Tube in hunt for busker sponsor

Viacom Outdoor is searching for a commercial partner to sponsor a trial of busking pitches on the London Underground early next year.

The initiative, first tipped in Marketing Week, will be tested at 25 licensed pitches in 12 Central London Underground stations. The trial will run for 16 weeks (MW June 27).

The busking pitches will rotate performers in the same way London’s Covent Garden rotates its street entertainers. Each pitch could be played for up to 13 hours a day providing opportunities for more than 300 licensed buskers.

Viacom’s special projects team, Impact, has been tasked with finding a suitable partner. A spokeswoman for London Underground says that the music-based nature of the venture would lend itself to “young, free spirited” brands from sectors such as travel or entertainment.

The buskers will be selected once a commercial partner is in place. The sponsorship package is likely to include floor graphics outlining the pitch space, branding of busking licences, use of London Underground publicity and information sites, leafleting and four-sheet poster sites adjacent to pitches.

London Underground believes that the initiative will generate a large amount of media attention. Director of communications Tony Maguire says: “This is a marvellous opportunity for a commercial partner to help us deliver what our passengers want. Every customer survey tells us Tube users love good buskers and we aim to give them the best in the business.”

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