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Ideas for El line naming rights

The Selsun Blue Line?

The Big Red  Line?

The Sunkist Orange Line?

The Green Day Line?

The James Brown Line?

The Deep Purple Line?

No! NO! Please don't! Don't sell naming rights to CTA trains and stations!


The CTA paid a consulting firm $1.2 mil to tell them everything that was suggested on this website.....

You forgot "Mellow Yellow" and if they ever do the silver line, "Sterling Silver"

Maybe they could get a cleaning products sponsor... The El, Brought to you by Lava Soap???

could they resist the UPS Brown Line?

what can brown do for you?
it can make you later, make you smell, make you sick...

The "Green Giant" Line.


I think it's a fabulous idea.

I could care less what the trains are called, as long as I don't have to sit in old pee anymore or worry about the cleanliness of what I am touching on the el.

Frankly, as long as it helps avoid a price hike, I guess I'm for it. Though the idea of riding the Kotex line or the Preparation H line is, frankly, disgusting.

I'd wholeheartedly support the Lysol line, though.

I still call the Brown line the Ravenswood, though I might have switched to the color if we'd gotten a good color. I doubt I'll be calling it the UPS Brown Line, or the Brown's Fried Chicken and Pasta Line.

ooh the Brown's Chicken and Pasta Line.

WARNING: Tasteless comment ahead

What happens when there's a murder on that line?

This is why I hate advertising. And I work in it.

This is an incredible insult to CTA riders, who pay fares totaling nearly $400 MILLION annually. We directly provide nearly half of CTA's total annual budget, and nobody's asked us lately if we'd like to rename some stations or whole El lines. (I have a suggestion: the "Mayor Daley, Why Won't You Sack Frank Kruesi? Red Line.")

CTA buses, trains, bus shelters, and El platforms are already plastered inside and out with ads. Ads are also on park benches, the sides of buildings, shopping carts, TV, radio, the Internet. Corporate names festoon parks and stadiums. Hardly anything in this society is untouched by advertising and its cult of the almighty dollar any more. I, for one, have had enough.

The existing station names are woven into the fabric of life in this city. Turning them over to the highest bidder would be a blow to the city's history and identity. "Sponsorship" of stations and lines will cause mass confusion (does anyone really want suburbanites and tourists riding the CTA to be even MORE confused than they already are??) as long-standing names are ditched for awkward corporate mouthfuls. And what happens when the firm sponsoring a line or station goes bankrupt? Does the name go back on the market? (The Baltimore Ravens' stadium has had THREE names since it opened seven years ago: Ravens Stadium, PSINet Stadium, and now M&T Bank Stadium. Imagine the chaos if CTA station and line names were constantly changing. And who's gonna be paying for all of the maps and schedules to be reprinted time and time again?)

In addition, this will hardly make a dent in the budget. As it stands now, advertising only accounts for about $20 million annually. Even doubling that to $40 million won't head off the budget meltdowns of the future.

What we need at the CTA is new management, far better customer service, and vastly improved communication in every medium. The CTA needs to build back some trust and credibility, not only with riders, but also the state legislators in a position to do something about the funding formula. Favoring corporations over the average rider is NOT the way to do that.

This idea is not worth the money. (Unless sponsors cough up more each year than we riders. Then, fine, I'll give in. Otherwise, hands off!)

Naming rights to the stations. What a wonderful idea. Those functional names based on streets or landmarks are so borring. And make the leases short, so the names can change often, too. Just think of how fun using CTA could be if none of the station names gave any hint as to where they were located.

Oh? Co-name them? The corporate name *and* the location? What corporation would pay for that? No one would use the corporate part of the name. It would have no greater advantage to the corporation than buying advertising space, and we all know how so many companies are beating down the doors for the advertising space that's already there.

A brainstorming session is a good idea. But the idea is to filter-out the stupid ideas, and leave just the good ideas. If this is what passed the AECOM filters, what it best demonstrates is that they're not worth whatever they charge, even if they're the lowest bidder.

Why not have “sponsors” for each station? The name of the station wouldn’t change, but the sponsor would have the opportunity to design the station and have the exclusive right to place relatively discreet ads in the station. If the station was associated with a business, I think that the business would make sure that the station was clean and well maintained. Ideally, the sponsors would not be huge bloodsucking corporations, but maybe a nearby restaurant, store or organization. The annual sponsorship fee would be directly related to the number of riders that use that station, so that it would cost more to sponsor say the Belmont Red/Brown/Purple station than the Thorndale station.

I nominate Loyola University to sponsor the Loyola Red Line station (also my home station)! It only seems fair, since the station is already named after them anyway. Maybe they should take the Chicago Red Line station as well since their downtown campus is right there.

The North Bridge developers (Nordstrom’s Mall, etc) should take the Grand Red Line station (which is my work station and needs A LOT of TLC).

