Danish toy company Lego is poised to sponsor a scheme being developed by the European Space Agency to build a station on the moon.
The programme, EuroMoon 2000, is expected to be ratified by the European Commission in June. Initial plans are for the project to launch an exploratory moon landing craft from the Ariane V rocket, in the year 2000.
Some ECU50m (33m) of the initial ECU200m (125m)project cost is to be raised from sponsorship, and EuroMoon is using a consortium of marketing companies, including the Omnicom-owned BDDP group and Life PR in the UK, to search for sponsors.
Lego has confirmed it is in talks with EuroMoon. A spokesman says: “Preliminary meetings have been held with the ESA, and we are considering the next steps.”
It is thought that Lego is interested in sponsoring a moon rover, which could bear its logo.
Sponsors will be able to have their names on the sides of lunar modules and landing vehicles and there are plans to build a monument on the moon, featuring the names of the various sponsors.
A spokesman for the consortium, Abdulaheb Choho, says: “The variety of sponsorship opportunities is wide. There are also plans for the Moon Embassy network to target young people with a magazine and to develop products.”
Sports clothes brand Nike is also understood to be in advanced talks with the sponsorship consortium, though no one at the company was available for comment as MW went to press. EuroMoon has approached other consumer brand companies including Coca-Cola, Virgin and Swatch in the search for sponsorship.