It was just announced that Barclays will not continue the sponsorship of Barclays Cycle Hire. And why should they? They got a pretty big bang for their buck and with the system likely to expand I wouldn’t put it past the city of London to hit them up for more money than they previously invested.
So what does London do now? The elasticity of sponsorship deals for bicycle sharing schemes has always been a topic in the back of my mind. If New York and London can pull it off, what about lesser known cities like Minneapolis? But this is a different situation. How will the value of a bicycle sharing system increase or decrease over time (and sponsors).
What London does next will write a new chapter in the book of funding bicycle sharing systems. Will they be able to find another sponsor? Is the system still worth what it was worth to Barclays or has it been labeled ‘used goods’?
If I were at the helm, I would look to stadiums and sports teams. Find the people who manage those sponsorship deals and hire them to guide the process.