Search for a new sponsor of London’s iconic Cycle Hire scheme steps up a gear

08 July 2014
  • Tender process for the sponsorship of the capital's Cycle Hire scheme now open
  • Top brands have already stepped forward for the unique opportunity to be associated with London's internationally recognisable bike sharing scheme
  • New sponsor would gain unprecedented exposure across London and on the TfL network - one of the busiest transport networks in the world
  • Sponsorship to include naming the scheme and having branding on the 10,000 iconic bikes that have seen 31 million journeys since the launch

Transport for London (TfL) today (Tuesday 8 July), officially opened the tender process to find a new sponsor for the London Cycle Hire scheme.  

A number of globally renowned brands have already shown an interest in this chance for the private sector to be associated with one of London's internationally recognisable forms of transport, gaining unprecedented exposure across the capital.   This opportunity would see a commercial partner playing a fundamental role in the future development of the scheme, which has fast become part of the fabric of London.

Sponsorship encompasses a range of naming and branding opportunities, including naming the scheme and having the sponsor's branding on the highly distinctive bikes.   The scheme has had a fantastic four years with current sponsor, Barclays, and has seen many exciting developments since the launch with an expansion to east London in 2012 and south west London last year. The current sponsorship ends in summer 2015 but a new sponsor could be in place early next year.  

The scheme, which is already the second largest Cycle Hire system in Europe, recently celebrated more than 31 million journeys since it launched in July 2010 and remains a popular and affordable way to travel around London for work or leisure. There are over 10,000 Cycle Hire bikes available across London with everyone from tourists, Hollywood film stars, Premier League footballers, musicians and comedians using the scheme.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "With more than 31 million hires since its launch there can be no doubt that our trusty bicycles have changed the way people get around our great city. With a number of top brands already stepping forward to work with us, this really is a unique opportunity for a commercial partner to put their stamp on a mode of London transport that is now as recognisable as our iconic black cabs and red buses. We are looking for a sponsor whose aspiration matches our own, one with the passion to take the scheme to the next level and get even more people pedalling."  

TfL's Director of Commercial Development, Graeme Craig, said: "By formally opening the tender process for a new sponsor, we're at a really exciting point in the evolution of Barclays Cycle Hire. Sponsorship of the scheme offers an exceptional opportunity for a leading company to be entwined within the fabric of London. Cycle Hire is already part of London's iconic transport network and will give a new commercial partner an exceptional level of exposure for their brand as we develop the scheme further."  

A commercial partner would receive a range of high visibility opportunities for their brand including:

  • Naming the scheme
  • Opportunity to select a colour for the scheme - which would also go on the renowned Cycle Hire roundel
  • Adding the scheme colour to all vehicles, pay terminals, staff uniforms, membership keys and other scheme materials
  • Having the brand on extensive public facing communication materials including pan-London marketing campaigns, press releases and promotional events.  

A video and a document setting out the full range of rights on offer is now available at

It is anticipated that an official Cycle Hire commercial partner will be announced early next year.  

This summer will see a series of cycling events in London which so far have included yesterday's hugely successful Tour de France which saw hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the streets of London to enjoy world-class cycling and the first ever Cycle Hire race in London, called Nocturne, last month. Further events that will take place this summer include Prudential RideLondon and the Tour of Britain - together they will help to cement London's reputation as a true cycling city and will inspire thousands more Londoners to take to two wheels, building on the Mayor's ambition for cycling to be an integral part of the transport network.  

The Mayor is already delivering a vast £1billion programme of improvements as part of his cycling vision - creating a series of major new segregated cycle routes, enhanced cycling superhighways, urban quiet ways and turning some outer London boroughs into Mini-Hollands.

The sponsorship contract would be over a seven year period with a minimum £5.5 million investment from the sponsor per year; The formal tender document setting out the full range of rights on offer is now available at