Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ariba's All-Star Impression


Last week as millions of sports fans tuned into the Major League Baseball's All-Star festivities, they were introduced to PNC Park and the Pittsburgh sky-line for the first time. Monday night as the left-handed "Davids" (Big Papi Ortiz and the Champ Howard) launched baseball's at the Goliath skyscrapers, viewers were continually introduced to the red boomerangs of Ariba, Inc.

Front Row Marketing Services estimated that PNC Bank received $11.7 million in free advertising during the All-Star Game, which included 13 minutes and 25 seconds of on bank logo shots, 17 seconds of on-screen PNC graphics and 12 "verbal mentions."

Now Ariba didn't take away the same type of value, but there it was on-screen anyway, which I'm sure caused some people to go to Google and find out about the world-wide leader in Spend-Management solutions.

Ariba, and it's predecessor company FreeMarkets have been a fixture patrolling Center Field in PNC Park since it opened in 2001. The sign was first "turned-on" on September 21, 2000 when the building was re-christened "FreeMarkets Center" from One Oliver Plaza in a dedication ceremony attended by then Mayor Tom Murphy. It also happens to be the day my son was born.

The Ariba name hovering over the outfield (although missing one "r") is not entirely inappropriate for baseball fans, and in particular Pirate fans. Arriba, an exclamation of pleasure, approval, or elation, was the nickname of the most mythical player in Pirates history, Roberto Clemente.

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