Event Marketing: Meet the Competition Head-on

The city of Minneapolis, faced with the potential shopping revenue diversion of the Mall of America in a nearby suburb, decided to bring customer traffic downtown in the critical fourth quarter shopping time. The objective was to encourage families to spend their time and money at downtown stores and restaurants. The downtown council instituted a validated parking program for major shopping periods and introduced an event to attract people during the critical shopping period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The event was Holidazzle. A lighted parade that generates excitement and attracts large crowds. It’s so popular it’s now in its 21st year.

Event Marketing: Making a Fashion Statement

Macy’s in California was one of two dominant price-oriented department stores in the Bay Area. The store was primarily known for low price and home goods. In order to capture the market and differentiate the California division from Macy’s across the country, we changed the name to Macy’s California. And began to cultivate fashion designers by luring them to San Francisco for introductory shows in unique locations. Over a period of time, the fashion image of the Macy’s California flourished and their business with it. One such fashion show…Passports…was held as a benefit in a Pier on the bay and attracted such luminaries as Elizabeth Taylor. Passports is still perhaps the largest department store fashion event in the country.

Event Marketing: Turning an NFL Game into a Family Affair

Taking over the marketing for the Minnesota Vikings in the early 90’s was a daunting task. The games were not selling out. There was little excitement around the stadium to attract people to come early and stay late. A game was not family friendly. We began to change the event as quickly as possible. Tailgating, which had been banned by the Minneapolis city council was re-instated. We introduced a party for the public on the plaza outside the Metrodome with bands, inexpensive food and beverages, games, autograph parties and Viking Childrens Fund events. The halftime shows were upgraded with better entertainment and bands, including the famous Southern University Marching band. We even had the Minnesota Orchestra perform the national anthem. And we added an upscale pre-game brunch that included gourmet food, beverages and included lower deck tickets to the game.

Event Marketing: 2001 NCAA Final Four

The Minneapolis Visitors and Convention Bureau, the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis Sports Facilities Commission combined forces to present the 2001 NCAA Final Four Basketball Tournament. We were asked to raise the financing necessary to produce the event. The task was difficult since the contract to obtain the event allocated most of the court side suites to the NCAA for their sponsors. Despite this, we succeeded over a one year period in raising $1,125,000 from companies and individuals in Minnesota which more than covered the cost of the event.