03/03/08 4:30 PM ET
Red Sox unveil 'Coca-Cola Corner'
Family-friendly hospitality area adds 412 seats to Fenway
By Mike Petraglia / Special to MLB.com
On Monday, the Red Sox and Coca-Cola unveiled the "Coca-Cola Corner," a new family-friendly seating and hospitality area of Fenway Park for the 2008 season.
The unique area will add more than 412 new seats to Fenway, and is part of the extension and expansion of the Red Sox's partnership with Coca-Cola, the official soft drink of the Boston Red Sox, and the longest-standing team sponsor with a relationship dating back to 1912.
The new Coca-Cola Corner will be located on the State Street Pavilion level, and will be crowned with a new illuminated sign, featuring the beverage company's signature red and white logo.
The sign will measure roughly 42 feet wide and 12 feet high, and will feature 1,059 LED lights that will scroll through the iconic Coca-Cola logo. The 25-second scroll, which will illuminate lights in a pattern that replicates writing, will be done in 254 steps.
"The Coca-Cola Corner is the next chapter in a sponsor relationship that will now extend well beyond Fenway Park's 100th anniversary in 2012," said Sam Kennedy, the Red Sox's executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer.
The sign design hearkens back to a historic Coca-Cola sign that stood on Storrow Drive for more than four decades, and will provide the company with a new and even more meaningful historic Fenway presence.
"Working with a creative and valued partner like Coca-Cola is always exciting and we were thrilled when discussions began to create a unique area that could greatly enhance our ability to provide fans with the best ballpark experience possible," Kennedy said.
"We are very proud of our association with the world champion Boston Red Sox and are thrilled to have our brand featured in such a high-visibility position at America's Most Beloved Ballpark," added Joe Papapietro, vice president of sales operations, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New England. "The Coca-Cola Corner is another way for us to bring Red Sox fans the enjoyment of refreshing Coca-Cola beverages, and expand our commitment to helping preserve and protect Fenway Park."
The Red Sox choice to use LED lights in the new sign is in keeping with the organization's commitment to adopting environmentally-sustainable business practices with the bulbs using 80 percent less power and lasting years longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. The sign was designed by Ashton Design and constructed by Triangle Signs. It will be installed before the club's home opener on April 8 against the Detroit Tigers.
The Coca-Cola Corner seating area will feature picnic tables, Coca-Cola and Red Sox-themed decor and a wide variety of food and beverage options, including select Coca-Cola products.
The Coca-Cola Corner is an expansion of the beverage company's presence at the ballpark. In early February, three Coke bottles were removed from the left-field light tower as the last piece of an effort to restore the light towers to their original historic appearance. The 25-foot fiberglass bottles, which made their debut at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, were installed in 1997.
The new area is a one of the key elements of the Red Sox' Year VII Fenway Park Improvements. The Year VII improvements continue the club's efforts to make Fenway Park more comparable to other MLB parks in terms of number of seats and fan amenities, while still preserving the scale and character that has made Fenway Park "America's Most Beloved Ballpark."
Changes are being made in accordance with the standards set by the National Park Service and are reviewed in advance by the Massachusetts Historic Commission, the Boston City Landmarks Commission and Boston Redevelopment Authority.
The club has made annual improvements since principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president/CEO Larry Lucchino and their partners purchased the club before the start of the 2002 season.
Mike Petraglia is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.