The rebranding and repackaging of America marches on… The SF Chronicle reports that the cash-strapped Golden Gate has hired a consultant to look for corporate sponsors:
The consultant’s recommendations could include installing signs at the south visitors area or on benches and sidewalks at the ends of the bridge.
“This is not a naming rights deal,” cautioned bridge spokeswoman Mary Currie. “It’s more of a behind-the-scenes, low-key, corporate partnership, much like the Proud Partners Program in the national parks.”
According to the pending contract, “the sponsorship program must enhance the value of the Golden Gate Bridge’s ‘brand’ and its image as an internationally recognized icon of historical engineering and architectural significance.”
Bartram and Currie said the district’s plans follow the lead of the National Park Service’s “Proud Partners Program,” which has raised $100 million from corporations such as Discover and Ford Motor Co. Currie noted that signs at trailheads in some parks greet hikers with: “This trail brought to you by Ford.”
Hopefully any Silicon Valley companies thinking about getting a piece of the bridge will consider the cautionary tale of microchip magnate Max Zorin’s unsuccessful 1985 attempt to use the bridge in his bid for world corporate domination.