Users of Portland’s bike-sharing system will soon be traveling the city on a Nike-branded bike, thanks to a sponsorship deal between the City of Portland and the Oregon-based sportswear brand.
For the next five years Nike will upgrade the Portland bike-sharing system (that’s now called Biketown) with a capital injection of $10 million. In return all bikes and docking stations in the city will be Nike-branded, which makes the traditional link between Nike and Portland clearly visible on a street level.
This partnership allows the Portland Bureau of Transportation to increase the amount of sharing bikes from 600 (that were already planned) to 1000. Additionally, Nike will contribute designs for Biketown’s stations, the graphic designs on the bikes, as well as the digital branding of the project. The Biketown bikes will become Nike orange, a color that has been affiliated with Nike since 1971 (think of the orange shoe boxes). The bikes of Biketown are a direct extension of this icon, with the baskets on the front of the bikes even designed to look like shoeboxes.
The new Biketown bikes will be smart, thanks to the latest Social Bicycles technology. This makes it easy for users to find, unlock and store the bikes with their smartphone anywhere in the city. The same technology also enables cyclists to share their mapped rides and statistics, including miles traveled, CO2 reduced, calories burned, and money saved versus making the same trip with a car.
With their headquarters around the corner in Beaverton, Nike has a special relationship with Portland and its surroundings. According to Nike this project shows how city and brand can work together to help make Portland an active, vibrant and innovative community in which sports, health and physical activity play an even bigger role than they do today.
On 2 June, Amsterdam’s Pakhuis de Zwijger sets the stage for BrandFundCity, a (free) event featuring inspiring international experts, interviews, and insights from a two-year research on brand urbanism.