New York City-based iHeartMedia Inc. has become the latest of just a handful of companies to place an ad on one of the most iconic advertising perches in the Big Apple: the rooftop billboard that sits atop the old Ruppert Ice House building.
The billboard overlooks the East River and the Triborough/RFK Bridge that connects Manhattan with The Bronx. The iHeartRadio logo is one of only eight brands to grace the historic billboard over the last 80 years.
The billboard is more than 8,000 square feet—the size of 12 traditional roadside billboards and the largest in New York City—and is visible for miles. It catches the eyeballs of millions of New Yorkers and visitors every week.
In addition to the logo the billboard will also have an LED screen that will be used to promote the company’s radio stations in the city.
The billboard is owned by Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, a subsidiary of iHeartMedia. Clear Channel Outdoor has invested $2 million in the billboard’s renovation over the past year and worked with officials to secure its grandfathered status in 2015.
The billboard and the building it sits on are a part of New York City history, dating back to the 1920s. The building was constructed for Jacob Ruppert, the man who, back then, owned the Yankees, built Yankee Stadium and brought Babe Ruth to the team. The Ruppert family owned and operated Ruppert Beer and Knickerbocker Beer and originally used the building to store ice and keep beer cold prior to the refrigeration era. Ruppert Beer was the first brand to adorn this now iconic sign, maintaining its presence there from 1936 to 1952.
Each brand that followed in Ruppert’s footprint for the next 80 years held claim to the billboard for nearly a decade or more. These include: Knickerbocker Beer (1952-1962); City Services Gasoline (aka Citgo, 1962- early ’70s); Kent Cigarettes (early ’70s – late ’70s)’ Golden Lights Cigarettes (early ’80s – late ’80s); Newport Cigarettes (early ’90s – 1999); The History Channel (2000-2015); and now iHeartMedia.