Telus, Desjardins sponsor Bixi rollout in Toronto

'Funky flowers' augment bike and bike-station branding in Telus' sponsorship execution, Telus VP Anne-Marie Laberge tells MiC.

After years of waiting, the Bixi bike share program has launched in Toronto with 1,000 bikes located at 80 stations throughout the downtown core.

Telus and Desjardins are on board as launch sponsors, with both extending partnerships originated in Montreal where Bixi launched in 2009.

Branding from both sponsor companies is featured prominently on the Bixi stands, bicycles and rental keys, Anne-Marie Laberge, VP, marketing communications, Telus, tells MiC.

“Telus is featured on the side of the bikes, also on some of the bike stands and the bicycles’ baskets,” she says. “We put some funky flowers on the front of the bikes. It’s all about giving [the bikes] a brand boost rather than slapping the Telus logo everywhere.”

The telecommunications company is also giving $1 to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada for each Bixi membership sold in Canada, says Laberge. It plans on being involved with the bike sharing program as it continues to launch across Canada in the coming years.

In Montreal, Bixi self-serve bike stations have additional ad opps from Astral, which has over 200 faces available in the Bixi network. This week, the company annouced its first solar-powered ad face in the Bixi network, on a station located between Boulevard de Maisonneuve and Rue Sainte-Catherine. It’s the first solar-powered ad face in Astral’s Bixi network and it currently features an ad from Aldo Shoes.

Luc Quetel, vp operations, Astral OOH, says the solar powered face is a natural fit for the program and if the pilot program is successful, Astral will consider adding more solar-powered faces to the network in 2012.

“Bixi is about everything green and clean so this matches the DNA of the company,” he says.