New Jersey has a fair share of jokes made at its expense. Now the Garden State has a plan to laugh all the way to the bank by embracing that persona and marketing logos from the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway on merchandise and apparel.
To do that, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the organization that operates both roads, is looking at marketing logos from the Turnpike and Parkway as a way to increase non-toll revenue.
"We have observed people advertising both the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway logo," John O’Hern, the authority’s deputy executive director, said in a Star-Ledger article written by Mike Frassinelli and posted on NJ.com. "Those are our intellectual property rights. If people are selling things with our logos, obviously there might be a revenue potential there."
The move makes sense, particularly after looking at the success of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which sells memorabilia, apparel and other items with logos of the transit system. The move by the Turnpike Authority would be similar to that of the MTA in that the organization would look to license and market the intellectual property of the Turnpike and Parkway.
Marketing opportunities for the Garden State range from apparel such as shirts and sweatshirts to beach towels and bumper stickers, among other items. The move will also help to crack down on shops and websites that currently sell products without permission from the Turnpike Authority. Under a new agreement, businesses could become licensees, sell licensed products and give the Turnpike Authority a share of the royalties.
However, O'Hern and the Turnpike Authority hope the move will have more appeal than just economic. They're hoping it appeals to the love many New Jerseyans already have (and display) for not only their home towns, but their favorite vacation spots as well.
"It is the cliché: ‘What exit?’ that is just endemic to the people of the great state of New Jersey," O'Hern said in the NJ.com article. "If you want to move north-south in New Jersey, the only way to do it is either on the Turnpike or Parkway, and that’s why people have become attached to the roads — and to their exits."