Edinburgh Trams teams up with first ever commercial partner

10 August 2017

CR Smith Tram Wrap

The City of Edinburgh is set to benefit from a new revenue stream this month with the announcement of Edinburgh Trams first ever commercial partnership with CR Smith, a company with a long established Scottish heritage.

The two-year deal will see 18 of Edinburgh Trams’ 27 fleet wrapped in a highly visual campaign that aims to promote a ‘Window to Scotland’ and the breadth of CR Smith’s customer base across the country. The inaugural advertising deal was negotiated by a unique city partnership between Marketing Edinburgh, Transport for Edinburgh (TfE) and Edinburgh Trams, on behalf of City of Edinburgh Council.

The partnership took ownership of managing external and internal tram advertising in July, securing the CR Smith contract within weeks. By approaching commercial businesses directly, the partnership is guaranteeing every penny of tram advertising revenue will be reinvested back into the city, including transport infrastructure improvements and destination marketing. Previous financial projections have suggested tram advertising could raise as much as £1.32 million per annum for the city.

Edinburgh Trams was identified as a unique promotional platform by CR Smith to reach its Scottish customer base, with the new dramatic advertising creative expected to be seen on multiple occasions by around 1.3M Edinburgh residents and annual Scottish visitors.

The tram wraps are the first stage in CR Smith’s new Scotland-wide marketing campaign, which is set to put their classic ‘Man in the Blue and White Van’ messaging, first used by the company in 1980s, back into the heart of the brand positioning. The family-owned home improvements company, will follow the premiere on Edinburgh Trams with a national roll out, including the new artwork on a fleet of 50 new Mercedes vans and a planned television campaign later this year.

Over 5.6M customer journeys were recorded on the tram network last year, passing through some of the highest footfall areas of the city, including Princes Street, which has a footfall regularly topping 1.4M per month during busy summer months and December.

Launched in 2014, the 14km tram route stretches from Edinburgh Airport to the City Centre, passing through some of the business areas in the capital including Haymarket, Princes Street and St Andrew Square. 2016 saw a 10% growth in patronage and 12% rise in fare revenues on the previous year, Edinburgh Trams was rated the No.1 transport provider in the UK by Transport Focus, scoring a record 99% overall customer satisfaction rating.

George Lowder, Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh said: “This is a fantastic example of what partnership working between some of the Cities’ companies can achieve. It has been a great experience working with Marketing Edinburgh to secure CR Smith’s sponsorship.

“We look forward to a long commercial relationship with CR Smith and others who wish to advertise on Edinburgh’s trams. We have been using the trams since the start of the year to showcase some of the cities’ key events including rugby at Murrayfield, The Royal Highland Show and The International Festival. We look forward to wrapping the entire fleet.”

Gerard Eadie CBE, Executive Chairman of CR Smith said: “CR Smith has always believed in leading from the front. This is a first. No one else has sponsored the Edinburgh Trams and it instantly gives us massive visibility.

“Over the past few years we have invested in our state of the art factory in Cowdenbeath, in our product range and in our people, through ongoing training and our own apprenticeship programme. This is a natural next step for our ongoing strategy for growth.”

John Donnelly, Chief Executive of Marketing Edinburgh said: “The partnership between Marketing Edinburgh, TfE and Edinburgh Trams is a new and innovative approach to managing citywide advertising in Scotland. By having Key City Partners take responsibility for advertising negotiation on behalf of, and for Edinburgh, we are cutting out the middleman, ensuring 100% of all profits come directly back into the city.”

“With Edinburgh known as the Gateway to Scotland, the new creative by CR Smith, which celebrates our entire country’s iconic locations is the ideal fit for Edinburgh Trams, visually appealing directly to both our residents and visitors.”

Lea Harrison, Managing Director of Edinburgh Trams said: "With around 7,000 services running through the city every month, our trams offer fantastic exposure to forward thinking businesses. Customer journeys, currently standing at over 5.6 million per year, are continuing to rise as the tram becomes an ever more popular transport option.”

"Event promotions on our trams, such as The Royal Highland Show, have already proved hugely successful and we're delighted to be expanding these commercial opportunities. The deal with an iconic brand such as CR Smith is a first and is a significant step in our promotional strategy.”

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