How BCycle becomes a reality in Dayton

In order for Dayton to get a bike-sharing system- we will need private businesses and institutions to buy in and support it. Wright State and the University of Dayton already understand the value a bike sharing system can bring to their parking impaired institutions, once Sinclair and the Hospitals and LexisNexis buy in, we may have the critical beginnings of a way to make this happen.

However, some small businesses in Denver have started to get it as well:

The wheels on the B-cycles will go round and round for Kentwood City Properties’ 70 employees who were given memberships to Denver’s bike-sharing program along with helmets last week from company owners Dee Chirafisi and Jim Theye.

“John Hayden, a broker in our office, is on the steering committee for B-cycle,” Chirafisi said. “Every Tuesday we tour all our new listings. He does it on his bike, and he’s always at each property first. One day on the property tour, we all took a bike. We had so much fun, we decided we want to support this program.”

Chirafisi and Theye decided to take “a large chunk” ($30,000) of their annual marketing budget and invested in a sponsorship, which included the memberships, helmets and 20 bikes with baskets emblazoned with the real estate company’s logo.

“They’re the first Denver company to really build their entire marketing efforts around Denver B-cycle,” said Denver marketing maven Steve Sander. “I view this as a true investment in something that is good for them and good for the community.”

Memberships start March 1 when the B-cycle fleet awakes from hibernation. The program was put on hiatus for the winter in part due to weather conditions, and to give organizers time to “tweak” kinks in the program, such as touchy touch-screen technology, and somewhat confusing instructions.

When the bikes are back, Kentwood will have “passes” to rent B-cycles to show properties to potential buyers. A B-cycle will also take up residence in the front window of the 1660 17th St. building.

“It’s a perfect fit for the way they do business and the vision they have of experiencing downtown,” Sander said.

via Parker: For real estate firm, a healthy way to pedal deals – The Denver Post.

With traditional advertising channels becoming less efficient, and consumers tired of the constant barrage of marketing messages- the idea of providing a service instead of just talk is taking off. The Pepsi Refresh campaign is probably the best example of a marketer taking their money and putting it into doing something instead of just talking about it.

The local hospitals have made similar efforts with their branding contracts for High School sports stadiums- but, these stadium deals do little for the community at large-and aren’t an asset for bringing people and potential companies to Dayton. BCycle could have a huge impact in our community- both from the standpoint of solving some serious parking and transportation issues on campuses- but, also in our communities attitude toward bicycling and healthy lifestyles.

If you think your company might be interested in sponsoring BCycle in Dayton- please drop me a line.

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5 Responses

  1. gary December 27, 2010 / 8:43 pm
    Nan would go for it, for sure!  (spring through fall)  Also a great pollution buster!
  2. Terry December 27, 2010 / 9:42 pm
    Can you explain what company sponsorship entails? For example,  I assume it’s an ongoing, rather than a one shot, deal. Is this right Dave?
  3. Shane December 27, 2010 / 11:39 pm
    Ghostlight Coffee can’t afford $30,000 marketing budget sponsorship, but a BCycle station at Ghostlight??? That’d be cool!  We might be able to afford a few BCycle helmets & some BCycle memberships for our employee. :-)
  4. David Esrati December 28, 2010 / 6:39 am

    @Terry- there can be all kinds of sponsorship levels- this one included branded bikes, hence the higher price.

    The primary sponsorship model is major institutions buying or subsidizing passes for their people. For example- UD making the student ID card a BCycle pass- by adding money to student fees- or by the savings in less space needed for parking and enforcement. Same goes for places like MVH- which could save literally millions by being able to build fewer parking structures for employees.

    @Shane- commitments by small businesses are important too- you could agree to pay for the electricity for the station- and give up a parking space (which can hold 10 bikes). Buying passes for your employees is another form of sponsorship- as is buying advertising on the system of kiosks- and coming soon- info terminals on the bikes.

    The city could actually trade the parking requirements they are holding you up with- for Bcycle credits.

  5. gary December 28, 2010 / 12:02 pm
    I myself would like to see the BCycle work, at least partially!  China is doing it!  It would cut down on heavy traffic, get workers to lose weight and feel healthier!
    The bike lanes are already in place in many parts of downtown, Dayton!  And you could ride the bike trails to some companies …
    We’d be spending less money on gas, too!  Make it an incentive to ride for bonuses at work, at MVH or Lexis/Nexis!
    Bet though, it would take years to implement because workers will refute!

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