PHILADELPHIA, PA – Continuously ranked as Philadelphia’s top feeder market for overseas visitation, with more than 108,000 visitors to the city in 2017, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau travelled to the United Kingdom to promote visitation to Philadelphia. Key meetings with government officials and corporate representatives, in conjunction with Mayor Jim Kenney’s office, were part of the itinerary, which spanned two weeks in late October and early November. PHLCVB leadership met with executives from American Airlines and British Airways in order to discuss transportation and accessibility between the two destinations. The PHLCVB works closely with Philadelphia International Airport to achieve this goal.
On Sunday, October 28, the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles vs. Jacksonville Jaguars game served as a tent pole event, giving Philadelphia a spotlight as a U.S. tourism destination on the international stage.
With a captive record-setting audience of 85,870 fans at Wembley Stadium in London, the PHLCVB partnered with its U.K. rep office and Brand USA, a non-profit, private partnership dedicated to increasing inbound international travel to the United States, to promote the city.
Some of the game-related PHLCVB marketing initiatives included:
- The airing of 30-second commercials – based on the PHLCVB’s new campaign, ‘Frankly Philadelphia’ – broadcast between early October and through November during Sky Sport’s NFL programming. The ad will run a total of 34 times in the U.K. and reach 8 million viewers during the season.
- A social sharing photo booth activation at the NFL’s Tailgate event outside Wembley Stadium on Sunday, October 28. Participants took photos in front of a green screen and then had the opportunity to select one of three iconic Philadelphia photos to have superimposed and turned into GIFs for social sharing.
- During the Eagles’ game, the PHLCVB hosted key U.K.-based travel trade partners, government representatives and media at Wembley Stadium to promote Philadelphia as a premier U.S. destination.
- A 15-second PHLCVB Frankly Philadelphia ad ran on the stadium Jumbotron in front of a record setting 85,870 fans, and multiple times during the NFL Tailgate outside Wembley Stadium.
- A full-page ad was included in the game day program, available for purchase in the fan shop and provided to all club and hospitality suites.
- Geo-targeted digital ad campaigns in the U.K. began on October 1 and will run through November on the NFL U.K. website and Expedia, designed to generate bookings to Philadelphia.
- In partnership with O2, the second largest mobile network operator in the U.K., along with British Airways and the Hampton Inn Center City, the PHLCVB ran a contest for O2 mobile customers to win a trip to Philadelphia. The package also included tickets to an Eagles' game. Engagement was high, with 238,916 entries.
- Through a partnership with The Telegraph, a leading print and digital news outlet serving the U.K., along with - American Airlines and the Sofitel Philadelphia, the PHLCVB ran another contest, targeting the luxury traveller, to win a trip to Philadelphia. The contest provided visibility to an audience of more than 370,000 readers and 80,000 online subscribers.
Additionally, on October 16 in the lead-up to the game, the PHLCVB organised a Philadelphia-themed event at Passyunk Avenue Pub in London, hosting digital influencers and local U.K. media for an afternoon of Philadelphia sights, sounds and tastes.
Following the game, the PHLCVB’s global tourism sales team scheduled several sales missions with partners while in Europe, before returning to London to attend World Travel Market (November 5-7, 2018). With tens of thousands of prospective customers in attendance, World Travel Market is one of the world’s largest trade shows for the global travel trade industry. The show provides a platform for the PHLCVB to promote the destination to key decision-makers who can drive visitation to the city, including airline representatives, hotels and travel trade operators. This year, PHLCVB held 41 appointments and exhibited in conjunction with the Countryside of Philadelphia.