DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM PARTNERS WITH NEW YORK YANKEES,
PROMOTES INCREASED DELTA SERVICE FROM NEW YORK
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS (September 17, 2013) – In an effort to support increased air service and engage thousands of potential travelers in our top U.S. market, the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism (DOT) launched a marketing partnership with the famed New York Yankees to boost travel to The Territory this fall and winter. The three-week promotion which launched on August 30 will engage more than 550,000 baseball fans leading up to a special “USVI Day” at Yankees Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 22.
“The USVI welcomes more than 115,000 visitors a year from the New York market, therefore it’s critical for us to continue supporting and growing air access to the Territory from our core markets to ensure the long-term health of our tourism industry,” said Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty. “The New York Yankees is the perfect ‘batting partner,’ to help us increase visitor arrivals to the U.S. Virgin Islands this fall and winter.”
On “USVI Day” the DOT will host two on-site branded kiosks where destination representatives will engage with spectators to promote travel to
St. Croix, St. John and St Thomas. A green-screen photo booth will allow visitors to literally “picture themselves in the USVI” and post their images on social media.
The Territory’s own former Yankee, Horace Clarke, will be in attendance to personally invite stadium goers to visit The Territory. Signed by New York City’s premiere baseball team as an amateur free agent in 1958, he made his Major League Baseball debut in 1965. Clarke was a steady leadoff hitter and in 10 seasons, hit .256, with 27 home runs and 304RBI. During one month in 1970, he broke up three possible no-hitters in the ninth inning.
Another component of this collaboration with The Yankees is a text-to-win sweepstakes being conducted at 10 home games between Aug. 30 and Sept. 8. A winner will be randomly selected from contest entrants at each game to attend a USVI-themed reception in Yankee Stadium’s Delta SKY360˚ Suite on Sept. 22. They will join invited journalists, meeting planners, travel agents and USVI ambassadors in an immersive experience with destination-themed cuisine, cocktails and live entertainment.
Three trips, each valued at $3,000, will be given away on the day. They include round trip airfare for two people, five nights’ accommodation as well as $200 in dining, shopping and activity certificates. Two packages will be won by baseball fans who submit their names at the two branded kiosks while the other will be given to one of the 10 chosen through the text-to-win promotion. Each prize will be publicly awarded, broadcast live on the stadium’s 58’ x 104’ HD screen. Accommodation partners contributing to the prize packages are
St. Croix’s Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort & Casino, The Westin St. John Resort & Villas and St Thomas’ Secret Harbour Beach Resort.
Beyond the spectator giveaways, the USVI will also reach consumers through three 30-second commercials on the stadium’s 238 screens during pre-game activities. Additionally, a full-page, print advertisement will be featured in the September 2013 issue of Yankees Magazine.
The DOT will leverage the Yankees partnership to drive bookings for its current “Delta Island Time Getaway” deal. Travelers can access savings of more than $450 on reservations that include a Tuesday or Wednesday departure, booked by Sept. 30, 2013, for travel through May 31, 2014. Use of the promotional code USVIMW will provide access to a $250 instant air credit, a fifth-night free at participating hotels and $200 in certificates. To book, and for a complete list of terms, visit Delta Vacation’s website: http://www.deltavacations.com/specials/specialoffer.do?specialOfferCode=17201DVC.
A robust advertising campaign will complement the partnership’s public relations activities and the direct-to-consumer marketing efforts. Newspaper, print and digital advertising buys began running Aug. 15 in The New York Times and USA Today. The affluent viewers of CNN will also be reached through a two-week national advertising flight beginning Sept. 2. Paid keyword search-engine optimization and digital display ads appearing after USVI-related web searches will increase online engagement with the destination. This strategic paid media buy includes contextual in-text advertising and USVI advertisements appearing on 70-inch digital billboards at Delta Air Lines’ John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) terminal. USVI advertisements will also appear in Delta Air Lines’ home market, running in the print and digital editions of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Starting in September, Delta Air Lines will continue daily scheduled service from Atlanta to St. Thomas with an additional second departure each Saturday. A weekly flight between JFK and St. Thomas on Saturdays will also be maintained. In the past, the airline had reduced lift to the USVI each fall through mid-February.
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Luana A. Wheatley
Assistant Director of Communications