Tube Station sponsorship could be valuable

Some months ago, I noted an advert in The Economist calling for companies to sponsor the stations on Dubai’s new metro railway.

As Annie Mole noted last December, the London Underground is also considering lifting its ban on station sponsorship – leading to a flurry of suggestions on another website I chat on for suitable brands to sponsor bits of the network.

This morning, I came across this news article – and it seems that sponsorship can be very lucrative – as the Dubai metro raised a staggering £343 million (AED1.8 billion) from potential sponsors.

They sold 47 out of the 57 stations – keep the 10 most sensitive stations free of branding. London Underground owns 250 stations – and on an (unlikely) direct value comparison, that could raise £1.8 billion for the tube network.


The naming rights only last 10 years – so in ten years time, the tube gets another lump of cash.

Whats's on in London: today or tomorrow or this weekend

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7 comments on “Tube Station sponsorship could be valuable
  1. dan says:

    What makes a station sensitive? If branding makes the tube better / cheaper etc, then do it. But will it make it better? Or could the sponsors of the stations/lines provide gifts, treats in the station?

  2. IanVisits says:

    What makes a station sensitive?

    I’d guess if it is associated with a major landmark – such as the airport or Burj Dubai skyscraper, then keeping the destination name is quite important for visitors.

    Here in London, renaming Heathrow would probably be a problem – whereas Arnos Grove would be less of an issue.

  3. petoskystone says:

    i say go for the sponserships! stadiums & music/theatre venues have been selling ad-space for decades. after a few sponserships of the same spot, the locals get tired of the name changing & go back to calling the venue what they want to. the sponsers name ends up being more theory than reality, but the revenue keeps the venue open.

  4. dan says:

    Right, good point. Although could they not just say, this is Heathrow – sponsored by Acurist – alight here for planes. Etc. Oxoford Circus?

  5. IanVisits says:

    This is Heathrow Terminal 5 – sponsored by Virgin Airlines, who suggest you turn around and head back to Terminal 1 ;)

  6. I’d rather pay higher fares than have to travel from StrongBow Road to IBMbankment. Really I would.

  7. I´m with diamond geezer.

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