KBK said :
"Maybe they could get a cleaning products sponsor... The El, Brought to you by Lava Soap??? "

If I'm a company that produces a cleaning product I don't think I really want to be associated with the cleanliness levels of the CTA. Somehow that doesn't seem like a ringing endorsement of said cleaning products

Kind of off topic, but...

instead of naming rights, what about random commercial announcements throughout your train ride.

The could air between stops (and between the "doors open on the left at..." messages. Or when they announce what train "run" you are on, it could be brought to you by someone? Or instead of run numbers, they could be coporate sponsored runs.

"You are on the Red Line's Bank One Run" ??

First, Chicago_Jason, THUMBS UP on your post! The CTA needs to concentrate on providing safe, reliable and clean service instead of spending time and energy untangling the numerous logistical headaches this would cause.

However, if they DO go ahead with renaming train routes, I think the city should just go wild and name EVERYTHING after corporate sponsors.

Why stop with the CTA, that's peanuts. We have thousands of places in this city that need the wrought iron fencing, decorative banners, and planters Daley is obsessed with. Yet there is no money to pay for them. There IS a solution! We need to rename our streets, the lakefront and beaches, bridges, lightposts, parks, trees in parks, leaves on trees in parks! Then there's the sewers (Liquid Drano, or maybe Taco Bell, would be PERFECT!), speeding tickets, your tax forms, your house, YOU! Why, the revenue opportunities are ENDLESS!

We know our politicians are already bought and sold, why not rename city hall? Just like at Millennium Park, it could be closed to regular taxpayers for a day, or season, at a time so that the interests of the corporate sponsor could be put first, where they belong. Oh wait, that's ALREADY how it works. Well, at least it'd be out in the open.

Rename the lake! Screw Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. It's OURS! Or, well, SBC's, Sony's or whoever ponies up the cash.

People just don't realize the opportunities this great city offers.....

"Orange Crush"


If they ran ads between the automated announcements, I think I would go insane. If anything, it would be absolute confirmation that the people making the decisions were definitely not actually riding the trains and enduring the constant auditory barrage every morning and evening.

Sheesh, everybody calm down. If you actually read the quotes from CTA in the article, it doesn't sound like this is that far along. And there are lots of ways to do this that wouldn't be so intrusive ... and it's not a particularly new idea. Anybody ever heard of Wrigley Field?

or the Sears Tower?

Um HELLO, those are PRIVATE landmarks, they can call them whatever they want, I could care less...

The point is that the CTA likes to get distracted by issues that do not address the fundamental problems the agency, and by extension, all Chicagoans, have.

Furthermore, as one poster pointed out, any way you look at it, this would probably cause an ongoing logistical headache for the CTA to deal with given the myriad fluctuating names and sponsorships.

I'd just like to start by saying that I think this story has been sensationalized.

I think it's funny how protective people are over the 'color' names, when there are still a lot of people like me who don't use them. "The HODAR" didn't stick, but many people still call the "red line" the "north-south" or the "Howard line." Maybe it's a generational thing, or maybe a lot of people who currently ride the train and post on internet blogs didn't grow up here.

Taking this to a much smaller level: If a local business sponsored improvements on a station connected to said business, for example, if Wrigley Field sponsored improvements to the Addison Stop, or Northwestern University sponsored improvements on the Evanston line, what would be the harm?
I think if this is looked at in less extreme terms, it might be beneficial in some cases.

never thought of that....corporations sponsoring improvements?! That would make the lines a little bit more interesting. People already think Chicago's strange with it's expressways named after presidents, mayors and other gov't officials...

Pace Bus has a "bus shelter" sponsorship program. Seriously. You pay money to have your name up on a plaque and for the honor of cleaning it/keeping it nice.

Who's protective of the new color names? I still call the Blue Line the Logan Square line. That extension to Jefferson Park was something, wasn't it!

The point is that the names are FUNCTIONAL, whether you still call it the Ravenswood or the Brown Line. The Stock Yards line was named after the Union Stock Yards (although they didn't pay for naming rights.) That was a functional name, too.

The problem is that today there are no lines that lend themselves to a corporate name that's also FUNCTIONAL.

As for the adopting a station idea, there aren't exactly a lot of companies knocking at the door to buy what advertising space there is. If they're not willing to pay to advertise now, increasing the amount of advertising space that's available doesn't make any sense.

Could you imagine a grocery store see that the apples aren't selling, and decide that the solution is to offer more apples for sale? It doesn't work that way.

Before you can sell station sponsorships, with or without a name change, there has to be willing buyers available. There aren't. If there were, every inch of advertising space on the CTA would be filled with a current ad, and there'd be a waiting list for what advertising space is already available.

The idea was a dumb idea. And it does seem that the CTA isn't all that excited about it. But the conusulting firm apparently thought it was an example of some excellent work on their part, and made it to the report they made to the CTA.

The real story here is that the CTA picked a consulting firm run by idiots. They want to raise money selling something there's no market for, and they want to sacrafice system functionality in the process.

That idea would be fine in a brainstorming session at the consulting firm, but it never should have made it out of the brainstorming session, let alone make it to a report to the client. And the fact that the idea made it that far speaks to the incompetency of the consulting firm.

