Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Stadium Ads: Will They Stand the Test of Time?

I posted this on Twitter earlier today, but given yesterday's baseball-themed post, it seems worth including here.

Below is the San Francisco Giants scoreboard on the night of Sept. 1, 2000. The photo comes courtesy of BuboBlog Portola Valley correspondent Jon, who attended that game with me.

You have to squint a bit to see all the sponsors, but the picture shows ads from Enron, Nortel, Webvan and Palm — all of which are now defunct. Pacific Bell, for whom the park was named, has since been absorbed by SBC, which then became AT&T. And I'm pretty sure CHW Health Services is no longer a going concern.

So at least half the corporate brands on display have vanished from the Earth.

One constant is the Giants mascot, Lou Seal, who still looks about the same today. I had my photo taken with him on that night (the '90s had just recently ended, so I still had a lot of plaid shirts).

This got me wondering how today's stadium ads will hold up.

I don't have a recent photo of the Giants' ballpark (now called AT&T Park), but I did snap one of Citi Field over the weekend.

Geico, Caesar's Palace, Budweiser, Pepsi, and Subway are some of the more prominent ads. All these companies existed 13 years ago, and I have a feeling they'll stick around a bit longer than Webvan.

But New York is a less entrepreneurial town than San Francisco (mostly), and the ads probably reflect that.