name game

Jersey Uproar: New Jersey Transit Flap Over Naming Rights

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 14, 2011 01:30 PM

Looking for a high-speed branding opportunity? Now may be your chance.

New Jersey Transit is hurting for cash and the Newark Star-Ledger reports that the agency is intending “to sell advertising rights to its stations, terminal facilities, and locomotives.” Corporations, presumably, don’t have enough places to showcase their brands already.

The state's transit authority — the third largest in the US — has been taking bids from advertising agencies that wanted to handle the bids and received a number of offers. However, a protest has just been lodged by one of the bidders that didn’t make it into the final round.

The Transit agency reportedly intended to go with the $53.3 million bid from Titan Outdoor, which currently handles advertising for the Transit authority, but Gateway Outdoor Advertising wanted to pay $68 million and it's upset the agency didn’t go with its higher bid. New Jersey Transit hoped to announce this week that it would award the five-year contract to Titan, but it's now holding off so it can sort out the Gateway situation.

The money at stake isn't insignificant. Craig Heard, the president and CEO of Gateway, “estimated the naming of a major transit station, like Newark Penn Station, could bring in $2 million to $3 million per year.” Last year, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) awarded the naming rights of one of its most-used stations, the one closest to the sports stadiums and arenas in Philadelphia, to AT&T in a deal for five years worth more than $5 million. All aboard!

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