The iconic Yahoo! Billboard along Interstate 80 in San Francisco is about to be grounded soon. “People have driven past by this sparkling image for the past 12 years, delighting in its retro-future look and the fun, seasonal messages on its marquee.”
The Ybillboard went up in 1999, five years after the company was founded by Stanford graduate students David Filo and Jerry Yang and two years after the company went public. At the time, Yahoo was at the peak of its prominence, drawing huge traffic as a portal to the Web. The bright purple sign, bordered by neon lights, declared Yahoo to be “A nice place to stay on the Internet.” Glowing red letters above advertised a perpetual vacancy. A miniature marquee beneath the main text allowed Yahoo to advertise various new products over the years, from its free e-mail service to fantasy sports.
Announcing the take-down, Yahoo said “We’ve celebrated our anniversaries on it, given away ice cream, and shown everyone that there will always be room for them here on Yahoo!.”
“We had hoped to memorialize our billboard’s place in history by bringing it South to our Sunnyvale campus. But the physical materials used to create it and the way it was assembled prohibit this. We will save key parts of the sign as our symbol of Yahoo!’s place in the world. Don’t look now, but you might see them show up in some unexpected places. Images of the full sign will also live on in the social, mobile, and digital world that Yahoo! helped cultivate and shape–and which we all inhabit together. You’ll soon be able to enjoy our San Francisco billboard whenever you like, wherever you are, on any screen, and reminisce about your favorite or most personal Yahoo! moments, and reflect on what is to come for us. Stay tuned,” added Yahoo.
Clear Channel, manager of the sign overlooking the eastbound approach to the Bay Bridge, has announced the space available beginning Dec. 1 – at $65,000 a month, or $80,000 if the new sign uses neon.