Rome's public transport company ATAC has turned to sponsors for the corporate branding of metro stations according to a report in Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
The multinational telecommunications giant Vodafone is expected to sign an annual sponsorship agreement worth €1 million with ATAC that would see the capital's central train station renamed "Termini-Vodafone". It is reported that in addition to Vodafone's €1 million offer, the company would provide for the cleaning and maintenance of the metro station.
The move comes after Vodafone reportedly outbid American soft drinks company Coca Cola, Italian fashion house Armani and another unnamed fashion brand.
Vodafone has already set a precedent after the famous Puerto del Sol metro stop in Madrid was rechristened “Vodafone-Sol”.
The idea to rename Rome's main train hub was first mooted publicly in January and according to the Corriere della Sera Termini could have "Vodafone" attached to its name by September.
It is thought that two other busy metro stops on the A line could be rebranded in 2014, Barberini and Spagna, both of them busy with tourist traffic because of their central locations near Via Veneto and Piazza di Spagna.
The increased revenue would be welcome for the loss-making ATAC which had a shortfall of €156 million last year. However it is not yet known whether the newly-elected mayor of Rome Ignazio Marino will give the proposals the green light.
The capital is turning increasingly to corporate sponsorship to fund its projects. The most high-profile of these are the €25 million restoration of the Colosseum by shoe magnate Tods; Fendi's 2.5 million restoration of the Trevi Fountain; and the ongoing restoration of a series of well-known fountains in Piazza Barberini, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trilussa, by a mixture of corporate sponsors.