Were I an eccentric millionaire itching to throw money at bizarre flights of fancy, I'd seriously consider dropping $3.75 million or so on Portland's currently cash-poor bike share project.
Not only would a logo of my choosing (probably a miniature pastoral scene with me, smoking and obscured, Waldo-like, by a distant haystack) be spangled throughout the city but, at least according to the folks selling the opportunity, I'd be getting an amazing deal.
The city, citing a study [PDF] released earlier this year and given to the Mercury yesterday, anticipates a "title sponsorship" in Portland's bike share system will be worth almost $3 million a year, what with the bikes acting as rolling billboards and the branded docking stations and the breathless media coverage planners anticipate.
"Portland is known for biking, it is what people look for what Portland is," reads my favorite incomprehensible sentence in the report.
But is Portland asking for $3 million? It is not. A title sponsorship will run $1.25 million a year (for a minimum three-year contract). If I'm rich and ennui-addled, I'm Portland bike share's "title sponsor" yesterday. Problematically, I'm neither, and those types are seemingly in short supply around here.
Alta Bicycle Share, tapped last year to run the program, is still looking about for money to get the project up and running next spring. The city's hoping for 750 bikes at 75 docking stations in and around downtown, though that will obviously depend on how much sponsorship cash emerges by then.
All you millionaires reading this: Just think about it. And think, too, about the priceless added exposure the project carries with it, which was tallied helpfully in the report: