London Transport is looking to extend its New Year’s Eve sponsorship of
the transport system to other key dates in the calender.
The idea is to develop tailor-made deals, for example for Mother’s Day,
Summer Bank Holiday or Valentine’s Day, offering free travel on all or
part of the transport system sponsored by a relevant brand.
The scheme could mean people being able to travel free on buses on
Valentine’s Day, if they are with a partner, or travelling free on
Mother’s Day, if they are with their mother.
‘We’re already looking at an offer of free travel on buses between 8pm
and midnight on a particular day,’ said Richard Sharp, London Transport
customer campaigns manager. ‘We’ll consider any proposition, except
Christmas Day when we don’t run a full service.’
The majority of the cost for the brand owner of putting together, for
example, the Interflora Love Bus on Valentine’s Day, will come from
subsidising the services, taking into account the upsurge in demand when
transport is free.
‘We are talking low hundreds of thousands, if you include buses and
Underground,’ says Sharp.
In exchange, London Transport offers a support package. This can include
branding on all service material for the bus and Underground system and
a reduced rate on solus poster sites, including four-sheet sites on the
Underground and bus sides.
London Transport’s quest for new sponsors comes a year after London
Underground appointed a sponsorship agent and declared anything, from
name association to full sponsorship of the Underground system, up for
To date, the highest profile deal struck has been the United Airlines
sponsorship of a train on the Piccadilly line to Heathrow.
The company still has this year’s New Year’s Eve slot available as part
of a four-year deal, so whoever signs up will also be the sponsor of the
Millennium celebrations on New Year’s Eve 1999.
In the past, this opportunity has tended to attract alcohol
However, London Transport believes the New Year’s Eve slot is relevant
to any product or service which could benefit from a boost around
Forget bad hair advertising - it could be the answer to the Church of
Deals on wheels
Possible future sponsors for London Transport:
* Mother’s Day - Quality Street.
* Summer Bank Holiday - Walls Ice Cream.
* Valentine’s Day - Interflora.
* St Patrick’s Day - Guinness.
* Father’s Day - The Sock Shop.
* New Year’s Eve - Alka Seltzer.
This article was first published on Marketing