FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND NYC & COMPANY CHAIRMAN TISCH ANNOUNCE CITY'S PLAN TO CREATE SINGLE MARKETING AND TOURISM ORGANIZATION
Mayor Bloomberg Appoints George A. Fertitta to Lead New Organization
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development & Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff and NYC & Company Chairman Jonathan M. Tisch today announced that the Administration will begin the first phase of an effort to integrate three existing entities - NYC & Company, NYC Big Events and NYC Marketing - in order to create the world's leading municipal tourism, marketing, and events organization. Mayor Bloomberg also announced the appointment of highly-respected branding, marketing and advertising executive George A. Fertitta to lead the integration and he will become the new entity's chief executive. The creation of a single vehicle that will focus financial resources and professional expertise to better compete for big events, more tourists and showcase the City's world-class assets is a direct result of Mayor Bloomberg's January 2006 State of the City pledge to commit an additional $15 million annually to achieve the goal of attracting 50 million visitors annually by the year 2015. The three agencies collectively employ more than 100 people and have a combined annual budget of more than $22 million. That budget, when supplemented with the additional $15 million Mayor Bloomberg has earmarked annually for tourism promotion, will help create one of the largest and most effective municipal marketing organizations in the world.
"Today we are taking another major step in our effort to expand a critical sector of the City's economy that is a thriving engine of employment growth," said Mayor Bloomberg. "On behalf of the people of New York, I want to congratulate Jonathan Tisch and Cristyne Nicholas for their success in promoting New York to the world and paving the way for the creation of NYC Big Events and NYC Marketing. I am especially gratified by the outstanding work done by Maureen Reidy and her team at Big Events. I know Maureen will continue to produce lasting results in her new role as the City's Chief Marketing Officer, and I am confident that George Fertitta will design an innovative plan to communicate all that New York has to offer, nationally and internationally. George has developed communication strategies on behalf of some of the best brands in the world - but there is no brand like New York, because there is no City like New York."
Fertitta will design an integration plan by working collaboratively with NYC & Company President & CEO Cristyne L. Nicholas and NYC Big Events President & CEO Maureen J. Reidy. Nicholas and Reidy will continue to manage their respective organizations during the transition. Reidy has also assumed the role of the City's Chief Marketing Officer and will be heading up NYC Marketing.
By early fall, Fertitta will create a new corporate identity and organizational structure for the combined entity including legal form and governance, subject to the approval of the NYC & Company Board of Directors. In addition, he will work to develop a strategy to successfully meet Mayor Bloomberg's January 2006 State of the City goal of "50 by 15" - luring 50 million visitors by the year 2015 (up from a projected 43 million in 2006). This strategy will employ existing and new resources, including the additional $15 million, and the in-kind media in overseas markets available to the City for tourism promotion as a result of the historic street furniture contract recently signed with Cemusa. One of the outcomes of this effort will be the announcement of a unified brand identity and integrated, multi-channel marketing campaign to strengthen perceptions of New York City around the world. The campaign will draw heavily upon New York's unmatched base of private sector marketing expertise.
"Our Administration has had record breaking success in winning big events and increasing the number of new visitors as a result of the exemplary work done by NYC & Company, Big Events and Marketing," said Deputy Mayor Doctoroff. "With the addition of George Fertitta and the creation of a single marketing and tourism vehicle, New York is now best positioned to lead the tourism and marketing industries through what is certain to become an innovate model."
"Tourism is a vital force in our City's economy today and a cornerstone of the City's bright future," said NYC & Company Chairman Tisch. "Our City's tourism industry today generates more than $22 billion in spending, $5.4 billion in taxes and $13 billion in wages across over 300,000 travel and tourism jobs. A strong tourism industry is creating jobs, spurring economic development, transforming neighborhoods and generating millions of dollars in tax revenues that support essential City services. Cristyne Nicholas and the team at NYC & Company have done an incredible job promoting the City and attracting record numbers of visitors. Combining the resources and talents of these three entities with the leadership of George Fertitta will ensure that New York City remains the destination of choice for people around the world."
"To serve my City, to bring to bear the know-how I have developed in the private sector, is humbling and inspiring for me," said Mr. Fertitta. "I am excited to work with such talented and dedicated professionals. Together, we will work to more effectively focus our capabilities to compete nationally and internationally for visitors and big events."
Prior to his appointment, George A. Fertitta was the Chairman and founder of Margeotes Fertitta Powell, a New York City based branding, marketing advertising agency with annual billings of more than $250 million and current clients that include Campbell Soup Company, Godiva Chocolatier, McGraw-Hill, Bacardi, SunCom Wireless, Fred Alger Mutual Funds, Lugz Footwear, Independence Community Bank, Sapporo USA, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, 1-800 Flowers, Perry Ellis, The Coca Cola Company, Disney, Louisiana Pacific and United Technologies Corporation.
Since co-founding his agency 33 years ago, Mr. Fertitta has worked with a broad range of both U.S. and international companies, with a strong concentration in telecommunications, corporate image, media, financial services and consumer products. Fertitta graduated with a BA from Tulane University and lives in Manhattan with his wife Naomi. They have two sons.
In 2005, New York City welcomed over 42 million visitors and NYC & Company expects that number to climb to well over 43 million in 2006.
Nearly 329,000 jobs in New York City are supported by visitor spending, making tourism the second most significant industry in terms of job creation in the four years since September 11th, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With 5,000 new and renovated hotel rooms in the pipeline, visitor destinations under construction citywide plus new museums and cultural centers, the City expects to enjoy above-average rates of job creation in the hospitality and leisure industries over the next two years.
"I am proud of the accomplishments that our highly motivated team at NYC & Company has achieved to build New York City's economy and positive image around the world," said Nicholas. "With the additional resources committed by Mayor Bloomberg, we are poised to take New York City tourism to even greater heights. I join our Chairman Jonathan Tisch in welcoming George Fertitta to the team and look forward to tapping into his wealth of experience in advertising and marketing."
To compliment NYC & Company's efforts, in 2002, Mayor Bloomberg created NYC Big Events, an organization dedicated to attracting high-profile events, creating new ones and working with existing major New York City events. To date, the work of NYC Big Events President & CEO Maureen Reidy and her team has resulted in the City of New York successfully hosting several high profile events which has led to millions of new visitors and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact.
"Mayor Bloomberg's leadership has helped make our City a strong and vibrant place for people to come visit, attend our world class schools, work and raise their families," said Reidy. "The Mayor's appointment of George Fertitta and the integration of human resources and financial capital to promote New York, increase the number of new visitors and host more big events, is the kind visionary leadership that will keep New York moving forward for years to come."
Stu Loeser/Paul Elliott (212) 788-2958
Kym Spell (NYC Marketing & NYC Big Events)
Lisa Mortman (NYC & Company)