"Chicagoland is very much associated with images of the CTA and now companies can associate their name with an iconic transit system," said CTA President Forrest Claypool. "This unique advertising opportunity is the first full-scale naming rights program at multiple stations offered by a transit system in the United States. The partnership will also generate new revenue for the CTA."
In addition to naming rights, this collaboration will also put a sponsor's name and logo on CTA system maps, exclusive advertising within the station and other collateral materials such as downtown sight-seeing guides produced by the CTA. At stations, signage will show the corporate name first, followed by the existing station name.
The CTA will choose partners not only based on their financial offer, but also on the company's reputation, how well the company matches the specific station image and the company's financial stability. Responses to requests for proposals are due in September.
CTA and IMG conducted market research, which indicated that Chicagoans and CTA customers were open to and supportive of the idea of station sponsorship. Additional opportunities for sponsorship were offered in March 2012 for the Holiday Train, Penny Rides, First-Day Free-Rides for CPS students, as well as CTA Bus and Train Tracker.