Remember several years ago when we suddenly heard brands being mentioned in the LRT? To everyone’s surprise, the all too familiar “Next stop, (insert LRT station name here)” was suddenly replaced with “Next stop, brand name followed by the name of the LRT station. For example, “Next stop, Bank Rakyat Bangsar”.
What’s more, even all the signs were changed to incorporate names of brands. Something similar happened to KL’s Light Rail Transit and monorail services not too long ago, and now we have the latest addition to our train transportation – the MRT – that’s joining the tradition.
A few might be wondering, what’s going on here? As it turns out, some brand owners received naming rights for four soon-to-be-opened Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK Line) stations.
In kicking of the Station Naming Rights Programme, the brands that will be riding along in the near future include Pavilion Damansara Heights for the Damansara Town Centre station (licensee: Jendela Mayang Sdn Bhd), Manulife for the Semantan station (licensee: Manulife Insurance Bhd), Pavilion Kuala Lumpur for the Bukit Bintang station (licensee: Kuala Lumpur Pavilion Sdn Bhd) and Aeon for the Maluri stop (licensee: Aeon Co (M) Bhd).
Under the program, a licensee gets the right for its name, logo or product brand to be associated with a particular station on the SBK line by having it prefixed to the station’s name.
These will then appear on all signage in stations, trains and other locations, as well as on collaterals such as brochures and websites.
In addition, the licensee will be given prominent branding space on the facade of the station or inside the station when external space is not available.
Sounds fancy but how much does having such privileges cost and what makes a brand even entitled in the first place?
According to MRT Corp director of commercial and land management Datuk Haris Fadzilah Hassan, successful licensees were chosen based on the highest bids with fees for stations starting at RM1.5 million for three years and RM1.2 million every year for a duration of 5 years!
With roughly 400,000 commuters expected to use the SBK line, licensees will surely stand to gain a lot from this programme, he adds. These four stations are the first batch of stations to be given the said naming rights and MRT Corp will be looking at more proposals for other stations in the future.
Despite the news, most netizens were indifferent about the names of the station and are more excited about being able to use the service:
Some felt the brand-incorporated names were a bit too much and unnecessary with comments such as :
Readers, what do you think?