SEC Sponsor Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism Launches Ad Campaign
TV spots will feature former Southeastern Conference head football coaches and tagline: “Gulf Shores and Orange Beach … Where SEC Families Come to Play”
ATLANTA (August 29, 2011)—Through the years, Southeastern Conference football fans traditionally have spent their summers on the white-sand beaches along Alabama’s Gulf Coast and their falls cheering on their favorite college teams in stadiums around the Southeast. This season, the SEC and new corporate sponsor Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism are combining the two favorite pastimes via an advertising campaign—featuring some of the league’s most legendary football coaches—that will air during game-day television broadcasts this fall.
Launched August 27 during the SEC Network’s college football pre-game shows and airing on regional game broadcasts throughout the 2011 college football season, the 30-second spots will showcase the destination beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Ala., as well as some of the attractions along Alabama’s scenic Gulf Coast. The television ad campaign is one of the premier components of the SEC sponsorship that was negotiated by SEC multimedia rights holder IMG College, sports marketing consultant Fishbait Marketing, Shaul Zislin, a prominent local business leader in Gulf Shores, and Atlanta-based sports and entertainment marketing agency MELT, in collaboration with Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism.
Former SEC head football coaches Gene Stallings (Alabama), Frank Broyles (Arkansas), Pat Dye (Auburn), Jerry Stovall (LSU) and Phil Fulmer (Tennessee) serve as celebrity tour guides in the lineup of commercials, incorporating their former occupations into the mix to point out just some of reasons why fans should plan a getaway to the 32 miles of sugar-white sand and sparkling emerald waters along Alabama’s Gulf Coast region. The commercials will incorporate the tagline: “Gulf Shores and Orange Beach … Where SEC Families Come to Play.”
“The partnership of our destination and the SEC has resulted in a multi-faceted activation and marketing plan that will allow us to reach millions of potential guests throughout the Southeast,” said Herb Malone, president/CEO of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. “Perfectly complementing our existing marketing efforts, this campaign utilizes legendary coaches on our beach, and we are very grateful that they took time out of their busy schedules to lend their support to our destination.”
Conceptualized, produced and distributed by MELT (Marketing Entertainment Lifestyle and Trends), the multi-spot TV campaign was filmed during two production shoots over the summer at popular locales such as Craft Farms Golf Course and The Hangout in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach’s Cobalt restaurant, the Gulf State Pier and area beaches. Viewers will be treated to scenes that include a couple of the SEC’s all-time greatest football coaches buried up to their necks in the sand, as well as other conference legends participating in some of the numerous activities the region has to offer.
According to MELT CEO Vince Thompson, the partnership reportedly is the first time a destination has used a conference sponsorship to promote a tourism strategy.
“MELT is thrilled to be able to showcase these legendary coaches in this beautiful setting,” said Thompson. “Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are two truly pristine beachfront communities, and MELT couldn’t be happier to work with a finer group of legendary coaches to bring this region to life in front of millions of SEC fans each week during the college football season.”
The commercials, as well as the official corporate sponsorship of the SEC, are part of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism’s ongoing efforts to restore the region to a prominent vacation destination following last year’s oil spill. Authorities from Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism reported a record $54.7 million in lodging revenue in June—reflecting an 8.4 percent increase over the previous record set in June 2007—as well as $82.2 million in retail sales that month.
The Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism ad campaign is targeted toward the SEC’s expansive football fan base. With 6,521,151 fans attending football games in 2010, the SEC once again was the NCAA’s top conference in attendance for the 13th straight season.
Announced during the SEC’s Football Media Days in July, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism’s sponsorship agreement with the Southeastern Conference will run through June 2014 and will incorporate other activations, such as an interactive presence before the LSU-Oregon football game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, during Labor Day weekend, the Dr Pepper SEC FanFare during the conference’s annual football championship weekend, the SEC men’s basketball tournament and a football kickoff weekend, set to take place in August 2012.
David Koonin at MELT: or 770-366-5066
Kim Chapman at Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism: or 251-974-4625
About the Southeastern Conference (SEC)
The Southeastern Conference was formed in 1933 and consists of 12 member institutions: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The league currently sanctions championship play in nine men's sports and 11 women's sports. Its headquarters has been located in Birmingham, Ala., since 1948. For more on the conference, visit www.secsports.com.
About Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism serves as the official destination marketing organization for the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in addition to the unincorporated area of Fort Morgan. To learn more about Alabama’s 32 miles of sugar white sand, visit either www.gulfshores.com or www.orangebeach.com. The convention and visitors bureau is an accredited Destination Marketing Organization, 2008-2012.
About IMG College
IMG College is the leading multimedia, marketing and licensing/brand management company in America representing more than 200 of the nation’s top collegiate properties including the NCAA and its 89 championships, NCAA Football, leading conferences, and many of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. Headquartered in Winston Salem, N.C., IMG College employs 700 people in nearly 100 offices throughout the U.S. with annual sales of nearly $450 million. IMG College is the leader in capturing consumer devotion to college sports through partnership opportunities in multimedia rights, licensing, events and hospitality, marketing, stadium and arena development, stadium seating solutions, ticketing, sales, and consulting. IMG College produces nearly 30,000 hours of radio programming on the largest sports network in the country, manages nearly 5,000 hours of local television programming, is the leading publisher of college sports publications, and is the largest manager of university athletic websites. IMG College is a division of IMG Worldwide, a global sports, fashion and media business. For more information, please visit www.imgworld.com.
Founded by Vince Thompson in 2001, MELT (Marketing Entertainment Lifestyle and Trends www.meltatl.com) is an award winning full-service sports and entertainment marketing agency with a unique expertise in collegiate sports. MELT represents some of the most recognized brands and sports properties in the world including Coca-Cola, Powerade, Coke Zero, CBS, State Farm, Avon, The Southeastern Conference, Athlon Sports, Shane’s Rib Shack, and Champs Sports.
About Fishbait Marketing
Fishbait Marketing, LLC., based in Charleston, S.C., is a full service boutique that provides strategic council to companies that have an interest in adding collegiate sports to the marketing mix. Fishbait Marketing represents multiple clients and is a sales and marketing agency for the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), National Football Foundation (NFF), College Football Hall of Fame, and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and their collective charitable endeavors. Please visit www.fishbaitmarketing.com for further information.