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NikeBikes? Portland and Nike set to announce “major agreement” on bike share

Posted by on January 6th, 2016 at 5:16 pm

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Nike Bikes?

UPDATE 1/7 at 9:00 am: See this story for the latest on Nike’s big sponsorship deal with PBOT.

The City of Portland says they’ll make an announcement tomorrow about a “major bike share partnership” with none other than Nike, Inc.

The sports equipment juggernaut is based in nearby Beaverton and has lots of ties to the Portland area.

We’ll have more on this story as soon as we can. Below is more in a statement from PBOT:

On Thursday, January 7, 2016, Commissioner Steve Novick will join Jorge Casimiro, Vice President of Global Community Impact for NIKE, Inc., and Leah Treat, Director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, to announce a significant new partnership in support of Portland’s bike share system.

PBOT is referring to this as a “major agreement” so it’s very likely it’ll be sponsorship of the bike share system. And from what we know about how these marketing partnerships work, the first announcement is the most valuable in terms of PR and brand exposure value. That makes it a solid bet that Nike will be the title sponsor. As we’ve previously reported, PBOT needs anywhere from $2 to $8 million in private sponsorship to create the system they envision.

Portland City Council unanimously passed PBOT’s bike share plans back in September. The system is supposed to be on the streets by July 2016 and a corporate sponsor is the final missing piece.

If this is a major sponsorship deal, we wonder if it will include some naming rights. Nike sure sounds a lot like bikey. NikeBikes perhaps?

The announcement will be made tomorrow morning at Nike’s Community Store on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in northeast Portland.

Stay tuned. We’ll have more details after tomorrow morning’s announcement.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

45 Comments
  • Adam H. January 6, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Great news! Does this mean that Nike will be ditching their campus bike share program in favor of the Portland Bike share? Additionally, perhaps a few bike share stations could be put in at the Merlo/158th, Beaverton Creek, and Millikan Way MAX stops for employees that want to MAX/bike combo to work.

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    • canuck January 7, 2016 at 7:14 am

      Not likely, there would have to be changes made to the software to make the bikes Nike only access, otherwise they could be used by any and all. Also the number of stations would be pretty useless to anyone buy Nike employees. Their current system utilizes an phone based app allowing users to text in and get the combination to the specific bikes lock.

      An interesting piece of trivia, Nike employees have to take a written test on bike safety before they are added to the the system and allowed to use the bike share.

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      • Adam H. January 7, 2016 at 7:57 am

        Why not just give Nike employees and contractors a free bike share membership?

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        • canuck January 7, 2016 at 9:19 am

          That still doesn’t restrict the use to just Nike employees. It’s not the membership that is problematic it’s the management of the system to restrict which memberships have access to the bikes.

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      • wsbob January 7, 2016 at 11:43 am

        canuck…have you taken, or seen the bike safety test to which you refer? …and if so, what do you think of it?

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        • canuck January 7, 2016 at 12:36 pm

          Have not seen it myself, it was mentioned by a friend who works inside the berm and took the test so they could use the bikes. From what I was told it covers the safety basics, ride on the right, stay off the sidewalks, obey signals. They considered it as difficult/easy as passing the DMV test.

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    • jeff January 8, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      no, that’s not what it means.

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  • RH January 6, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Rad.

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    • 9watts January 6, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      Ugh.
      Why does everything in this country have to have a corporate sponsor?!
      Why can’t we run our affairs in such a manner that we avoid constantly looking for a sugardaddy who then plasters his name everywhere?

      What piece of taxpayer funded car-pork costs the equivalent of the amount of money ‘we need’ from our corporate sponsor to make this work? Priorities!

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      • eddie January 6, 2016 at 8:04 pm

        Even in Europe the bike share programs are corporate funded

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        • Joe January 7, 2016 at 8:18 am

          Mmm, no, they are not. In Barcelona they are paid with the fees from car parking. In Madrid, through a contract with the city council and membership fees. No corporate logos on public property.

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      • maccoinnich January 6, 2016 at 8:07 pm

        Given that the city council was adament that no local taxpayer money should be spent on it, then yes, we do.

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        • 9watts January 6, 2016 at 8:13 pm

          Well even Sunday Parkways has a corporate sponsor but the CRC (study pit) did not, so I hardly think this particular issue is City council’s fault.

          And if what eddie says is true and European cities also seek corporate sponsors for their bike share, then phooey on them too.

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          • Steve B January 6, 2016 at 8:36 pm

            I’m not sure how the CRC and SP are in the same universe for comparison. All of our mass transit systems rely on corporate sponsorship for funding.

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            • 9watts January 6, 2016 at 9:16 pm

              “All of our mass transit systems rely on corporate sponsorship for funding.”

              Come again?

              If that were true (I’ve never heard of it but perhaps you can explain) then it is worse than I thought. Why are our freeways and free curbside parking and on ramps and all the other thousand and one car-prioritized bits of infrastructure provided by Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer (no corporate sponsors anywhere) yet any time we look beyond the windshield we have to go hat in hand to the fatcats?

