The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, unveiled the new sponsor of London’s Cycle Hire scheme at a launch in central London today (27 February). TfL has said it will work with Santander to engage new users of the formerly-named ‘Boris bikes’ via family-focused events in London parks and support throughout 50 of Santander’s central London branches.
The bikes, which are currently blue and sponsored by Barclays, will be rebranded for this April as red Santander Cycles. The Spanish bank will pay £6.25m a year for seven years of sponsorship, alongside a £1m per annum activation fund to promote the bikes through rewards, offers and incentives.
The service will see Santander’s branding cover 11,500 bikes, 748 docking stations, 32 service vehicles, staff uniforms and membership keys. The partnership will also launch the Santander Cycles app that will help users easily locate a bike in London, while the bank will also offer credit card customers cashback from every journey.
Nathan Bostock, chief executive of Santander UK, said: "The Santander Cycles scheme is a great example of our commitment to supporting the communities in which we operate across the UK. We are committed to making the experience of using Santander Cycles as simple, personal and fair as possible.
"It is why we will launch a world-first app to enable users to engage with the scheme from the palm of their hand; offer a more rewarding experience with cash back on every journey for customers of our 123 Credit Card; and why we will be looking to have Cycle Champions in all of Santander's London branches to help users make the most of the scheme and their city."
Johnson added: "As everyone knows, London buses, phone kiosks and post boxes are red. In Santander Cycles, we have a new red icon symbolising the Capital to Londoners, and the world. Santander's marketing expertise will help us take the Cycle Hire scheme to a new level, and I am thrilled to welcome them.
"With my Cycling Vision about to bear fruit in new Superhighways, Quietway cycle routes and better junctions, there will be more opportunities than ever for Santander Cycles. It couldn't be a better time to get involved in cycling."
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