Samsung Sponsors Spanish Metro & Renames Station

Probably the most controversial sponsorship in Spain this week saw consumer electronics giant Samsung sponsor Madrid’s most famous metro station Puerto del Solo. The deal sees the station rebranded as ‘Sol Galaxy Note’.


In addition to the core naming rights of the station which sits right at the centre of Madrid’s metro system the deal looks to substantially change the appearance of the whole station.


Sol station has almost 100 years of history behind it and is used by 2 million people a month. The station and the square above it is seen by many as they very heart centre of Spain itself,


Samsung will also gain branding in various spaces throughout the station. These range from the stairs and lifts, to the access doors, corridors and the trains themselves.


Indeed, a train on line 3 of the Metro de Madrid will tour the city from north to south with a giant walking image of Samsung Galaxy Note.


The sponsor itself says that this campaign aims to promote the synergy between two worlds – that of the living history of the city of Madrid and that of the technological world of Samsung.


In addition, during mid to late March Samsung is setting up a Galaxy Note Studio within the station to provide an in-depth user experience for a range of Samsung products.


In addition the product demonstrations, the studio will also include cartoonists, who, will be on hand to create customer portraits that they can keep as a memory off the event.


The deal created such discussion and controversy that he even trended on twitter for a short period of time.




A one-off gimmick, or a serious new ambient sponsorship space?


Time will tell!


For the moment the sponsorship is temporary and runs for just one month. But could this be a starting point for similar deals between not only Madrid’s transport body, but for its equivalents in major cities around the world?


While this is the first time that Madrid has allowed such a sponsorship, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are already said to be interested in similar deals.


Transport bodies around the world, particularly those faced with public funding cuts and ageing infrastructure, are increasingly looking for alternative revenue streams and sponsorships.


Brands are also viewing such opportunities as interesting ways to ambush city-hosted events which they have no rights to.


It is also known that London’s TFL considered such deals in the run up to London 2012. Whilst it didn’t go as far as rebranding any of its stations, it did secure several innovative transport-=related sponsorship prior to this summer’s Olympics.


It recently signed a deal with Virgin Mobile to wi-fi the tube network in time for the Olympic Games.


TFL also secured sponsorship from airline Emirates for its new cable car river crossing over the Thames near the Olympic Park. The new crossing is known as Emirates Air Line cable car.


See previous post


Neither deal will particularly please official LOCOG partners British Airways and BT.





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