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
’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
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.