Dispensing with its longtime â€œFun Centralâ€ slogan, the Arlington Convention&Visitors Bureau unveiled its new brand on May 21: â€œand the crowd goes wild!â€
â€œâ€˜Fun Centralâ€™ was more directed at consumers,â€ said Jay Burress, president and CEO of the Arlington CVB. â€œThe new brand, while still aimed at consumers, appeals to a broader range of visitors, meeting planners and convention attendees.â€
Burress said the bureau spent about six months to come up with the slogan, working with Arlington-based Blanchard Schaefer on a logo design.
â€œItâ€™s not often you get a chance to rebrand a cityâ€™s identity, particularly the city where you live and do business,â€ said Ken Schaefer, president of Blanchard Schaefer. â€œWe experience Arlington every day, so itâ€™s a real emotional commitment for us.â€
Burress said the $1.15 billion Cowboy Stadiumâ€™s opening is one reason the city wanted a new brand. Cowboy Stadium will open June 6 with a concert by George Strait, and the football season will begin Aug. 13. The stadium also will see the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic in 2010, the NBA All-Star Game in 2010, Super Bowl XLV in 2011, a game between Notre Dame and Arizona State in 2013 and the NCAA Menâ€™s Final Four in 2014.
â€œSuddenly, weâ€™re going to have a different type of visitor to the city, so we needed to address that,â€ Burress said.
The brand launch is part of a strategy to broaden the cityâ€™s marketing to convention and tourism sectors. Components include a newly designed Web site (www.arlington.org) and a mobile site (http://m.arlington.org). An online site for potential visitors, ArlingtonInCrowd, will launch in June. That site will feature values and discounts on shopping and restaurants. Texas Rangers announcer Chuck Morgan will deliver the new theme in a series of commercials that will target locations such as OklahomaÂ City, Tulsa and Little Rock. The bureau is spending more than $130,000 on the new branding campaign, according to officials.
The bureau and the agency conducted research before deciding on the rebranding.
A survey indicated that leisure travelers are looking for entertainment (47 percent), family-friendly destinations (41 percent) and value (37 percent). Two-thirds of the 12,000 consumers surveyed said they do not consider any other destination when making travel plans. Of those surveyed who had visited Arlington in the last 24 months, 55.5 percent said they have visited more than twice and 20 percent said they have visited six or more times. Fifty-one percent said they stayed two or more nights in Arlington hotels. And 58 percent reside between 100 and 399 miles away.
The research also surveyed 9,729 meeting planners. Ninety percent declared value as the most important criterion in selecting a destination, while convention and meeting space was important for 89 percent.
â€œI am delighted with the new logo,â€ said Robert N. Cluck, Arlingtonâ€™s mayor, in a press release. â€œItâ€™s sophisticated, yet still portrays Arlington as the fun destination that it already is and will be in the future.â€