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What the hell are we doing………..

January 26, 2012

Verizon to spend $69 million

I just read this article on by Axl Logan on the Talk Android website. According to Mr. Logan, Verizon is going “above and beyond” for its customers this year and is spending $69 m.i.l.l.i.o.n. to provide mobile access at the superbowl for the 85,000 people who will be in attendance. They started the work the day after the superbowl last year so that they would be sure to be ready.

So let me break this down –

they will spend three hundred and sixty-five days


sixty-nine million dollars

so that 85,000 people won’t be without mobile coverage for a mere 4ish hours. “They can tweet away”. Well, I will certainly sleep better tonight knowing that. Argh.

Yes, America has real first world problems. Seriously.

I read not too long ago that a person in India is considered to being living in poverty if they make less than something ridiculous like fifty cents a day. I am no math whiz but I think fifty cents goes into $69  million a whole bunch of times. If Verizon teamed up with, a charitable group that provides livestock to villagers to promote their ability to survive, they could donate 138,000 cows to needy villages. (Each cow is $500.)

The only benefit I can see from this entire project is that there were probably a few jobs created, but our priorities are way out of whack. Way out. There are people starving in the world, children who are abused, sick people who have horrible diseases, entire villages that live without water, masses who are uneducated and we think it is necessary and appropriate to dedicate this volume of resources on providing mobile coverage for a flippin’ football game. Honestly.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2012 4:32 am

    interesting read. Just found your blog.

  2. January 29, 2012 12:01 pm

    Hi Ellen,
    I am not necessarily disagreeing…there is a tremendous waste of money on the American corporate level. But here’s something to counter-balance the issue:

    BASKING RIDGE, NJ — The cycle of domestic violence affects nearly one in four women, one in nine men, and over three million children across the country. In 2011, Verizon invested more than $22 million as part of its longstanding commitment to domestic violence prevention and awareness.

    Corporations make these decisions on where to “donate” based on many factors, mostly budgetary. The SuperBowl money they are spending doesn’t come from a donation budget, it’s advertising. If the budget is a few hundred million annually, someone made the call that this is good advertising.

    But it’s hard to gain the perspective when you are a boots on the ground, real world person viewing the huge amounts of money spent each day in meetings where directors are signing off on hard-to-grasp amounts. What are needed in those meetings are crusaders (real ones) who say, “Wait a minute, guys, what are we doing?”

    • January 30, 2012 5:51 am

      Yeah for Verizon! It sounds like they are doing a lot of great work. It is still impossible to defend spending $69 million on 4 hours of cell phone service. That could be a discount for their customers if nothing else.

  3. Jim permalink
    January 26, 2012 7:18 pm

    The first comment has to be from a Verizon employee. No other explanation except someone trying to justify their own paycheck and bonus. We are talking about $69 MILLION dollars. From a business perspective, what is the ROI on spending this money even better yet what competent CFO signed off on this type of expenditure? Really??? Did someone actually put forth a business case That says if we spend nearly $70M that customers will flock to us and our subscriber numbers will go up? I can just hear the guy seating in seat J13, “WOW! thank goodness for Verizon. I think they are great from doing this. I can’t wait to switch to them.” Seriously. Areasontowrite – you mention the campaign and that brings to mind all the fuss about government spending but I guess even the private sector can make dumb decisions on how to spend money too.

    • January 27, 2012 7:08 am

      Welcome. It’s hard to justify/defend spending that kind of money. I wasn’t even really thinking about it from a business perspective but this probably is not going to bring in a big return on investment – but it might (will) increase our fees. Aurgh.

  4. Maggie permalink
    January 26, 2012 12:51 pm

    You’re barking up the wrong tree, Ellen. If you want to solve world hunger, you should explain how it would help for Verizon to stop running its business and lay off the people that run the business. If you want to complain that Verizon does not do enough charitable giving, you should first read up on the MILLIONS Verizon does donate to worthy causes and calculate that into your math. Or maybe you should call out companies like Apple, now the most profitable company on the globe, and one that gives…wait for it….a BIG FAT NOTHING to any charitable cause anywhere for any reason to support any social issues. It’s very sad that there is hunger around the world, but successful businesses operating their networks and serving their customers is not contributing to the problem, even if you happen to not agree with the customers’ needs.

    • January 26, 2012 1:24 pm

      Hi Maggie
      This is not a shot just at Verizon but at the entire mentality in America – believe me I admit that I am personally not doing enough – if there are still people hungry, sick, and without water or an education, no one is doing enough. Individuals can make more of a difference and so can corporations. Kudos to Verizon for the charity they do – I am glad to hear that they generously give back. But spending $69 million on four hours of mobile coverage during a football game is craziness (and I will never find the words or desire to defend it) when that money could be doing so much long-term good. I have the same angst with all the campaign dollars being wasted on simply bashing the other guy in the race. Oh the good that money could do. Americans are rich in ways that the poor in other countries will never experience and it is unfortunate how we choose our priorities sometimes.

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