VSPC Breaks New Marketing Ground with Destination Magazine

Visitor Guide Replaced by New Partnership with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Tampa Bay Times

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (October 9, 2012) – Last night at its annual marketing meeting at Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC) announced a groundbreaking new partnership with St. Petersburg-based Tampa Bay Times to produce a high-end visitor magazine that will be used to promote the area around the globe.

The yet-to-be-named publication---the first of its kind for the Pulitzer Prize–winning publisher of Florida’s largest newspaper, Tampa Bay Times---
will replace VSPC’s current visitors guide as the area’s official destination publication, focusing on cuisine, culture, sports, activities and other facets of life in the land of America’s Best Beaches.

“This is the kind of cutting edge partnership that
will bring St. Pete/Clearwater’s destination
marketing to yet another new level,” said VSPC
Executive Director, DT Minich. “The unmatched
local expertise and publishing resources the
Times brings to this magazine will make it a coffee-table staple of proud locals and a nightstand favorite of vacationers planning that perfect getaway to the land of Dali and dolphins,” he added.

The new magazine, which will debut in January 2013, will contain all-new content, including original articles and area coverage developed in concert with the award-winning editorial team of Bay magazine, Tampa Bay Times bi-monthly culture and lifestyle publication. Also, like Bay magazine, the new print product will feature an elegant and airy design, with stunning photography and maps, and an oversized format able to convey the panoramic beauty of the area like never before.

As a bonus, 50,000 copies of the new magazine will be distributed to select Tampa Bay Times subscribers in May 2013, just in time for the local summer travel season. It will also be available at the visitor’s kiosk within Tampa International Airport, as well as at all VSPC tradeshows and via all the traditional distribution points for the area’s visitor guide.

Other VSPC marketing initiatives for 2013 announced at the meeting include:

• Partnership with Emeril Lagasse’s newest Cooking Channel show, Emeril’s Florida, which will produce an episode focused on the taste and culture of St. Pete/Clearwater.
• First-ever marketing agreement with Tampa’s 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, where an area of the lawn will be rebranded as the beach, along with a multi-media sponsorship.
• Union Station Domination in Chicago, which will further expand VSPC’s presence in one of the
area’s largest feeder markets. The month-long campaign in the city’s only intercity rail terminal
and the primary terminal for commuter trains will feature more than 100 different ad units.
• Enhanced New York City subway presence for 2013, featuring signage in 500+ subway cars and a complete takeover of three branded cars on the “S” Train running from Times Square to Grand Central Station: the exteriors will be completely wrapped in messaging, while the interiors will resemble one St. Pete/Clearwater’s award-winning beaches.
• Enhancing the user experience on VisitStPeteClearwater.com by utilizing “smart content,” which will send site visitors to different landing pages depending on what geographical area they are logging in from.
• Giving online users the freedom to explore the area’s distinct communities by interacting with
content in multiple ways, including larger maps, images, a community blog and photo essays.

To download VSPC’s 2013 marketing plan, click here; to see the PowerPoint presentation from Monday's meeting, click here; to see advertising information for the Destination Magazine, click here, and to see a video recap of last year’s marketing results click here.

VSPC is the destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida.

For more information: www.VisitStPeteClearwater.com

Contact: VSPC Deputy Director, David Downing: David@VisitSPC.com
Phone: 727-464-7213