Article can be found athttp://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20130528/TRANSPORTATION/130529892How the financial crisis spawned Citi BikeThe roots of Citigroup's sponsorship of New York's new bike share program grew from the 2008 financial crisis and a Bloomberg official'scall to Ed Skyler, a former deputy mayor.Citi has made a $41 million commitment to bike share over six years.Published: May 28, 2013 New York City may have the financial crisis to thank for its new bikeshare program.In late 2008, some feared Citigroup might be headed toward a LehmanBrothers-like demise. But after two federal bailouts, the bank is nowon the tip of every New Yorker's tongue as the long-awaited bike share program bearing the company's name gets rolling.It's no coincidence. Since the financial crisis, it has been a top priority at Citi to fix the bank's image in the consciousness of NewYorkers and to undo any perception that banks are more interested inserving themselves than their clients."One of the mandates has been to increase our visibility in New York,the entire U.S. and globally—and to do it creatively," said Ed Skyler,executive vice president for the bank's global public affairs and aformer deputy mayor under Michael Bloomberg. "We have about 20,000 people in New York City, which makes us the second largest privateemployer. We're the largest employer in Queens. If you thought aboutCitigroup a few years ago, you might not have experienced our presencethe way we thought you should for a company as big as we are here. Wehave done a lot to fix that since the crisis."Citi has made a $41 million commitment to bike share over six years.That's a sliver of the reported $20 million to $25 million annual price tag for its Citi Field naming rights, but arguably much morecost-effective. With 10,000 logos roaming the streets and on thousandsof logos on fobs in New Yorkers' pockets, Citi is hoping to attractnew customers."Hopefully we'll see an uptick in New York City," Mr. Skyler said."Visually [the bikes are] eye-catching. They really pop in the urbanlandscape that tends toward darker, grayish tones. Our consumer marketing team and [program vendor] Alta's NYC Bike Share workedhand-in-glove since signing the deal to make sure it reflected Citi's branding."