ADVERTISING & PROMOTION: Sponsors are just the ticket

London Transport is looking to extend its New Year’s Eve sponsorship of the transport system to other key dates in the calender.

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

grabs.



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

manufacturers.



However, London Transport believes the New Year’s Eve slot is relevant

to any product or service which could benefit from a boost around

Christmas.



Forget bad hair advertising - it could be the answer to the Church of

England’s prayers.



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.



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