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              • Active January 7, 2016 at 7:44 am

                9Watts, you should add up all the corporate/business group contributions to legislators who supported CRC. There definitely is “corporate sponsorship” of transportation projects.

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                • 9watts January 7, 2016 at 7:56 am

                  I think you’re mixing different things here.
                  (1) bike share, sunday parkways: city officials court and eventually find a sponsor who contributes a bunch of (or a little) money in exchange for brand logo splashed all over.

                  (2) any pork building project where businesses stand to make a bunch of money [from the design or building process]. Those would obviously be interested parties, but I don’t think we can or should refer to them as sponsors in the same way we talk about Kaiser Permanente or Nike.

                  Or am I missing something?

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              • Steve B. January 7, 2016 at 10:32 pm

                Trimet: reliant on corporate sponsorship
                Streetcar: reliant on corporate sponsorship
                Aerial Tram: reliant on corporate sponsorship
                Bikeshare: reliant on corporate sponsorship

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                • 9watts January 8, 2016 at 7:37 am

                  Maybe you need to be less terse in your replies, because I’m still not following.

                  What is the corporate sponsorship you have in mind w/r/t trimet, street car and the tram? I’m not saying it doesn’t exist; I’m saying I’m not aware of the relationship you are suggesting. And if so why do we all not just shrug but apparently celebrate this lopsided state of affairs when all non-car infrastructure is now subject to the largess and branding of corporate parents?

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                • Steve B. January 8, 2016 at 12:35 pm

                  9watts: each of our transit systems rely on corporate funding for operating revenue to run the systems. There are obvious ways via sponsorships on vehicles, bus stations, outreach materials, etc. and then there are more in depth partnerships like the Tram. More on those types of partnerships here: http://www.metro-magazine.com/blogpost/240220/tapping-the-private-sector-to-grow-public-transit-service

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                • Ted Timmons (Contributor) January 8, 2016 at 12:39 pm

                  Steve: what percentage of their overall budgets come from advertising? I assume that number varies substantially.

                  The streetcar’s income sources don’t show a single dollar from ads, which is certainly incorrect. It must be folded into one of the other sources.

                  It’s safe to say that 90%+ of the nikebike budget will be coming from Nike; the only other source is user fees (afaik).

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      • Beth January 7, 2016 at 9:40 am

        Um, because while people are buying into the Sharing/Bartering/Freewill Economy, governments generally are not. Were you here when the Yellow Bike project was started back in the 90’s? It failed largely because the nicer bikes were immediately “liberated” by the poor, and the lesser bikes weren’t maintained in a timely manner before they got hucked into the Willamette River.
        I used a Bikeshare bike during a visit to Miami. The bike weighed a ton, had one speed, a generator light and a basket. It rode well enough for my purposes, which basically included a stop at a coffee shop and a ride through Miami’s Deco District. I had to supply my own lock, which turned out to be sort of pointless. The bike was so heavy, shop keepers told me, that no one wanted to steal one; and if you kept it past the time limit your card would be charged for the additional time automatically, which made people keen to return it on time to the electronically-controlled locking rack.
        Implementing and maintaining those systems is expensive, well beyond the scope of a typical Sharing Economy arrangement; and most municipalities can’t afford to do so without corporate help and sponsorship. I don’t have a problem with this, since it helps to promote bicycling in our fair city.

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        • wsbob January 7, 2016 at 12:11 pm

          I don’t particularly like name buying types of corporate sponsorship, such as ‘ ‘Blah-Blah’ Portland Rose Festival ‘, promotional gimmickry, but the fundamental fact that business can be willing to invest money for a chance to make money, can be more cost effective than government providing services within a given budget. I think that’s the rationale behind thoughts that the U.S. Post Office should be privatized.

          As a giant corporation, taking into consideration its impact on the health of the earth and all the critters, including us humans, living on it, I’d say Nike isn’t a bad company. Not perfect, but it does offer a lot that’s positive. The company could definitely do better, and it now being closely connected with public bike share, gives the public a greater than ever before opportunity to influence how the company responds to the needs of the community the company is part of.

          With this in mind, I’m sure Nike is going to get plenty of feedback from the public on the functionality of the just announced BikeTown swoosh emblazoned bike share system in Portland. Accordingly, Nike will be very motivated to put its best effort into whatever it has to do towards having this bike share be a sterling success for the company. That, opposed to the little more than time clock punching that over the years, some government bureaucracies have acquired a notorious reputation for.

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  • Ted Timmons (Contributor) January 6, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Quick, someone photoshop a stepthrough bike with a Nike Swoosh(tm) frame shape.

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  • mh January 6, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Lindsay, is this what you were hired for? Much bigger congratulations than I offered before, regardless of how congratulatory I was then.

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  • dan January 6, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    “Swooshcycle”

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  • dan January 6, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Heh, Nike is probably lobbying for an enormous bike share station directly in front of Adidas’ HQ…and in Duniway Park too, for that matter.

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    • brian January 7, 2016 at 9:56 am

      Right, its surprising that Adidas didn’t jump at this opportunity, it seems like they are more committed to the city than Nike.

