Thursday, November 16, 2006

Day 16 (Part 2): The Golden Gate Bridge. Brought to You By...

In my ongoing quest to stay abreast of news, the San Francisco Chronicle online edition (which does NOT require a user name and password, thank you very much) is running a story about the City's most venerable landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge.

Seems the Bridge district's board of directors is hiring a consultant to seek corporate sponsors for the Bridge to help offset the district's $87 million deficit.

This is a bad idea.

I mean, it's bad enough that stadiums are no longer named after people or places, but after corporations. It's bad enough that major sporting events (golf, NASCAR, football, the Olympics, et. al.) are already overrun by corporate logos and branding. But sponsoring the world's most famous bridge?! Granted, there will be no plastering of sponsoring corporations' names on the Bridge itself. But still, the idea is abhorrent.

The Golden Gate rolls trippingly off the tongue. The Tide Golden Gate Bridge doesn't. Nor does Pacific Bell Golden Gate Bridge or Wells-Fargo Golden Gate Bridge or Oracle Golden Gate Bridge.

On top of that, what corporation would want to link their name to the world's most popular suicide destination? The PR folks will rue the day they have to take that first call for comment about how the company feels about Ms. Smith or Mr. Jones who just took a dive off of "Insert Corporate Name" Golden Gate Bridge.

And once you find a sponsor for the Golden Gate, then every landmark will want one. Soon there will be a corporate sponsor for the Grand Canyon, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Washington Monument.... ("The Washington Monument! Brought to you by Trojan Brand Condoms: Pleasure you want. Protection you trust.") The precedence is just too frightening to contemplate.

Read the full article here.

P.S. Please note that my tongue is mostly embedded in my cheek. On the one hand, I think it's a horrible idea. On the other hand, if it saves commuters from increased bridge tolls, then maybe it's not a bad idea...


Sister Mary Lisa said...

They should pay for it using the taxes that tourists pay when they visit. That's where a lot of the moolah should come from.

Mary Ellen said...

The most obvious corporate sponsor: McDonald's. Please envision The Golden Arches Golden Gate Bridge.

It could happen.

Sideon said...


The Washington Monument would be a PERFECT sponsor for Trojan :)

The SF Gate toll is already $5.00 a car going into the City. The bridge itself is a mile wide, multiple lanes, filled to capacity every day of the week. I can't fathom where all the money is going if there's an 87 Million dollar deficit.

The East Bay bridge tolls go up from 3 to 4 in January, if I'm remembering rightly.

Great post.

Janet M. Kincaid said...

I remember when I lived there and the toll went up to $3.00 to cross the GGB. All I could think was, if you were living at poverty level and you worked in the service industries in San Francisco, you were screwed.

As for the Washington Monument, back in 1999/2000, they encased the monument in scaffolding and a sheath of tarps. For months, people referred to it as "The Washington Condom." Hence, the sponsorship idea (and the picture on the blog.)

Janet M. Kincaid said...

P.S. 38.8 million cars crossed the Bridge in FY04 (ended June 31). At $5 a crossing, that's $194 million dollars. So what's the problem here, folks?

Anonymous said...


I think the GG Bridge could be sponsored by Kaiser Permanente or Prozac.

One of the Swissies


Janet M. Kincaid said...

Swissies (aka "S")! Hi! Nice to see you here in the comments. Prozac as a sponsor of the GGB... that's classic. They could hand out free samples at the toll booths!

And how about Viagra for the Washington Monument?