Wheels "Memorial Madden Cruiser" Bus Wrap

Target Audience: The Wheels bus system serves the Northern California Tri-Valley cities of Livermore, Dublin and Pleasanton. John Madden was a resident of Pleasanton from the time he began his coaching career with the Oakland Raiders in 1967 until he passed away on December 28, 2021. This entry is targeted at anyone who respected John Madden as a Super Bowl winning football coach, as a pioneering broadcaster, as part of one of the best-selling video games of all time, or as just a Pleasanton resident who could often be spotted at area restaurants, stores and youth sporting events and always had time for a conversation or an autograph. The actual audience for this entry ended up being much wider than the Tri-Valley. Search for "Memorial Madden Cruiser" on Google, Facebook or Twitter and see the results.

Strategy Objective:Getty Images also required that we ask the Raiders organization for their approval. Instead, we reached out to see if they wanted to be a part of the project. The next day, we received an email from Raiders VP of Media & Entertainment Brad Phinney. It contained high resolution images that the Raiders had used for their own tribute on their stadium's exterior giant video screen. He thanked us for our project and offered the use of the images at no cost. Following the offer by the Raiders, our on-vehicle advertising contractor, Lamar Transit Advertising, also offered to design, produce and install the wrap at no cost. At that point, our goal was to get the project done in time to be part of a John Madden Memorial Event that was scheduled at the Raiders former home, the Oakland Coliseum.

Situation Challenge: After Mr. Madden's passing, our Board wanted to develop a tribute to honor his legacy. During his 30-year broadcasting career, Madden was known for travelling from game to game on a custom outfitted bus known as the "Madden Cruiser". Staff decided a fitting tribute would be to design a "Memorial Madden Cruiser" and wrap one of our own buses. There were many challenges with this project. The first was to get something designed and installed in a timely manner. The second was the cost involved. Getty Images had the licensing rights to the two images we wanted to use and they were asking $3,000 per image for 3 months of use. The cost for production/installation was quoted at $7,000 by our advertising contractor. A $13,000 price tag for a 3-month tribute made us rethink our strategy.

Results Impact: The "Memorial Madden Cruiser" made its debut at the "One More Monday Night in Oakland: A Celebration of John Madden" event. Our bus was parked next to the original Madden Cruiser at the entrance to the event. As can be seen in the photos in this entry, the vehicle was extremely popular with Raider Nation, even more popular for photos than the original cruiser. The vehicle was also used as a backdrop for live reports by multiple San Francisco TV stations. The bus was also seen on news coverage of the event on almost all local stations, appeared in area newspaper coverage and was part of AP's coverage of the event, which was picked up nationwide. The bus is now operating in regular service and will be rotated among routes so that residents throughout our service area can see the tribute.

Why Submit: This entry pays tribute to an American icon who happened to be a 55-year resident of our service area. The simplicity of the design combined with the grand scale of the image of Mr. Madden's face makes this a very visually appealing wrap. To quote one Raiders fan, "That is tight!" In responding to our email request, the Raider's VP of Media & Entertainment Brad Phinney said "…this is a great thing you are doing." and "Appreciate you doing this for the Madden Family." When we reached out to the Madden family for approval, John's son Mike responded "…it looks fantastic!" and "Thanks for taking this on…it'll be fun to see it around town." The fact that we were able to complete this project in one month using zero dollars of public funds is also quite an accomplishment.