KC Streetcar Seeks Sponsors to Replace Sprint

Sprint was a loyal sponsor of the KC Streetcar for years, but T-Mobile dropped the deal after the sale. (Photo courtesy KC Streetcar Authority)

By Kevin Collison

The Kansas City Streetcar Authority is pitching its fleet for advertising now that Sprint is no longer around as its primary sponsor.

“Sprint was a sponsor even before opening day,” said Donna Mandelbaum, spokeswoman for the Authority.

“Every year they had the option to renew and they did. We didn’t have to look for sponsors, but T-Mobile decided not to pick up the contract.”

Since the streetcar started rolling in May 2016, that sponsorship from now-defunct Sprint contributed $850,000 toward the operation of the 2.2-mile line which stretches from Union Station to the River Market.

The Sprint sponsorship had reached $225,000 annually for placement on all six cars before Seattle-based T-Mobile decided to hang up.

Now, the Streetcar Authority is seeking new customers to plop their logo or brand on an approximately 71 square-foot space at the center of the car.

Sponsorship logos and information is limited to a 71 square-foot rectangle at the center of the car. (Image from KC Streetcar Authority)

The cost for six months on one car is $50,000, but the Authority is willing to make a deal for customers who want multiple cars, it operates six in its fleet, and longer terms.

“It will be similar to what we’ve done in the past with Sprint although a little different,” Mandelbaum said.

“Sponsors don’t have to do all the cars, they have an option to sponsor one up to six, and they can do shorter terms rather than a year. The space is still the same and the location is the same.”

There are some sponsors the Authority is not willing to roll with including anything related to alcohol, tobacco, weapons, prescription drugs, political or non-commercial public issues, adult content or violence.

Sponsors will receive additional brand exposure through collaborative KC Streetcar partnerships including the Chiefs Streetcar (Photo by Margaret Norcross courtesy Streetcar Authority)

A full description of the sponsorship program and policies can be found here.

In its pitch for sponsors, the Authority said its streetcars have logged 8 million rides since operations began and “has had millions of impressions through national and local press, social media and positive customer experiences.”

Along with the physical ads on the cars, a sponsorship also includes recognition on the Streetcar Authority website and its social media channels.

Sponsors also will be included in collaborations on specially decorated trains such as the Chiefs KC Streetcar, Sporting KC Streetcar and the annual Art in the Loop KC Streetcar.

Sponsor applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the Streetcar Authority Board of Directors. The board will then decide if the proposal is ready to ride the rails.

“We’re encouraging people to be creative in that space,” Mandelbaum said.

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