As much as we like to lampoon the TfL (and Serco) managers for hiccups in the operation of the scheme, I think we all need to be realistic here. If another company had offered more money than the initial £25m contract don’t you think TfL would’ve taken it?
I simply can’t believe that for a project costing £150m+ that they wouldn’t have tried to get as much money as possible out of a potential sponsor.
As with everything – the price paid (in this case “sponsorship offered”) is limited to only what the customer is willing to pay at the time and how much perceived worth they attach to it.
Remember: This was a new scheme with no historical precedent for setting value. If it had turned out to be a complete turkey, the sponsor would have had their name plastered all over it.