Company seeks to raise €1.5m in bike sponsorship


FRENCH OUTDOOR advertising specialist JC Decaux is hoping to land a €1.5 million sponsorship deal for the 450 bicycles that will become available for hire in the capital from September 13th, as part of its 15-year deal with Dublin City Council.

The advertising group is seeking a hefty €750,000 annually for a minimum of two years for “this unique opportunity” to back the dublinbikes scheme, which it described in its sponsorship proposal document as something that “captures the zeitgeist” in a manner similar to how phone texting “created a new language”.

The deadline for expressions of interest passed on Wednesday.

This is the latest element to emerge from a deal signed in 2007 that has allowed JC Decaux to erect 72 advertising panels around Dublin that it can rent for a 15-year period.

In return, it is providing 450 bikes which will be available to hire on the streets of Dublin. It operates a similar scheme in Paris.

All income from the hire of the bikes goes to Dublin City Council, but the deal has attracted much criticism as JC Decaux is expected to earn many millions of euro over the course of the deal.

In return for the sponsorship, the “commercial partner” will receive “significant branding” on the rear mudguard of the bicycle and on screens at the 40 terminals where the bikes will be located.

Branding will also be carried on the website, which will be launched on August 10th.

“You will have the right to promote this partnership through any of your own market communications or merchandising – for example cycling helmets, hi-vis vests, bicycle clips,” the sponsorship document adds.

JC Decaux declined to comment on the sponsorship.

In a statement released to The Irish Times, Dublin City Council said: “In view of the current financial situation, Dublin City Council is exploring all avenues in relation to income generation.

“In this regard [dublinbikes], if such a [sponsorship] proposal results in it being financially beneficial to the city council, it will be brought to the attention of the elected members of the city council in the first instance.”

Senior advertising sources believe the sponsorship would involve revenue being shared by the council and JC Decaux.