Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) board of directors approved the agency’s first naming rights agreement, with the University of Colorado (CU), covering the A Line commuter rail from Union Station to Denver International Airport (scheduled for 2016 opening), as well as ads on the Flatiron Flyer bus rapid transit line that runs along US 36 from Union Station to Boulder.

Additionally, the agreement includes exterior advertisements on the rail and bus vehicles and CU’s name and logo use on RTD digital assets and printed collateral related to the A Line.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the University of Colorado for this first contract through our corporate partnership program,” said Chuck Sisk, RTD board chair. “We believe that branded sponsorship is an emerging marketplace with many valuable opportunities for the local and national business communities.”

CU President Bruce D. Benson said the agreement will help CU to convey its contributions, value and accomplishments to the estimated 10 million annual riders on the A line, which includes Coloradans as well as national and international visitors.

“The University of Colorado is excited to partner with RTD on this initiative that brings together the state’s leading public higher education institution with the crown jewel of the largest and newest public transportation project in the United States,” Benson said. “CU is kicking off a major marketing initiative next month and the University of Colorado A Line and Flatiron Flyer will be important parts of the effort.”

Through the RTD corporate partnership program, businesses can align their brands with a burgeoning marketplace throughout the Denver metro area and tap into the consumer ridership base of one of the nation’s top transit systems. In addition to naming rights, other sponsorship opportunities include brand visibility on signage, digital properties and marketing collateral. WM/IMG Inc. is under contract to manage the corporate partnership program for RTD.

Under the agreement, RTD will receive $5 million over five years to support its services. There is also a provision for a five-year extension should both parties agree. The funds will be collected in the RTD board of directors reserve account, with the board determining how the funds will be used.

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