Change at Victoria's Secret for Hackney Wickes: What if the London Underground took sponsorship seriously?
Prolific writer and commentator John Walsh contributes columns to the paper as well as writing features, interviews and restaurant reviews. He has been editor of The Independent Magazine, literary editor of the Sunday Times and features editor of the London Evening Standard.
Monday 03 June 2013
Ever since the transport authorities in Madrid began selling sponsorship rights to their subway system, London Underground has gone a bit LOL-tastic.
The Spanish capital has been renaming its subway stations with the new sponsors’ names overriding the originals. But the London Underground has many names that already sound like brands—so why doesn’t Transport for London just offer them to the companies behind the brands?
Holborn could become Old Holborn without much nomenclatural sweat. Angel is crying out to be made over as Angel Delight. Similarly, Gant and Gant’s Hill. Arnos Grove station would benefit from the ineffable class and style conveyed by calling it Argos Grove. Victoria could be sexed up into Victoria’s Secret. King’s Cross, the former run-down haunt of thieves, hookers and murderers, has been reborn as a foodie hangout and could become King’s Crosse & Blackwell Soup.
Holland Park, home of a lovely west London patch of greensward, just needs a few sporting rifles to be renamed Holland & Holland Park. Cockfosters, at the end of the Piccadilly Line, would benefit from an Australian lager makeover, to become Cock Fosters Gold (not to be confused with Tooting Becks or Elephant & Castlemaine XXXX.)
See what fun it could be? How about I Can’t Believe It’s Not Borough? Or Fairy Princess Barbie-can? Green & Black’s chocolate could extend its branding to sponsor Bethnal Green & Black’s 70 Per Cent Cocoa Solids Station. There’s a well-known child’s-plaything company that would love to be reborn as Toys R Uston (though it’s a bit messy visually). And Hackney Wick has been the butt of jokes for too long. It could enjoy a whole new future if the name of the station was only changed to Hackney Wickes…
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