Thursday, January 22, 2009
Dear Industry Partners:
With the start of Super Bowl Week a matter of days away, I wanted to take a moment to update you on some of our major initiatives regarding promotion of our area, and to inform you of a few major events that will shine the spotlight on us in the upcoming week.
We’re pleased that the St. Pete/Clearwater area will be home to three major Bowl-related events next week, including Taste of the NFL at Tropicana Field, the 24th Annual NFL Charities Golf Classic at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club, and DirecTV’s Celebrity Beach Bowl at Al Lang Field in downtown St. Pete.
In addition to securing those events, the VSPC staff has been busy on a number of different fronts getting the word out about our area and its many wonderful offerings. What we present here is a partial list, but it highlights the results of many hours of hard work from a dedicated staff and unwavering support from our local tourism community.
As a continuation of these promotional efforts moving forward, we will be hosting a variety of important airline, association and meeting planner representatives at various events throughout the week and working hard to ensure a successful Super Bowl for all involved.
Again, your support and dedication is essential to what we do. Please know that we appreciate our industry partners and look forward to a prosperous 2009.
DT Minich, CDME
Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Super Bowl Web Site Promoting Industry Partner —Super Deals”
Back in November, VSPC’s Internet Marketing Department went live with a specially-designed Super Bowl Micro Site to serve as one-stop shopping for all of the St. Pete/Clearwater area’s Super Bowl information. As a main feature of this site, qualified Industry Partners were invited to submit —Super Deals” touting their Super Bowl specials, and this information was pushed out to media and consumers alike. Additionally, Super Bowl related events, such as the Taste of the NFL at Tropicana Field, have been featured in several electronic consumer newsletters.
Google Keywords in Steeler and Cardinal Markets
On Friday, January 16 VSPC’s online media marketing strategy went into effect, securing ownership of more than 100 Google keywords for searches originating in the four remaining teams' home states of Arizona, Maryland, and Pennsylvania (covering both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia). As soon as the two final teams for Super Bowl XLIII were decided on Sunday night, the strategy was narrowed to Arizona and Pennsylvania. As a result, Google searches that included any of more than 100 of the most popular Super Bowl related keywords from those states---ie: —Tampa Bay Super Bowl Hotel”---instantaneously started driving traffic directly to our micro-site (www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/superbowl) and potential visitors to our —Super Deals” section.
Strategically Placed Super Bowl Billboards
Visitors driving along I-275 and other major thoroughfares around Raymond James Stadium will see six full-size billboards with beauty shots of our award-winning beaches and playful, football-themed messages, such as: —FORGET INSTANT REPLAY---IT ALWAYS LOOKS LIKE THIS.” The billboards, which debuted on December 29 and will run through Super Bowl Sunday, are intended not only to attract visitors while they are here for the game, but to entice them to return in the future.
Advance Media Coverage In Key Markets
VSPC’s Public Relations Department has been leveraging media interest in the Super Bowl to garner coverage of the area. Two key placements to date include TV segments on NY1, the 24 hour local news channel of the NYC area, one of our major domestic feeder markets. A glowing preview piece (Lose A Super Bowl, Win A Beach) aired 11 times in a five day period starting January 14, and a feature on Winter the Dolphin at Clearwater Marine Aquarium (Dolphin Rescue Houses Special Resident) preceded that, for a solid two weeks of area coverage (both will remain online in the NY1 archives). Also, an AP story by Mitch Stacy ran in USA TODAY (and many other outlets, including the LA Examiner and The Miami Herald) that mentions Ft De Soto, Caladesi, Clearwater Beach and Tarpon Springs (in addition to St. Pete) as sights to see if you are here for the game.
VSPC —Beach Lounge” in International Plaza and Bay Street
Next week, VSPC will debut its —Beach Lounge” in International Plaza and Bay Street, the premier shopping and dining destination on Florida’s West Coast, to promote the St. Pete/Clearwater area to patrons---including Super Bowl visitors. This novel marketing outreach, which will be located at Grand Court on the lower level of International Plaza near the Concierge Desk and adjacent to Robb & Stucky, features sleek sofas where shoppers can relax and view a giant plasma screen showing destination videos. Gallery-sized images of VSPC’s newest print ad campaign will be hung like works of art, and Visitors Guides and other informational brochures will be available from literature racks. Volunteer —Ambassadors” will be on hand during peak times to answer questions and personally promote the area.
Volunteer Training & Information Distribution
Education Director Rhonda Sanborn was appointed the area coordinator for the Host Committee’s —Put Your Game Face On” campaign, designed to encourage locals to —give a warm welcome” to Super Bowl visitors because if —they love us when they leave us, they’ll return!” The Education Department has been partnering with the Super Bowl Host Committee for Super Bowl volunteer training and orientation sessions. More than 6000 volunteers have attended local training sessions designed to familiarize them with the Tampa Bay area and Super Bowl activities, and to emphasize the importance of top notch customer service. Additionally, over 800 people attended the Transportation Information sessions offered. The Education Department also distributed St. Pete/Clearwater Visitor Guides and other Super Bowl literature to the airports, area hotels, welcome centers, and Chambers of Commerce.
Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater is charged with enhancing the county’s economy by increasing direct visitor expenditures and promoting local tourism-related job development. VSPC works domestically and internationally to promote the area to the travel media and the travel industry, including meeting and conference planners, sports promoters and film producers, using research-driven marketing programs focusing on the area’s natural attractions, sports facilities, and cultural offerings. We also market the benefits of tourism to local residents and assist in the development of area attractions. For more information, please visit www.visitstpeteclearwater.com.