Hit or miss? Tory London Assembly group proposes bus and Tube sponsorship

Transport for London (TfL) should let companies sponsor stations or entire lines on the Tube and bus system, a report released this week by the Conservative Group at the London Assembly argued.

Tube: sponsored station suggestion
Tube: sponsored station suggestion

The group claimed the move would raise an estimated £136m. TfL responded by insisting commuters valued station heritage and were against names being sold off ‘to anyone waving a cheque book and offering a bad pun’. 

How I see it

Graham Goodkind, group CEO and founder, Frank PR

There is no such thing as a new idea, Mark Twain said. So when I read about this story, my mind wandered back to a glorious era in my beloved football team’s history. On 5 November 1932, Gillespie Road on the Piccadilly line was renamed Arsenal, after a successful campaign run by the then Gunners’ manager Herbert Chapman to get the station name changed to promote the team’s move from Woolwich to its new north London home.

The renamed station contributed to Arsenal becoming (and remaining) London’s best-supported team, so it was obviously a great idea with amazing ROI.

I see no reason why creative sorts can’t come up with similarly great ideas today, for other brands, stations and lines. That’s when the big PR hits for this idea could come about, but it doesn’t hit the back of the net just yet.

Is the idea of Tube station sponsorship a hit, or a miss? Tell us in the comments below.

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