October 12, 2011 TDC Recap

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dear Industry Partner:

Below you'll find just a few highlights from this morning's monthly Tourist Development Council meeting. As usual, we have posted the age nda online on our industry website, with clickable links to all of the individual monthly depar tmental reports. Please note that each of these clickable agendas will be posted on this page of our industry site the Monday before the TDC meeting every month.

Dolphin Tale Blitz Goes Global with Burger King, McDonald's Partnerships
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater's advertising and promotional activities on the local, national and international levels in support of Warner Bros. 3-D movie Dolphin Tale, are in full swing. Following a full-page advertisement in USA Today on the date of the film's release, Winter-branded banners now line the Clearwater Memorial Causeway and the roundabout---with signage inside the trams at Tampa International Airport set to go up in a few weeks. National marketing outreaches include cooperative promotions with Tropical Smoothie Café, fandango.com, and Swiss Army, while international efforts include first-ever marketing partnerships with Burger King and McDonald's in Central Europe. A series of paid advertisements--- including a search campaign and hyper-targeted Facebook ads---have driven consumers to more information on our hometown hero and the chance to enter a Winter- themed sweepstakes.

USA Today Ad Spins Off Feature in National Trade Publication
VSPC's advertisement in USA Today congratulating Winter the Dolphin on her big screen debut drew the attention of much more than just film buffs and animal lovers. The spot quickly prompted a story on VSPC's marketing and promotional efforts in conjunction with the film and its ramifications on tourism in the St. Pete/Clearwater area in Advertising Age, an influential print and online publication dedicated to marketing and media. Citing an impressive number of visitors to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) on the film's opening weekend--- 1,300, a figure strikingly close to the number of people who visited Kennedy Space Center that same weekend--- the story goes on to quote CMA Executive Director David Yates on how area tourism can benefit from the film's success. In just three weeks, Dolphin Tale has already taken in more than $50 million in box office revenue, shooting to #1 in its second week.

Vote Now for Your Favorite Beach, Grouper Sandwich, Downtown and More
Now is your chance to champion your favorite among favorites in the St. Pete/Clearwater area. Starting this week, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is actively soliciting public opinion via a surv ey on our website, asking participants to vote on a list of 20 'Best Of' categories, including: Beach Bars, Historical Sites, Festivals, Romantic Escapes, Dog- Friendly Getaways and more. (Spoiler alert: A sample poll on VSPC's Facebook page last week generated nearly 500 responses, with Clearwater Beach taking a pronounced lead in early Best Beach voting.) Polling will continue through October 31, and the winners will be announced in the new Visit St Pete/Clearwater Visitors Guide, scheduled to be published in January.

World Shuffleboard Championship St. Pete-Bound in 2013
Already home to the 'World's Largest Shuffleboard Club,' the city of St. Petersburg has been awarded the 32nd World Shuffleboard Championship in 2013, St. Pete/Clearwater Sports Commission Director Kevin Smith announced. Scheduled to take place in late October, the five-day tournament will feature over 80 competitors from at least 9 nations. The St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club---hailed as the oldest operating shuffleboard club in the world- --will officially host the event, which will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the game's existence in North America. Participants and support staff are expected to stay between 6 to 9 nights at nearby hotels. Up next for the Sports Commission is the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Recruiting Tournament this weekend in Clearwater. A total of 46 teams from four states, more than 50 college coaches and 80 umpires will be on-hand at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex. Tournaments will be divided into 16-Under and 18-Under brackets with a full slate of qualifying games scheduled for Friday and Saturday, with the top teams playing on Sunday.

Funding Workshop to Take Place of December TDC Meeting
Please note that a special workshop will take the place of December's regularly scheduled TDC meeting on December 14. The subject of the workshop will be a review of the TDC's process for funding events of all sizes, with the hope that the resulting recommendations will be in place for next fiscal year. As is customary for all TDC gatherings, the workshop will be open to the public and the media---we'll send out a reminder when a date and time has been set.

Again, these are just a few highlights of the meeting. Also, as a reminder, in addition to the individual reports and online agenda, you can watch streaming video of the entire meeting, available online from Pinellas County Communications.



David Downing
Deputy Director
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater