Nov. 8, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, VISIT FLORIDA – the state’s official tourism marketing corporation – announced that it has teamed up with two of the state’s top brands – the Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles – to harness the passion associated with the annual football rivalry game and direct it toward the promotion of travel throughout Florida.
The tradition-rich football game will serve as the signature event of this partnership to communicate the importance of the travel industry to an audience that is uniquely Florida: the state’s millions of Florida Gator and Seminole fans. This year’s matchup, set for Nov. 24 in Tallahassee, is being branded the “Share A Little Sunshine Showdown” to increase awareness for VISIT FLORIDA’s Share A Little Sunshine in-state tourism advocacy platform. ”Bringing together Florida’s leading industry and two of our top universities to promote tourism in our state is a win-win for everyone,” said Will Seccombe, Acting President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. “This special rivalry game between Florida State and Florida provides a tremendous opportunity to tap into Floridians’ passion for college football to help grow the state’s economy.”
Advice from friends and family is the most trusted source of travel planning information, and 25 percent of Florida’s domestic visitors each year come to see their friends and family. The Share a Little Sunshine platform was designed to engage Florida’s more than 18 million residents in supporting the state’s economy by personally inviting their friends and family to visit the Sunshine State.
“We think that VISIT FLORIDA’s sponsorship of the game is a perfect match,” said Randy Spetman, Florida State University Athletics Director. “The universities throughout our state drive an enormous amount of commerce and tourism activity, in addition to providing tremendous exposure for the state throughout the year.”
Since launching Share a Little Sunshine in 2009, Floridians have embraced the campaign – with nearly 130,000 Facebook fans and more than 150,000 invitations sent to date.Not only does the program motivate Floridians to serve as advocates in promoting tourism because it supports our economy and creates jobs, but it also encourages them to get out and enjoy the Sunshine State for themselves.
“We’re proud to do whatever we can to help our economy here in Florida and remind fans of the importance of tourism to our state,” said Jeremy Foley, University of Florida Director of Athletics. “We’re excited to participate and tie this game to a message that is important to all of us.”
Another way Gator and Seminole fans can show their passion for their favorite team is by participating in the Florida Fan Game. This contest, which continues through Dec. 3, encourages Florida residents and fans to invite their friends and family to visit the state during football season. VISIT FLORIDA enlisted the head coaches of Florida’s six major university football programs, including UF, FSU, USF, UCF, UM and FAMU, to have their fans send the most electronic invitations in order to win the contest and own the moniker of “Florida’s No. 1 Fans.”
There are more than 10 million fans of the six participating colleges and universities in Florida. Every visiting friend and relative trip adds an average of $1,119 directly into the state’s economy.
“Florida is the No. 1 travel destination in the world and home to the country’s best fans,” explained Seccombe. “We know every 85 visitors means a job for another Floridian and, by rallying the state’s 10 million passionate college football fans, together we can all have a huge impact on Florida’s economy.”