From sports tourneys, award events and infrastructure projects, corporate branding is now also visible on metro trains — the Gurgaon Rapid Metro (RMGL) to begin with, and soon, the Mumbai Metro as well.
With stations named after them and even painted in their brand colours, corporates couldn’t have it better, while the tie-ups are providing new fillip to the economics of the metro. Figure this: the RMGL at present is reportedly generating 60-70% of its revenue from advertising and branding alone!
The Rapid Metro, the country’s first privately-funded metro rail system, has so far roped in four big corporate brands — Micromax, Vodafone, IndusInd Bank and Airtel — as title sponsors for four of its six stations. So you have Vodafone Belvedere Towers, IndusInd Bank Cyber City, Micromax Moulsari Avenue and Airtel Phase 3 stations.
As per the agreement, each sponsor is getting commercial and advertising space inside stations, besides naming rights, while RMGL gets R1.5-5 crore per year from each of them. For a high-profile station such as IndusInd Bank Cyber City, which is bang in the middle of Gurgaon’s corporate hub, the Mumbai-based bank is paying R4-5 crore per year for five years to RMGL.
The sponsor also gets 50% of the commercial space inside the station and 60-70% of the advertising space both outside as well as inside the station for five years. For instance, at Vodafone Belvedere Towers, the telecom service provider — apart from owning a store — has installed kiosks for consumers inside the station.
“The rest of the inventory resides with RMGL and is being sold to other brands. However, we are very clear that the exclusivity of the deal is maintained. We do not allow competitor brands to buy the remaining space. For example, at the Micromax Moulsari Avenue station, we do not allow brands like Samsung or Nokia to either open a counter or advertise,” says Sanjiv Rai, managing director and chief executive officer, RMGL.
Naming rights of the stations is only one part of the big strategy, as RMGL is also selling exclusive branding rights for its trains for six months to three years. Delhi-based real estate player 3C is one of the advertisers to have bagged branding rights for one of the trains for three years, while automotive company Skoda and real estate company Oh! My God have signed branding deals for a train each for six months. In case