Nashville moves beyond music in rebranding effort

NASHVILLE: Despite being known worldwide as ’Music City USA,’ Nashville is hoping to move beyond its music-centric image with a four-year branding campaign that will devote 50% of its dollars 10 million budget to PR.

NASHVILLE: Despite being known worldwide as ’Music City USA,’ Nashville is hoping to move beyond its music-centric image with a four-year branding campaign that will devote 50% of its dollars 10 million budget to PR.

NASHVILLE: Despite being known worldwide as ’Music City USA,’

Nashville is hoping to move beyond its music-centric image with a

four-year branding campaign that will devote 50% of its dollars 10

million budget to PR.



A dollars 4.5 million ongoing research effort conducted by the Nashville

Area Chamber of Commerce has determined that business executives and

consultants still primarily associate Nashville with country music and

The Grand Ole Opry. Over the past five years, however, the city has

opened new convention and cultural centers, lured the NFL’s Houston

Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans) away from Texas and become the

recipient of a coveted NHL franchise (the Nashville Predators).



’We now have amenities associated with first-tier cities,’ said LaDonna

McDaniel, VP of communications for the Nashville Area Chamber of

Commerce.



’It occurred to us that we are coming into our own as a city separate

from the music image.’



In addition to capitalizing on its new sports teams and convention

facilities, Nashville also wants to use PR to counteract the fallout

from a series of incidents that portrayed the city in a

less-than-flattering light.



The closing of its feature family attraction Opryland in 1997 was

followed by a tornado that cut through the heart of the city’s business

district, leaving widespread damage that was chronicled on CNN.



The AAA Club of the South later classified Nashville as a ’place to

avoid’ because of extensive highway construction. As a final insult, the

city was besieged by a once-in-a-generation storm of locusts.



’We began to think the gods were after us,’ said Butch Spyridon, EVP of

the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau (NCVB). ’After a while, we

just had to laugh.’ The dollars 10 million budget will be divided up

between the NCVB and the Chamber of Commerce.



Spyridon said the campaign will promote Nashville’s historic tourism,

sports teams, arts centers and meeting facilities. Only 20% of the

effort will focus on the still-vital music scene, although the

campaign’s planners intend to leverage Nashville’s extensive music

celebrity as a hook for more business.



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