Thursday, March 25, 2004

Signage Changes

Buried in the Busines section was this from Jim Kirk's marketing column. It sounds pretty coool to me.

It also sounds like it could pay for a Vidro, Kendall and/or another starter.

I also can't wait to see the new duds for the Andy Frains!
Advertising at Wrigley: Chicago Cubs marketing executives say that new LED signs in Wrigley Field are not, let me repeat not, permanent signage, and that the park is therefore still signage free.

The fans will likely be the judges of that.

But advertisers in Wrigley will be in heaven this season. New light-emitting diode, or LED, signs will run 70 feet down the right and left field facades. And a new LED sign will run 64 feet underneath the manual scoreboard in center field.

The signs will rotate more statistics on players and give advertisers their largest ever presence in Wrigley. Advertisers will have half-inning exclusivity in the park on the signs.

And though executives aren't saying so, the new signs are expected to pump several million dollars worth of new revenue into the coffers of the Cubs, which are owned by Tribune Co., as is this newspaper.

"We want to provide more content to the fans. It's very much content driven," said John F. McDonough, the Cubs' vice president of marketing and broadcasting. "We're upholding the integrity of the park. We opted not to display permanent signage."

"We needed to update without restructuring the architecture," said Jay Blunk, the Cubs' director of promotions and advertising.

Blunk indicated that advertisers jumped at the new opportunity. McDonald's Corp. and Exelon Corp. were two big advertisers that signed on for the first time. Sears, Roebuck and Co., Culvers, Southwest Airlines, Sportmart and MasterCard International also will have a big presence.

And after a one-year hiatus, Sears will once again have signs in the dugout. In addition, the retailer will have an even bigger presence on field and in the stands as part of its multiyear sponsorship.

All Wrigley personnel, including security guards and ushers, will be decked out in apparel from Lands' End, a Sears subsidiary. In addition, the grounds crew will sport, of course, Craftsman gear, also a Sears brand.

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