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MARTA preparing to post ads targeting Super Bowl fans at Five Points Station

MARTA Vine City Station

Thousands of fans use MARTA to go to and from the Super Bowl. People walked across a closed Northside Drive to get to the Vine City MARTA Station after the Game (Photo by Maria Saporta)

By David Pendered

MARTA is preparing to post advertising on the jumbotrons in the Five Points Station during the Super Bowl. The ads are to be placed on panels that are to be attached to the jumbotrons and removed after the event.

MARTA Vine City Station

Thousands of fans use MARTA to go to and from the Super Bowl. People walked across a closed Northside Drive to get to the Vine City MARTA Station after the Game (Photo by Maria Saporta)

MARTA did not indicate if it has sold any of the projected advertising space, or who may have purchased it, according to the request for quotations it issued to find a contractor to install the panels.

The project is just the latest in a number of efforts to capitalize on the massive number of fans who gather in Atlanta during the 10-day Super Bowl 53 event.

MARTA issued a RFQ on Nov. 30. Responses are due by 2 p.m. Friday.

The entire cost of the installation is to be less than $200,000, according the RFQ: “No quotation of $200,000 or more will be considered.”

MARTA intends to choose the low bid, but reserves the right to choose another if it better meets MARTA’s needs.

The marketing plan is fairly straightforward.

  • MARTA intends to have the each side of the jumbotrons covered with rigid white polystyrene;
  • The polystyrene is to be covered by an application of UV vinyl, which will be adhered with a high-tack adhesive;
  • MARTA’S marketing department will provide the full-color artwork that’s to be applied to the polystyrene.

The RFQ notes that the contractor will supply all materials cost, which MARTA will reimburse at a cost with a maximum mark-up of 5 percent. MARTA’s total cost for materials is not to exceed $20,000.

MARTA’s advertising policy states the only reason it sells ad space on structures and vehicles is to raise money for the system:

  • “The sole purpose of the Authority’s advertising programs is to raise revenues, supplementary to those from fares and from tax proceeds, to be used to finance the Authority’s operations. The sale and display of advertising is not intended to provide a general public forum for purposes of communication, but rather to make use of property held in a proprietary capacity in order to generate revenue.”

To that end, the system prohibits four kinds of advertising its board of directors has deemed, “unsuitable for exposure to persons of young age and immature judgment.” The four categories are:

  • “Advertising for products or services related to human reproduction or sexuality, including but not limited to contraceptive products or services, other products or services related to sexual hygiene, and counseling with regard to pregnancy, abortion, or other sexual matters;
  • “Advertising for products, services, or entertainment directed to sexual stimulation;
  • “Advertising that is obscene within the meaning of O.C.G.A. § 16-12-80 (Georgia’s obscenity law);
  • “Tobacco advertising shall be prohibited as required by law.”

The Five Points Station has two jumbotrons, according to the RFQ. Each measures 39.5 feet by 20 feet.

Each side of a jumbotron presents 790 square feet of advertising space that will be highly visible to riders who pass through the Five Points’ concourse during the event.

David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.


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