More CTA money wasted.

Y'all beat me to press with this joke by a full day, *sigh*

Warren, you don't understand the advertising market for CTA. the problem with the empty space on trains is that it's not nearly as valuable as the space that does get sold on the high-traffic station platforms. The value is about the # of eyeballs who see an ad -- there are 144 stations and 1200 railcars, so about 1/10th of the people see a railcar ad as see a station ad. And the station ads do have very high demand, and -- with a resurgent ad market economy -- you're seeing more of the "wraps" of buses and railcars.

Did you see the article about the new "blitz" ad Dove is doing at the Merchandise Mart stop? Take this kind of thing one step further and you could actually get some real money.

i agree with someone saying that the names of the lines are a generational thing...i think i remember when the train lines use to be called the Howard line and Englewood/jackson park...i also remember whent hat was one line before they switched the green line to go out that way instead of to the 95's and dan ryan...thats when i was little, i'm 23 now...so i'm use to calling the lines by it's colors, but i do sometimes find my self calling the lines the old names....but i think it's stupid to change it again...ugh@these big corporations changing the names of places after their companies...that it SO stupid...like i was mad when i found out (i know i'm late as heck) that they changed Comisky (sp) park to US Cellular Field...that's so dumb to me...just keep it the ame dang on name! the same thing with the United Center when (even tho it's a whole different building) why couldnt they just call it the Chicago Stadium?

xlprq, U.S. Cellular field, for example, is not a "private" landmark -- it was built in part through bonds issued by the State of Illinois. The question is what level of public tax support will be given to transit. If that is not sufficient, the private sector will have to step up to the plate.

I really don't see an alternative to some kind of corporate sponsorship for the CTA. The feds don't even want to spend money on security. Springfield isn't going to want to bail it out anymore (and I can't blame them). Daley seems to think those tracks are decorative or something. Someone has to cough up some money or we'll be paying 5 or 6 dollars a day for our commutes.

PS-- I didn't mind when they changed the ballpark's name. I never liked they named it Comiskey--Comiskey is the one they tore down. They should have had a new name for this one as soon as they announced they were building it.

>"Anybody ever heard of Wrigley Field?"

Or Enron Field!

Honestly, I don't know why some of you have your panties in a bunch over this idea.

Who cares? These are piss-stinking holes in the ground and pigeon-shit covered platforms with little or no sentimental value. It's not like renaming Soldier Field (a war veteran's memorial), and taking away some sort of honor. I mean c'mon...do any of you have a special moment to cherish? I hope not.
..."I'll always remember the first time we saw each other...he was stinking drunk at 8 am and standing in bum's piss...it think it wasn't his...i was covered in sweat-soaked clothes from the bus ride where the temperature inside was 130 degrees even though it was in the middle of winter..i think there was a discarded fare card stuck to my butt, cuz i sat in something sticky...anyway...there was the acrid scent of an electrical track fire...just then a woman screamed after her gold necklace was snatched by a crack-crazed thug...as we craned our necks to watch the thief scamper up the stairs (slipping in a trail of vomit the entire way) past a bunch of disinterested fellow citizens...our eyes met...and that's why the Roosevelt stop will always hold a sacred place in my heart...our hearts...beating as one. If you change the name to the Little Debbie Nutty Bar stop, our love will surely perish"...

As far as I'm concerned, let Pepsodent adopt a stop. Maybe when things get too nasty down there the corporations will either hold CTA's feet to the fire to do something about it; or they'll just go ahead and pay for it themselves, lest their good corporate name be associated with urine and empty 40oz bottles.

I would, however be absolutely opposed to hearing advertising jingles blaring over the sound system (not that you could ever understand what they were saying). Print advertising is one thing; you can choose not to read it. But it's next to impossible to ignore a recorded announcement. Kinda how disgusted people get when they have to watch Pepsi ads along with the coming attraction clips at the theatre. Shit, for $9.50 ya gotta put up with that?.

All of you boobs worrying about more stupid crap, as if they were talking about taking away our civil rights and putting us in mind-control camps...get a grip. It's only advertising. And yeah, I make my living off it, just like a gazillion other people in this city.

So bring on the Jefferson Park station brought to you by WASHINGTON Mutual...take that, you slave bangin' bastard...Washington is the father of THIS country...and now we got your namesake stop, bee-yatch!

The Victoria's Secret Panty Line

Classic, Hv!

Victoria's Secret panties might be a good fit for one of the subway portals. (Make your own joke about which direction to face the panties.)

I think all red line rines after 11 pm should be sponsored by TASER....

How about the "blue line brought to you by Blue man group"?

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» CTA seduced by corporate naming rights? from jotsheet
The CTA Tattler mentioned yesterday about the possibility of the CTA selling corporate naming rights to El lines and train stations. This entire concept is all ass-backwards for a couple of reasons. A bit of background on the story: [T]he CTA hired the... [Read More]

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