New Yorkers first saw it happen back in 2009, when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) sold the naming rights to the subway terminal at Atlantic Avenue, Pacific Street, and Flatbush Avenue in downtown Brooklyn to Barclays, the bank that had already bought the naming rights to The Barclays Center, the sports and entertainment arena located there. That 20-year sponsorship deal earned the MTA $4 million.
Now, a proposed set of rules for renaming transportation facilities has been unveiled and it’s scheduled to be discussed this week. According to the proposed rules, “requests for the Re-naming of a Facility will only be accepted from Sponsors with a unique or iconic geographic, historic or other connection to such Facility that would be readily apparent to typical MTA customers.” Although the MTA told The New York Times no name changes were imminent, Stephen J. Morello, counselor to the MTA Chairman said, “For us and for systems around the country, this is a revenue strategy that’s being discussed more and more seriously.”
According to the New York Post, a state Congresswoman had proposed renaming the 77th Street subway station after former City Mayor Ed Koch, who died earlier this year. It turns out that the MTA does not allow stations to be named after people. Apparently bridges and tunnels are an exception to the rule (e.g., the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel is now the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel).
Advertising is already accepted on the exterior of New York City buses and subways, so there may not be much opposition to adding it in a more permanent place, like subway station tiles.
What corporate sponsorship or naming conventions would you suggest for a transportation station anywhere in the world?