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The Jacksonville Transportation Authority turned down a proposal by Sirius Satellite Radio to wrap Skyway trains iwith advertising when Jacksonville hosts the Super Bowl next year.


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Last modified Fri., November 19, 2004 - 03:23 AM

Originally created Friday, November 19, 2004

JTA rejects Skyway ads at Bowl time

Campaign would have brought in $140,000 but was called inappropriate.


The Times-Union

A satellite radio business hoped to turn the white Skyway trains into blue moving billboards as they glide through downtown Jacksonville on elevated tracks during the Super Bowl.

It would have been a financial money-maker for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, raking in $140,000 after expenses.

But tempting as the money was, JTA board members blanched Thursday at the thought of Skyway riders climbing into a train with marketing slogans like "100 percent commercial free music" and "Ride with the Big Dog" splashed across the train's outside walls.

"I don't want us to get the image that all we're doing is advertising and trying to make money," JTA board member Charles Sawyer said. "I think it's a bad, bad image for Jacksonville."

He later added bluntly, "I can't think of anything more tacky."

The JTA is inviting offers from companies to advertise during the Super Bowl on JTA facilities, including the Kings Avenue parking garage, Skyway stations, park-and-ride lots and buses. The JTA is trying to raise money to recoup the cost of providing extra bus service during the Super Bowl when organizers expect 100,000 visitors.

The agency has marketed advertising space for years on buses. In some cases, advertisers pay to cover the entire bus in a "wrap," like a brightly colored Christmas present.

Sirius Satellite Radio was interested in purchasing the right to wrap the Skyway trains. The company also wanted to puts its advertising on the Kings Avenue parking garage, located in view of Interstate 95 in San Marco, and at the Skyway stations. The advertising would have been for a six-week period, beginning before the Toyota Gator Bowl in January and ending after the Super Bowl in February.

JTA Executive Director Michael Blaylock said the staff "wrestled back and forth" with whether it's appropriate to put advertising on the Skyway trains.

"First, we were afraid we were going to get an Oscar Mayer wiener sponsorship and that wouldn't be good," Blaylock said.

The Sirius marketing campaign wouldn't have turned the Skyway trains into hot dogs, but board members said it still crossed the line of what would be tasteful.

david.bauerleinjacksonville.com, (904) 359-4581


The Jacksonville Transportation Authority turned down a proposal by Sirius Satellite Radio to wrap Skyway trains iwith advertising when Jacksonville hosts the Super Bowl next year.


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It would have bought in an extra $140,000 profit for JTA. My goal would be to make as much money as possible off of the super bowl. This is a one time experience to earn millions of extra dollars for future local project. Based on that, I'd head to Lowe's myself, buy the paint, and get started on the trains tomorrow.

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The Skyway trains are very bland to me.While I would not care for a moving billboard on the trains,maybe a Jax skyline to the lower half(below the windows)or artistic color added along some creative theme.

I would take the money,if this is for the Super Bowl only.IMO

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alright folks, let's get one thing straight>>> they already allow the wrap ads on the buses, or was that ad for "charmed" on the WB a figment of my imagination. What amazes me more is that all of a sudden the city thinks something is tacky? well ,well... it seems that the fashion police has come to j-ville. i guess the jaguar paws painted on the street are the latest thing in Milan, don't get me wrong.. i am all about the team spirit>>> but there are limits on the tack factor.

but here is an opportunity for the skyway to make some cash for the first time in its existance! so what if its moving ad painted baby blue, for once my tax dollars can take break form funding that tour. let's all be truthful for a minute, it's not the ridership that keeps it operating!

peace out!


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$140 K was way too cheap. Considering the daily effective circulation. That thing would be seen by hundreds of thousands of eyes per day. In 2001, I suggested that they get a sponsor for half and wrap the other half in art org ads or events. The symphony would get one and jmoma etc, revenue from ads would subsidize these. I would have charged in the millions for a year long or more campaign (the wraps last for several years). Even with improved ridership (and it is improving) the thing only costs $4mm a year to run. With a solid and "not-tacky" (whatever that means) campaign these things could wipe out the uninspired $.35 fare.

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what a silly decision! this reminds me of the time that downtown advocate complained about the feral roosters because it tarnished our "hip" image.

yes, god-forbid that the unholy specter of profit taint the pure skyway express. what an evil and vile thing to make money off your public projects ... it just creates a bad image!



She was totally misquoted on that. She loves the roosters. Its true. There is even talk of a public art project as a tribute to the roosters.

Not sure what she thinks of the wraps, but I'll tell you that if the JTA could recover a good portion of the costs to operate (by selling the ads) and offer the service for free it would be a great thing...

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I thought this was a ridiculous decision by the JTA...especially the next day when driving on Hendricks I saw a city bus plastered with a small creature on it and an advertisement that read "UG BUYS UGLY HOUSES"!!!

Now...we can allow our Super Bowl visitors to see this, but no way we can let them see a Sirius Radio ad. And I'm with you LakeLander...get all the money you can (unless it is something totally outrageous) during this rare business opportunity for the city.

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