the bridge.

"We have very few interpretive signs around the bridge,'' Currie said, "therefore this will enhance a visitor's experience and give a partner a chance to put their tag line on the bottom of the sign.''

Partner companies would also get to be named on a Partner recognition wall that would be located in the southeast visitor area. In the first year of the program the district hopes to have one lead sponsor who would have exclusive rights to signage, Currie said. After the first year the district would add a second partner who would share naming rights and other program options with the first sponsor.

Corporate sponsors would be able to use images of the bridge in their corporate advertising as well be included in Golden Gate transit advertising materials.

The main aspect of the partnership program centers around a Web site that would be set up exclusively for the program, Currie said. If a partnership is established, a unique Web site would be set up to highlight the benefits of the program and would have separate sections for bridge information and for the partner company.

A new logo for the partnership would be designed under style guides that specify how the three logos, including the partnership, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the corporate sponsor, would be used together. The Web site would allow the program to be accessible to the public and allow for public input and ideas, Currie said.

According to Currie, the partnership proposal is largely based on the National Parks Service "Proud Partners" program. The Park service has a robust sponsorship program that allows corporations to affiliate themselves the National Park Service and provides a source of revenue for maintenance, repair and other programs.

The transportation district is expected to have an $80 million deficit of funds over the next five years, Currie said. Corporate sponsors would provide anywhere from $3 to $4 million a year that would go toward bridge maintenance, repairs and general upkeep. A corporate sponsor would also reduce the district's reliance on toll charges for upkeep projects, Currie added.

Currie said that the district has some ideas about who they would like to have as a corporate sponsor, but until the program is formalized there will be no discussions of specific corporations becoming partners.

Detailed information about the partnership plan can be found on the district's Web site at http://goldengate.org/news/PartnershipProgram.php.

The modified proposal will be recommended to the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation Board of Directors during it's Oct. 26 meeting.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on a non-binding resolution opposing the partnership program during its regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting at 2 p.m. in City Hall. If the resolution passes it would be forwarded to Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Board of Directors.


Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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