Wanted: £37.5 million for some bikes
The cycle hire scheme - or Boris bikes, if you're an infant - is looking for a company with £37.5 million going spare to sponsor them, after the initial sponsors Barclays end their five year support next year.
TfL require around £5.5 million annually over seven years for the right to plaster a company's branding over the 10,000 bikes currently in operation across the capital.
So far, over 30 million journeys have been taken on the bikes, and seeing as there are docking stations popping up all over the shop, then it would be wise to sort something out. Ideally, maybe turn the bike scheme into something that can be used via Oyster travelcards would be quite good, seeing as it's a total faff to hire one at its present state.
Barclays agreed to pay £5m annually to be the first sponsor for five years when it launched in July 2010. The bank's new management (who sound LOVELY, incidentally) has decided not to extend its sponsorship beyond next summer.
TfL said it hoped to have a new sponsor in place by early 2015.
Boris barked: "This is a unique opportunity for a commercial partner to put their stamp on a mode of London transport that is now as recognisable as our iconic black cabs and red buses. We are looking for a sponsor whose aspiration matches our own, one with the passion to take the scheme to the next level and get even more people pedalling."
You can almost feel the spittle flying at you from that sentence.
Barclays' unused three-year option to extend its sponsorship would have cost the bank an annual £8.3m (or at least two bonuses). TfL said £5.5m a year was the minimum it was asking for the new deal and that it hoped to get more because several companies had expressed an interest.
Shall we copper-up and see if we can get a Bitterwallet sponsorship? Bitterbikes anyone?