DFW awards $6.3m in contracts to Concussion

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport picked the agency for both its PR and consumer-facing marketing and advertising accounts.

FORT WORTH, TX: Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport has hired Concussion, a Fort Worth-based firm, to manage b-to-c marketing and advertising as well as PR.

Both contracts have an initial three-year term plus two one-year options. They have a combined $6.3 million budget for the initial deal.

It is unclear what firms previously held the accounts. In bidding documents, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Weber Shandwick, and Publicis Dallas all expressed interest in pursuing the work.

For the b-to-c account, “DFW seeks to grow airline revenues by positioning itself as the most attractive and competitive ‘global super hub' for a target audience of airlines and alliances,” it said in an RFP for the contract. “In the coming years, DFW seeks to approach airlines worldwide in order to add more international destinations.”

The airport also wants to increase non-airline revenue by leasing and developing airport real estate for aviation-related uses and concurrent commercial development, meaning outreach will be necessary to developers, corporate agents, and site selectors, it said in the RFP.

For the PR contract, DFW wants to not only encourage consumers to choose it for travel, but also get them to park there and spend money in its shops and restaurants. Concussion will also focus on getting connecting US passengers to pick DFW as the hub where they transfer.

The firm will also be expected to promote DFW's trusted traveler program through the Customs and Border Protection office where vetted international travelers can bypass lines and proceed through customs more quickly than other travelers.

Another goal of the airport is to bolster its presence in international markets, according to the RFP. It has nonstop air service to more than 180 destinations around the world, spanning five continents.

“As new international air service starts at DFW, it is important to create awareness for the service in the Dallas-Fort Worth, destination, or key feeder markets so that the route will be successful,” the airport said in the RFP.

Moroch Partners was the incumbent on the advertising and marketing account, but not the PR work, which has been handled in-house for several years.

Advertising agency Moroch Partners was the incumbent on the advertising and marketing account, but not the PR work, which has been handled in-house for several years.

Allen Wallach, CEO of Concussion, said in a statement that “the account also dovetails well with our regional transit and transportation experience, as well.”

“As a Fort Worth agency, DFW Airport was always on our radar screen as a top prospect when the time was right. We're thrilled that time has come,” he said. 

A representative from the airport confirmed the hire, but did not comment further.

In May, DFW hired TurnerTrippick PR to build its profile in Europe ahead of Brazil's World Cup and Summer Olympic Games in 2014 and 2016, respectively. The firm is helping to raise awareness of the airport in the UK and Europe, emphasizing its location as a gateway into the US and South America.

This story was updated on September 11 with quotes from Wallach.

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