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Agency hires new team to drive tourism to rural Nevada - Las Vegas Review

Agency hires new team to drive tourism to rural Nevada – Las Vegas Review

Continuity will be the key to the Nevada Commission on Tourism’s new marketing strategy for rural Nevada.

Three companies, two from out of state, will collaborate to market the state’s rural destinations under new four-year contracts finalized Wednesday by the commission.

Columbus, Ohio-based Fahlgren Martine will head media buying, public relations and external communications; Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based BVK will direct creative development; and Noble Studios of Reno will lead web and digital development services, including customer relationship management.

“Not only have we got national expertise and presence, but we’ve got a high-level local company working on this,” Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, who chairs the commission, said in an interview after Wednesday’s meeting. “These are high-level professionals that are going to provide media, PR and digital expertise that will result in more visitors to Nevada. It’s going to be a more sophisticated approach to a more targeted market.”

The state will spend more than $40.3 million over the four years under the contract that begins July 1.

Company executives working on the Nevada account were introduced to the 11-member commission after their contracts were formally approved by the state’s Board of Examiners Tuesday.

The collaboration is expected to continue the state’s TravelNevada brand strategy built around its “Don’t Fence Me In” theme, built around a classic Western cowboy song that celebrates expansive wide-open space and freedom to explore. The song was spiced up in a more upbeat version by the Las Vegas band The Killers.

Under the approved contracts, Fahlgren Martine, which helped develop the “Don’t Fence Me In” theme, will get $34.4 million in two contracts. BVK has a $3 million contract while Noble will receive $2.9 million.

Digital media platforms will be used in the state’s efforts which focus on encouraging travelers to Nevada to collect and retell stories about their travels and adventures in the state with colorful local characters.

Details of the collaboration’s efforts are expected to be detailed in a marketing committee meeting in August.

The commission also is working with Brand USA, the national destination marketing organization that was modeled after the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s structure.

Brand USA, funded in part by travelers from 38 countries participating in a visa waiver program with the United States, markets the United States in foreign countries to boost tourism.

Nevada is expected to benefit from Brand USA programs that will be active next year in Australia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, India, Japan, South Korea, China, and the United Kingdom.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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