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  • charlietso January 6, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I am excited for bikeshare to come to Portland. I would really like to see TriMet, PBOT, and Nike work together to integrate bike share with the upcoming Hop Card. Being able to use your transit card to pay bike share will make bike share more accessible to all users and integrate bike share with transit more seamlessly. That way, people will have more travel options and both transit and bikeshare systems will attract more users.

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    • Adam H. January 7, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Hop card integration is a no-brainer for bike share. I spoke to a few TriMet employees about this at their bike open house and was told it would be difficult but they are looking into it. Shouldn’t be terribly difficult with some clever programming on the backend.

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  • Huey Lewis January 6, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Can someone point me to the comment or article that makes it clear as day, I can’t walk away still completely meh, and am now a booster of bike share? Written so it’s easy for a mouth breather (that’s me) to understand is a bonus. Because I seriously still don’t get bike share. I don’t see how I would care as a resident of a city with bike share and I’ve yet to go somewhere and think “oh sweet, a clunky weird bike share bike to ride!” Further, I don’t think I know a single person that has visited somewhere and used bike share either. Honest. What am I missing? What don’t I see or know that everybody else seems to know?

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    • mh January 6, 2016 at 10:53 pm

      My husband and I used Chicago’s a couple of years ago when we went there on vacation, so visitors do use it. Of course, we planned to try it, and inconveniently hauled helmets with us to the city and back home.

      I am habituated to certain things on all my bikes, to the point where it’s really awkward to not have them – like mountain toeclips – or have something else, like an overloaded front basket rather than a rear rack. And riding between Chicago potholes in Chicago traffic was something else. I’ll probably never use it in Portland, because with two and a fraction bikes, they’re never all in the shop at the same time. But I’m thinking I’ll be inclined to rent one if I’m riding downtown, rather than risk the theft of one of mine.

      And more people on bikes on the street has got to change driver behavior. Tourists-with-money-to-spend are a category of folks that the city (all cities) court(s), and for whom they might agree to spend some more money to improve the conditions that enticed those tourists here.

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) January 7, 2016 at 8:57 am

      Huey Lewis, it sounds like you might be in a bit of a filter bubble. Do you know people who use the bus? For more than commutes to work? How about people who use car2go?

      Those seem to be some of the target market. Bikeshare is great when you know you need to be across town in 20 minutes and there’s no way a bus will get you there, or when you are running an errand before/after work that disrupts your normal/known commute pattern.

      Heavy clunky bikes are just fine (ask the fiets and Clever Cycles types!). It’s nice to not worry about where you are going to lock your bike and if it’ll be there when you get back. It seems really good for law enforcement because if they spy a swooshbike in a (hobo) chop shop it’s clear they didn’t buy it for $20.

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  • Jeff Bernards January 7, 2016 at 1:57 am

    I just used the bike share in London, Paris and Ljubljana. At first I wasn’t such a big fan, but now that I have used them it was pretty awesome. The best part? it nearly eliminated bike theft. I biked into town, dropped the bikes off, joined the Climate Marches in London & Paris, then picked up a new bike at the end of the march. If I had my bike I would either have to drag it around with me or lock it up somewhere and worry if it was still there or not?
    BTW If it is Nike, it’s about time they stepped up and sponsored something local. Phil has a net worth of $24 billion and I’ve never seen an Armored car follow a Hearst.

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    • Robert Burchett January 7, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Hi Jeff! Guess that was meant to be ‘hearse’.

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    • Matt January 7, 2016 at 9:13 am

      Have you ever been to any of the high schools around here. Or the basketball courts at the local parks. There’s Nike swooshes over everything. They do sponsor a lot. Check this link:

      http://www.nikeresponsibility.com/report/uploads/files/FY12-13_NIKE_Inc_CR_Report.pdf

      And pg. 54 talks about community investment. Millions of dollars donated, thousands of employee volunteer hours.

      Oregon should be proud to have Nike here, they are a great company.

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  • Mark S January 7, 2016 at 9:41 am

    The sports equipment juggernaut is based in nearby Beaverton. . .

    Wrong!!!

    The sports equipment juggernaut is based “near” Beaverton. Phil Knight & Co had a big fight with Beaverton when the City tried to annex the Nike World Headquarters Campus a few years back. Usually news releases concerning Nike state that the Company is located near Beaverton.

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    • Chris I January 7, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Exactly. If they were in Beaverton, they would have to pay taxes. If you look at the Hillsboro and Beaverton boundary maps, they look like swiss cheese. Intel and Nike.

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      • Jeff Bernards January 7, 2016 at 9:23 pm

        It’s called corporate welfare. Phil enjoyed his Oregon public paid education, but when it comes time for payback, they sign a 30 year deal, to not be part of the community. Do you think Nikes employees kids use the local schools and need the support? Do Nike employees drive on Beaverton’s roads to get to work at Nike?
        Oregon has a quality of life that attracts good employees who want to live here. The citizens of Oregon deserved to be the beneficiaries of a successful Oregon company, not the other way around. I would like to choose what my taxes support too, but that’s not how it works and that’s what the cancer center basically is.

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