Airport jumps back in the game with Grizzlies

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Memphis International Airport wants to stay in the game.

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority (MSCAA) authorized a new, three-year marketing partnership with the Memphis Grizzlies at its July 26 board meeting. The contract, split into three separate annual payments, totals more than $322,000.

The airport will also partner with the University of Memphis Tigers and the Memphis Redbirds in the coming fiscal year.

According to airport documents, the board hopes the Grizzlies partnership will "increase the public's understanding of the future vision for Memphis International Airport and promote the addition of new affordable flight options with a concentrated, targeted marketing approach."

In 2015, the MSCAA approved its first three-year agreement with the Grizzlies, for $530,000. It included in-arena advertising at FedExForum, brochure pages in game-day programs and promotions designed around the airport. In addition, then-Grizzlies guard Tony Allen was retained as the airport's spokesperson, an agreement that ceased after Allen joined the New Orleans Pelicans.

With the new contract, the airport will pay the Grizzlies $98,000 in the first year; $107,000 in the second year; and $110,250 in the third year. The new agreement includes cross-channel social media marketing, digital and email advertising with Grizzlies' properties and in-arena advertising, according to MSCAA documents.

"We are thrilled to continue our partnership with MEM," said Anthony Macri, the Grizzlies' vice president of partnership marketing. "As the airport enters an exciting phase of the modernization process, we look forward to working in tandem to tell a great story of improved service and expanded offerings."

RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy negotiated both agreements with the Grizzlies on behalf of the airport.

"The Grizzlies are an important part of this community, and they have been a successful part of our marketing for the last three years," said Charles Vance, RedRover's manager of marketing team development. "We make sure we tie everything we do back to results, and the Grizzlies have continually delivered a solid return on investment."

The airport will spend $95,000 with the U of M and $13,000 with the Redbirds. The goal of all three partnerships, according to MEM's Glen Thomas, director of strategic marketing and communications, is to reach "as many passengers and potential passengers as possible."