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Here's Our Proof Campaign: Synopsis - Commerce Lexington Inc.

2016 ACE: Grand Award

In 2015, Lexington's Keeneland Race Course hosted The Breeders' Cup World Championships, which is the Super Bowl of thoroughbred racing over two days. With an international audience set to descend on our community, Commerce Lexington Inc.'s economic development team recognized the unique opportunity to market our community to horse owners and investors. With a mission to recruit new companies to Lexington, as well as assist our existing businesses grow, Commerce Lexington Inc. targeted these people, because many of them own and manage corporations. As part of our sponsorship of The Breeders' Cup, we developed a marketing campaign called "Here's Our Proof," a play on words that highlighted another of Kentucky's signature industries -- bourbon. Leveraging the powerful 'hook' of bourbon, our team developed a bourbon gift box to leave in the owners' hotel rooms.


Date: July 30, 2016
Organization: Commerce Lexington Inc.
Chamber Website: http://www.commercelexington.com
City: Lexington, KY
Community Peer Group: Major Cities
Revenue Category: $2,000,001 and up

Here's Our Proof Campaign: Synopsis - Commerce Lexington Inc.

Synopsis:

Lexington, Kentucky, is known as "The Horse Capital of the World," which gives our community an international flavor all its own. From world-class thoroughbred racing to horse farms to industry-leading auction houses, horsemen and women from around the world flock to Lexington to find or race the next great Thoroughbred.

In 2015, Lexington's Keeneland Race Course hosted The Breeders' Cup World Championships, which is the Super Bowl of thoroughbred racing over two days. With an international audience set to descend on our community, Commerce Lexington Inc.'s economic development team recognized the unique opportunity to market our community to horse owners and investors. With a mission to recruit new companies to Lexington, as well as assist our existing businesses grow, Commerce Lexington Inc. targeted these people, because many of them own and manage corporations.

As part of our sponsorship of The Breeders' Cup, we developed a marketing campaign called "Here's Our Proof," a play on words that highlighted another of Kentucky's signature industries -- bourbon. Leveraging the powerful 'hook' of bourbon, our team developed a bourbon gift box to leave in the owners' hotel rooms.

With "Here's Our Proof" etched on the wooden box with a purple wax seal, the wording was meant to get people thinking about 'proof' in two ways -- bourbon proof and proof of success about our city. For both, it's about the quality of the product -- "what makes Lexington great for business?" Inside the box, a miniature Maker's Mark bourbon bottle dipped in purple wax and tasting glass were combined with a booklet about our region's success, encouraging companies to consider Lexington for business.

Like many of our marketing efforts, this one was a collaborative effort. Partnering with VisitLEX, we were able to not only promote Lexington as great place for business, but also as a location for conventions and tourism.

The "Here's Our Proof" theme was incorporated into other materials used during Breeders' Cup week, including banners featuring economic rankings and other collateral that used the same theme and messaging as the bourbon box. Following the event last fall, this unique marketing campaign has been transformed for use with our clients and site selection consultants.

Our marketing efforts resulted in increased traffic to our website, locateinlexington.com, and views of our welcome video. We also had many fruitful conversations with owners about conducting business in Lexington. Our budget for the bourbon box gift was $5,000.

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