Citigroup: to big to fail…bicycles.

Despite the world financial crisis, banks seem to be doing alright here in NYC. Barclay’s is bringing a basketball stadium to downtown Brooklyn and is already announcing concert series, such as the Sounds of Reggae.

Meanwhile it looks like Citigroup is the $41 million sponsor of the upcoming bike sharing program in NYC that is set to put 10,000 rentable bikes on the street.

That’s right, say hello to: Citibike.

Here is an article from the NY Daily News.

Citigroup sponsors New York bike-share program that launches this year.
By: By Pete Donohue
May 7, 2012

This summer, you can ride your Citi Bike around New York Citi.

Mayor Bloomberg named Citigroup on Monday as the corporate sponsor of the bike-share program the administration will initially launch in Manhattan and expand to Brooklyn in July.

Thousands of bicycles will be available to rent at hundreds of “docking stations” in what officials call the largest program of its kind in the country.

The sponsorship agreement allows the “Citi” brand to be displayed on the bicycles and pickup/dropoff locations. The bank company’s brand is familiar around town. For example, Citigroup paid $400 million for naming rights to the Mets’ ballpark — Citi Field — in Queens.

Read more: here.

and an article in Gothamist, Bloomberg and
The Wall Street Journal.

The announcement was made today and Streetsblog was on hand with Mayor Bloomberg, D.O.T. commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn and Alta bike sharing CEO, Allison Cohen.

Here is an article:
Citigroup to Sponsor NYC Bike-Share at $41 Million Over Five Years
by: Ben Fried and Noah Kazis
published: May 7th, 2012
photo caption: The line-up at today’s bike-share presser: Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, Alta Bikeshare CEO Alison Cohen, NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, and Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit. Photo: Noah Kazis

The largest bike-share system in North America will be sponsored by one of the world’s largest financial institutions. At City Hall today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a $41 million, five-year sponsorship arrangement with Citigroup that will fund most of the cost of implementing NYC’s bike-share network. The system will go by the name “Citi Bike,” and its distinctive blue bikes will be available in late July, with the full 10,000-bike, 600-station network in place by spring 2013.

MasterCard, putting in $6.5 million, will be the secondary sponsor. Its logo will appear on all the station kiosks, where bike-share users can sign up by swiping their credit cards. The sponsorship announcement clears up the last big unknown about how the system would be funded. After the initial capital investment in setting up the system, the city and operator Alta Bikeshare expect Citi Bike to turn an operational profit.

(photo by: Ben Fried)

It was also an occasion to see how much it pleased the chiefs of two large multi-national corporations to associate their brands with bike-share. “We could not do what we do” without New York City’s infrastructure, Citi CEO Vikram Pandit told the assembled reporters, calling bike-share “an innovative option, kind of like ZipCar,” but “better for the environment and it’s also good exercise.” Said MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, ”The bike-share program is just another way to continue that ‘priceless’ New York feeling.”

Read the entire article, here.

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