For Immediate Release: December 4, 2014

TourismOhio Seeks Branding, Marketing Agency Partner(s)

Media Contacts:
Tamara Brown, (614) 466-8591

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBUS, Ohio – TourismOhio today posted a request for proposals (RFP) seeking an agency or agencies to help develop an Ohio tourism brand and market the state’s tourism experiences. The RFP outlines a two-year contract during which branding research will be conducted, creative advertising components will be created and a mix of media advertising will be determined and placed.

“Approximately 195 million people traveled in Ohio last year, and our goal is to continue to grow visits to Ohio and extend the time visitors spend with us,” said Mary Cusick, director of TourismOhio. “Our industry and stakeholders agree we need a brand that we can all embrace to share Ohio’s authentic tourism stories. This RFP is the next step toward establishing that brand.”

Interested agencies may download the proposal and pose questions through the State Procurement Website. The RFP number is: CSP906015. Questions will be taken through the website and answered through December 18, 2014. Proposals are due to the Department of Administrative Services by December 31, 2014 by 1 p.m.

The TourismOhio RFP is broken into three distinct parts: (1) Brand architecture and positioning, (2) Creative services (development of advertising and campaigns) and (3) Media services (strategy, planning and media buying). Agencies may bid on one, any combination or all three parts of the RFP.

The agency or agencies selected to work with TourismOhio will conduct research to establish a distinctive brand for Ohio tourism. With that brand in mind, a creative services team will develop ads for television, print, radio and digital media outlets appropriate for at least three seasonal campaigns. A media services vendor will recommend, purchase and place a mix of media designed to increase TourismOhio’s reach to a larger audience in more places, with greater frequency; and result in greater brand awareness driving increased visits and visitor spending.

Tourism is a $38 billion industry in Ohio and supports approximately 405,000 full-time and seasonal jobs. In 2013, Ohio welcomed an estimated 37 million overnight visitors who spent roughly $335 per trip, while day visitors spend $110 per trip.

“We look forward to partnering with an innovative and creative agency or combination of agencies to help us elevate Ohio’s authentic tourism experiences in people’s minds so they consider our state a relevant travel destination of choice,” Cusick said.

TourismOhio is the premier source of information for travelers and media about Ohio's vibrant tourism experiences, attractions and economy. Tourism marketing programs helped generate more than 195 million visits to Ohio in 2013. A part of the Ohio Development Services Agency, TourismOhio markets Ohio's distinctive travel opportunities and promotes the state's outstanding quality of life. www.discoverohio.com