What is “I &#9829 NY” worth to New York?

For the first time, New York State is asking the public to submit proposed new versions of the iconic “I ♥ NY” logo, as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new tourism initiative.

The logo — originally created by designer Milton Glaser on a commission from the state — helped create one of the nation’s best-known destination brands, and has helped boost New York’s tourism revenue. Its influence and brilliant simplicity has also led numerous companies, vendors, cities, and countries wanting a piece of “I love _____.”

Which means Empire State Development (ESD), owner of the logo’s trademark and overseer of tourism in the state, has received a steady cash flow from its worldwide licensing office controlling and accounting for merchandise using Glaser’s creation, while penalizing others who are replicating the logo without a license.

This brings the New York World to ask: What is “I ♥ NY” worth to New York?

If you have information or insight to share, write us, tweet @thenyworld or comment below.

What we found

Empire State Development says it will need more time to get us figures on how much it brings in via licensing fees, as well as legal settlements with companies that have violated the trademark. We’ll update this post once we get the numbers from them. Continue reading

Influence 2012: Our guide to who’s getting heard in Albany this session

The State Senate unanimously passed a measure in January that would increase criminal penalties for producing or distributing child pornography on the internet — but not before hearing from Google. The California-based technology giant also weighed in on a separate bill, now pending in both houses, that would allow district attorneys and the state Attorney General to issue subpoenas directing internet and email service providers to disclose the identity of subscribers in instances where child sexual abuse is suspected.

Google, which is paying the firm Hannan and O’Connell more than $5,000 a month for its services lobbying the New York State legislature, is one of more than 3,200 companies and organizations have sought this year to let state and local officials know what bills they support or oppose, what grants they seek or what permits and approvals they hope to receive.

Unlike some states, New York does not require groups to disclose their position on a particular issue. But it does ask lobbyists to list which bills they sought to influence. With data provided by the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics, The New York World has linked together New York State’s lobbying records with corresponding bills under consideration in the state Senate and Assembly. The result is a vivid picture of the forces shaping the legislative session in Albany as it heads into its final weeks.

Here are some of the insights New York World reporters have gleaned from the data so far, which covers lobbying in January and February 2012: Continue reading