Chamber/Bureau goes for the gold |

Chamber/Bureau goes for the gold

Alexandria Gonzalez , The Park Record

The 22nd Winter Olympics began Thursday in Sochi, Russia, and television viewers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago will not only be watching America’s athletes compete but also a glimpse into Park City.

The Park City Chamber/Bureau has purchased an advertising package with NBC that began on Dec. 26. The package is a combination of 15-second and 30-second commercials as well as "added values," such as spots on television shows like "Extra" and "1st Look" as well as Olympics promotional spots "brought to you by Park City."

Stephen Lane, the Chamber/Bureau’s tourism marketing manager, said the commercials will air throughout the Olympics, garnering the exposure the town needs to attract first-time visitors.

The funding for the package comes from a combination of transient room tax in Summit County, which, according to the Chamber/Bureau’s annual marketing plan for the 2013-2014 ski season, increased to $6.7 million this past year, and partnerships through the Utah Office of Tourism and the Salt Lake City International Airport.

"I don’t think a lot of people realize how much exposure we are getting, because we are not placing these promos in Utah," Lane said. "Running our commercials during the Olympics is huge for us, and the combined package of exposure is probably one of the strongest we have ever had here in Park City."

Added exposure during the Olympics will be due to the Chamber/Bureau’s partnership with the Utah Office of Tourism. Dave Williams, associate managing director, said the organization has purchased winter television advertisement campaigns on ABC and CBS this year.

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"At the beginning of the ski season, we talked with the Chamber/Bureau about which markets we wanted to advertise in, and we both wanted Los Angeles and New York," he said. "So we are both advertising in those markets, and Park City is advertising in Chicago while we are advertising in Boston."

The Utah Office of Tourism collaborated with the Park City Chamber/Bureau in depth for the first time last winter, and 2014 is the first time they have done so during the Olympics. Williams added that they also have 34 promotional spots on NBC in Boston, which will not compete with Park City’s spots since they are in Chicago. They have also purchased digital banner ads on NBC Universal’s website as well as the USA Today website.

"Those banner ads read, ‘See why the gold medalists call it the greatest snow on earth,’" Williams said. "Those two websites are where a lot of people will go to look up Olympic results, so they’re great places to promote skiing in Utah."

While the Utah Office of Tourism commercials promote visitation throughout the entire state of Utah, Lane said he is hoping the Park City promotional spots will persuade viewers to come to this city.

The Chamber/Bureau made the decision to air the commercials in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, because these are Park City’s largest domestic markets, which are still home to many people who have not yet come to Park City. Lane said they evaluate their largest market areas every year, and those three cities are the three areas with visitors they can woo back to Park City as well as lure in for the first time.

The promotional spots highlight Park City’s easy access from the airport in Salt Lake City. The commercials begin with, "Park City asks: Where were you this morning?" Visitors in ski gear respond with places like San Francisco, Boston, New York City and other major cities throughout the United States.

"You’re not going to fly into Denver and ski that same day," Lane said. "If you fly into Salt Lake City, you can."

The added values of the campaign include the wholly NBC-produced Winter Olympics promotional spots that end with the Park City Chamber/Bureau logo and a voiceover that says, "Brought to you by Park City, Utah."

The promotional spots ran on NBC leading up to the Games and will continue to run throughout. Lane said the live programming of the Games is a plus, because that means people will be watching live instead of recording and fast-forwarding through the commercials.

Skiing in Utah, and specifically in Park City, will be promoted on all three major television network affiliates in those four markets during the Winter Olympics, and Lane said he is optimistic that the campaigns will be successful in increasing tourism.

"We get bonus exposure through their buy on CBS and ABC while we are on NBC," Lane said. "It’s a great partnership with the state as far as targeting destination skiers and snowboarders in those markets."