New York Fact of the Month: October 2013
So, I recently moved to New York, and as a way of adding a new dimension to the blog, I thought I’d share some of the most interesting bits of information about the city, which I learn along the way.
We’re starting local to where I work; this month’s fact – Times Square.
With approximately a third of a million people passing through it everyday, it’s easy to see why Times Square is referred to as “The Crossroads of the World”. It’s a hive of activity, throughout the day and night, with a blend of tourists, locals and business people passing through its streets.
The name actually came sometime after Times Square was established, when in 1904, The New York Times (referred to colloquially as The Times), acquired One Times Square, then the Times Building.
The Times’ publisher Adolph Ochs managed to persuade New York’s Mayor to build a subway station there, and to rename the area Times Square in honor of the publication.
The building is renowned for being a focal point of New Year’s Eve celebrations, with live feeds broadcast world wide. That all started back then too. To promote the newspaper’s move to the area, Adolph organized a huge fireworks display from the roof at 12:00am January 1, 1904. The event was well received and attracted around 200,000 people. Annual displays followed until 1908, when a ball drop was added – which still continues over 100 years later.
The Times, however, didn’t stay in the area for long. After nine years, they moved on to new premises at 229 West 43rd Street.
Its importance as a centerpiece within New York City established, allowing it to play host to a digital billboard, which soars 341 feet above the street, covering 16,000+ square feet over the three sides of the building.
In 2013, whilst the rest of the building lays largely unused, bar a Wallgreens, its importance as a centerpiece within New York City is established, allowing it to play host to a digital billboard, which soars 341 feet above the street, covering 16,000+ square feet over the three sides of the building. Its owners make an estimated $23 million a year from the advertisements which surround it, making it the most expensive set of billboards in the world. The owners, it seems, can more than cover their costs from this.
So, Times Square is uncovered as a historical marketing haven, from its inception right through to the present – A perfect example of how marketing can be used to build a memorable presence in an area, which may stand the test of time.