SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Coca-Cola Company announced today plans to replace the historic neon sign in San Francisco’s South of Market district. Coca-Cola has maintained a display alongside the southbound lanes on the I-80 freeway heading in to downtown San Francisco for more than 75 years. In its place will be a state-of-the-art LED display that is consistent in size and brightness with the existing sign but 80% more energy efficient and is to be powered by 100% sustainable and certified “green” energy.
The display, located at 701 Bryant St. (Bryant and 5th St.) and near San Francisco’s famed flower market, is visible to drivers approaching the Bay Bridge from the south/east and disembarking the bridge from the north. It has become a familiar landmark for those who live and work in the downtown area. Work on replacing the sign will begin on the weekend of November 28-29, 2009.
“For decades the historic Coca-Cola sign has greeted those crossing the Bay Bridge and those who live and work nearby with a warm welcome to San Francisco,” said Bea Perez, Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “It is our desire for the new energy efficient and technologically advanced sign to offer the same hospitable message.”
The classic display has been a familiar sight to millions of pedestrians, commuters and visitors. The original billboards were installed on the rooftop of a newly constructed building in 1937 just as the Bay Bridge was opened and have been replaced several times with the last update more than 25 years ago. Today, the building houses an independent retail business Antonio’s Antiques.
To begin preparations for installation, power will be shut off to the existing display starting today. Skilled display and lighting workers will begin carefully dismantling and removing the display faces. By December 11, it will be completely disassembled and the installation of the replacement faces will begin. The metal materials and wiring from the existing faces will be recycled as much as possible and items such as the old neon will be disposed of in accordance with environmental guidelines.
In its place will rise an improved display expected to be operational within a few weeks. Visually, it will maintain a consistent size and appearance as the existing Coca-Cola sign. The new sign will now also feature the familiar Spenserian script of the Coca-Cola logo on both the north and south of the display. In view of thousands of people who cross the Bay Bridge every day, the high efficiency lighting of the new faces will not increase the brightness of the sign but will enhance the reliability of its performance and with much greater energy efficiency.
“The Coca-Cola Company has a companywide commitment to engage in environmentally responsible and sustainable energy practices for all aspects of our business,” said Laura Younkin, Message Integration Manager, Coca-Cola North America. “We took a multifaceted approach to lighting, construction materials and mounting, to create the most energy efficient display as possible. We also kept in mind the aesthetics and history of our sign in the area. I am very pleased that we have been able to secure 100% green energy for the reduced power requirements of the sign.”
In addition to the environmental benefits from powering the new display, its lighter weight and structural upgrades offer additional earthquake stability. The new display will be engineered and assembled by YESCO, a leading manufacturer and supplier of electronic displays in the U.S. They will manufacture the display in Reno, NV and it will be reassembled in San Francisco starting December 11. The replacement displays will be in place and relit by the end of December.
Coca-Cola also plans a ‘flip-the-switch’ ceremony to celebrate relighting the new sign. More details will be forthcoming.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with nearly 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke®, Fanta®, Sprite®, Coca-Cola Zero™, vitaminwater®, POWERADE®, Minute Maid® and Georgia Coffee™. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of nearly 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our Web site at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.