FreeBike Project trades free bicycles for advertising

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by Jayson Chesler

Video report by Jamie Cerreta

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 7 at 5:35 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. -- ASU students in need of a way to get around campus now have an innovative new way to get a bike for free. The FreeBike Project lets college students and advertisers give each other what they want.

The initiative gives students free bikes to ride with advertising attached to them. The project will have 600 bikes on campuses across the nation by the end of the summer, including ASU's Tempe campus. The school's downtown Phoenix campus will be joining in August.

Kim Sanderhoff and Scott Ferriera saw an opportunity to combine students' need for transportation with advertisers' difficulty connecting with students through traditional means.

"We saw that all these college kids were riding around bicycles and we also saw a lot of major companies that were trying to promote themselves on campus," Sanderhoff said.

So far, Ferriera said two of the major companies the project has worked with are the ride-sharing business Lyft and AEG Live, a concert promoting service. The North Face and Water.org have also been sponsors.

The FreeBike Project doesn't stop at physical advertising for sponsors. Bike riders can take pictures with their bikes for social media, which can get them rewards. Ferriera said Lyft gives riders $25 while AEG Live gives out concert tickets.

"In many cases it can be better than a free bike," Ferriera said. "You're actually kind of getting paid with these cool gifts and perks."

Students aren't the only ones getting free transportation through the FreeBike Project. For every bike given out to a student, a bike is given to charity. Last year's donations went to those in need in the Philippines.

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