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.
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
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
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
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.
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