VSPC Unleashes Full-Court RNC Marketing Blitz

From Trop Welcome Event to airport 'Waves Goodbye,' VSPC to grab visitor attention

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (Aug. 8, 2012) - As official co-host of the 2012 Republican National Convention, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is implementing a wide range of advertising and marketing initiatives designed to draw international attention during the largest event the area has ever hosted. 

From billboards to print ads to new airport video installations, these high-profile initiatives are designed to keep the St. Pete/Clearwater area front-of-mind with the more than 50,000 guests who are converging on the area later this month. 

Here's a rundown of some of the outreaches: 

* New Tampa International Airport Video Walls, Welcome Center: Three new massive video walls and sixteen 55-inch LCD displays in baggage claim at TIA will play destination messaging videos every three minutes around the clock. (This is in addition to the ads already installed in all airside trams.) Also, brand-new airport-operated information counters will be operating in the baggage claim areas staffed by trained volunteers who will distribute official VSPC visitor guides and drive visitors to VSPC's mobile website for localized information on area hotels, restaurants and activities.

* Kickoff Event at Tropicana Field: VSPC will have a major marketing presence at the Official Welcome Event (video), which will take place at the Trop on Sunday, Aug. 26, officially kicking off the 2012 RNC. The event is expected to draw some 12,000 media, delegates and VIPs, making it the largest welcome event in RNC convention history. The area will be promoted via a variety of media and marketing outreaches, including video and printed collateral.

* Convention Center On-site Promotion: VSPC staff will be credentialed to work shifts at the official onsite welcome center: a spacious, four-sided, open-air kiosk on the ground floor of the Tampa Convention Center where area information, visitor guides, maps and pre-loaded thumb drives will be distributed to convention goers and media alike. The kiosk, which is a joint initiative with Tampa Bay & Company, will feature VSPC-branded imagery and logos, as well as refreshments and charging stations for convention goers.

* RNC-Themed Print Ads: A custom print ad showing an elephant frolicking with kids on a local beach is appearing in local publications, including as the center fold-out ad in a magazine being delivered to every delegate in attendance. The ad encourages RNC visitors to explore the area's award-winning beaches, concluding with a playful question: "So why not leave with a little sand in your trunks?"

* New VSPC "Best of" Area Video: In addition to the official host committee videos, VSPC will debut a new custom video touting the short list of area must-dos designed specifically with RNC visitors in mind. From St. Pete's Dali Museum to Clearwater Marine Aquarium's Winter the Dolphin, visitors will get the lay of the land in a short video hosted by a local news reporter who's also a St. Pete native.

* High-Profile"Goodbye" Billboard: Generating more than 100,000 views a day, a 48-foot-long illuminated billboard near the entrance to Tampa International Airport bids farewell to traffic coming in on the elevated approach directly off I-275 after the Howard Frankland Bridge. "Waves, Goodbye. See you again soon on America's best beaches," the eye-level board reads. The billboard will remain up year-round as part of an enhanced local media presence.

* Post-RNC Visitation Campaign: Together with Nancy J. Friedman PR, VSPC's New York-based public relations agency of record, VSPC has developed a campaign designed to encourage post-RNC visitation, starting with Labor Day weekend and continuing all the way through the month of September. The "RNC to R&R" campaign promotes a wide variety of deals and special hotel offerings starting after the convention, ranging from free room nights with complimentary cocktails to yacht charters, dinner cruises, stand-up paddleboard excursions and more. For information on how to participate, click here.

Also, as a reminder, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater's PR Team is still looking for any unique or off-beat RNC-related local initiatives to push out to national and international media. Submissions are being accepted via email at RNCideas@VisitSPC.com, and should include a description of the initiative and contact information. 

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

For more information: www.VisitStPeteClearwater.com

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