Spotlights on Value Capture Strategies in Practice (United States)

Hulu Sponsorship of Santa Monica's Breeze Bikes

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The City of Santa Monica, CA entered a five-year contract with online streaming service, Hulu to sponsor the city's bike share program, Breeze Bikes. Using a third-party negotiation firm, Superlative, the City was able to secure $675,000 a year for the entire 5-year contract ($3,375,000 total).

By sponsoring this program, Hulu helped to cover the operating costs for the program and allow for the city to reach several tangible infrastructure goals. The program served more than 149,000 riders who took more than one million trips and helped highlight to residents the importance of cycling and the community cycling creates.

Breeze Bike Share, owned by the City of Santa Monica and operated by CycleHop, LLC, provided 500 public bicycles at 75 stations throughout the city and select locations in nearby Venice. Breeze Bikes offered flexibility for one-way bike rides to get around town in a fun, healthy, and environmentally friendly way, and achieved the Santa Monica community's goals to reduce car trips and greenhouse gas emissions. Payment options included "pay-as-you-go" at $1 for 10 minutes, and monthly or annual membership rates that offered additional savings. This improved mobility for Santa Monica residents, employees and visitors provided a sustainable alternative to vehicle trips and reduced traffic congestion. The program also provided an ideal way to access the city's light rail service.

By establishing this public-private relationship with Hulu, Santa Monica was able to creatively and efficiently secure capital for the project. The assistance of Superlative proved to be beneficial for all involved, as their experience in securing sponsorships played a significant role. Previously, Superlative has helped secure Coca-Cola as the official non-alcoholic beverage and recycling sponsor for the City of Atlanta as well as negotiating naming rights with UC San Diego for the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Service Blue Line. These contracts resulted in $7.2 million over 10 years for the City of Atlanta and more than $39 million over 30 years for the City of San Diego.

In Santa Monica, Hulu placed their logo on the baskets and skirt guards of the Breeze Bikes 500 shared cycles and on the hubs of the bike-share stations. This provided the streaming service the opportunity to gain brand recognition and improve their place in the minds of Santa Monica residents when considering the extraordinarily competitive entertainment market.

Because Hulu is based in Santa Monica, it also offered the company an opportunity to show its commitment to the culture and goals of the city. Their sponsorship allowed the bike share's fee structure to remain consistently competitive and funded the program in the early months of introduction. It also allowed the pilot program to continue well past the initial estimated timeframe.


Federal Highway Administration
City of Santa Monica
City of Santa Monica City Council Report
FHWA Office Center For Innovative Finance Support