Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Could Public Transport Sponsorship Become an Attractive Ad Medium?

Marketing, June 22, 2011 | Go to article overview

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Could Public Transport Sponsorship Become an Attractive Ad Medium?


Marketing broke the news last week that Transport for London is to invite bids for naming rights to the Thames cable car, indicating the growing popularity of such deals among site-owners.

YES - GILL HARRIS, SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR, JURYS INN

Public transport sponsorship could be an attractive medium, especially for brands like ours, which has city-centre presence. As a company, we are dependent on local transport links to get our customers to our hotels, so anything that will encourage investment is a positive.

I can see how sponsorship could raise valuable income and I would welcome anything that helps to improve transport systems and build contacts with communities.

We are always looking at new ways of reaching our customers and this type of sponsorship could be appealing. Increased investment from the private sector will also allow more sustainable methods of transport to be considered, which benefits the environment and fits with the growing emphasis on corporate social responsibility.

There has been a growth in the sponsorship of major capital projects, such as football stadiums, so why not public transportation systems?

MAYBE - NEIL HENDERSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ST LUKE'S

I once met the poor HSBC brand manager whose job it was to go down to Heathrow and measure all the corridors and air bridges so she could specify how big all those stripes and logos and 'world's local bank' lines had to be. At the time, she was unhappy about the depths her job had sunk to.

The measuring might have been a bit tedious, but the sponsorship has been brilliant. HSBC owns the first and last 100 feet of international travel and that reinforces its 'global bank' message.

In examples like this, transport sponsorship can absorb all the values of the association and build a lasting meaning in the customer's mind More often, though, it is an expensive way to get your brand name in people's faces. It looks like you have done something big, but no one really cares.

In HSBC's case, it used its brand idea properly. The cable-car sponsorship will only be worth it if the brand seduced by it has a strong, relevant agenda - and they have someone to measure the gondolas.

MAYBE - ALISON BROLLS, GLOBAL MARKETING AND MEDIA MANAGER, NOKIA

Any media opportunity has to be judged in the context of three criteria The first is brand fit - does it make sense and communicate what we want to say about our brand? …

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