Which Companies Are Eyeing Naming Rights to MBTA Property?

There's a public meeting coming up in February about the business proposition.

Park Street Photo By Alex Lau

Park Street Photo By Alex Lau

If you’re interested in finding out what major brands, universities, or companies might be stalking MBTA properties for a chance to imprint their name on subway stops and stations, a public meeting that will focus on the new opportunity to form partnerships between the transit agency and businesses will be held on February 3.

A pre-proposal conference about the new MBTA Corporate Sponsorship Program, which will allow interested parties to cough up some cash in exchange for their brand plastered on the T’s property, will likely draw some interested clients to the hearing.

More information about the program will be revealed at the hearing, and MBTA staff will be on hand to answer any questions that potential business clients may have about monetizing their name through the use of train platforms and, if so inclined, actual MBTA lines in their entirety.

“It’s an opportunity for bidders and potential bidders to ask questions and learn more about the Sponsorship Program,” said T Spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

When asked, Pesaturo would not say if any companies have already responded to the Requests For Proposals, or Requests For Interest in taking over naming rights on MBTA properties.

The deadline to submit RFPs for the program is February 27.

Requests for Proposals for the naming rights on nine stations along the system, which includes Back Bay, Downtown Crossing, Park Street, North Station, State Street, Boylston, South Station, and Yawkey Way went public in late December. The new program is part of a comprehensive transportation package signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick last year that aims at bringing in some extra non-fare revenue for the T.

To do that, companies that want a slice of the transit agency’s advertising space can bid for a five-year contract on the stations, for $1 million per year, and have the name of their respective company or organization read aloud over the speakers as the train approaches the desired stop, as well as the product or brand name written alongside the name of the stop or station. Stations will retain their original names in conjunction with any space purchased by a bidder.

Businesses that want to pay a little extra (around $2 million for the Green Line, to be exact) can take over an entire transit line.

The T placed restrictions on what types of proposals will be considered, however. So riders shouldn’t expect to see any stations with “adult content,” political party, gun, religious, alcohol, or tobacco themes.