This year, New Year's Eve revelers in Times Square will not only get to see the Wateford crystal ball drop, but they'll also get a nudge to visit Milwaukee.
As of Monday, VISIT Milwaukee has a billboard in Times Square, promoting Milwaukee in a 15-second video that will repeat four times per hour.
The 35x23-foot billboard is on 1540 Broadway (formerly known as the Bertelsmann Building), which has stores like Sunglass Hut, the Disney Store and Forever 21 on the ground floor and 44 stories of offices above.
Just above the retail level is an explosion of advertising billboards, one of which will tout Milwaukee – named by National Geographic as one of the 25 best destinations for travel in 2023 – and its lakefront, dining scene and diverse attractions.
The billboard video will run through Jan. 1, which means it'll be center stage in Times Square. (The Bertlesman Building fills the block between 45th and 46th Streets, putting it just about smack dab in the middle of the action.)
“Milwaukee’s incredible moment in the spotlight thanks to publications like National Geographic is monumental, but we want to keep that momentum building through 2024,” said Josh Albrecht, vice president of marketing and communications for VISIT Milwaukee.
“What better way to do that than with a billboard in one of the busiest intersections in the world over New Year’s Eve?”
Estimates say the New Year's Eve crowd in Times Square numbers about a million, with roughly another billion watching the event on television world-wide.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.