County commissioners on Monday are scheduled to consider a request from the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce for $75,000 to support a regional market plan tied to the Well Fargo Championship golf tournament.
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing Monday afternoon before deciding whether to grant the sum for the regional market plan tied to the golf tournament.
The $75,000 would be split, with $25,000 for this year and $50,000 for 2018.
"I am supportive of the partnership with the Chamber for an economic development message to be created and launched, in conjunction with the Wells Fargo Championship," said Woody White, chairman of the board of county commissioners. "But it is more than just a one time effort, as we hope it will be just the beginning of a long term campaign to inform the world about the diversity of our local economy and work force. Our community is finally coming together in agreement on land use, and the timing could not be better to tell our story to the world about the wonderful assets we have for smart growth."
On Monday morning, city staff also will discuss a similar funding request during their city council agenda briefing, meaning it could be placed on the agenda for Tuesday's council meeting. The chamber requested $50,000 from the city.
The new marketing project got started last summer
, when the board of directors of the Wilmington Chamber’s flagship initiative, Cape Fear Future, approved $100,000 for the regional marketing initiative. The plan is to have the initiative lay the groundwork for branding the region in an attempt to attract investment and new industries. The plan is on target to tee off in full during the May 1-7 Wells Fargo Championship, but continue well beyond the golf tournament.
“With the eyes of the world on our region, the Wells Fargo Championship provides a unique opportunity to market our competitive advantages to help attract new businesses, entrepreneurs and skilled workforce,” said Wilmington chamber board chairman Charlie Mattox. “While it’s important that we don’t miss this opportunity, it’s also important that the collaborative spirit, the marketing initiative and the regional approach continues after the golfers move on to their next tour date. We have such a positive story to tell about the future of our business community in this area that we need to seize it, and rally together behind the cause while we have the privilege of being on the worldwide stage.”
After the tournament, the initiative calls for more national print advertising in trade publications through December, as well as a presence at national conferences and industry weeks around the country. It also encourages additional local and regional event sponsorships for continued brand awareness.
"We are optimistic that we will receive some or all of the funding, as we believe both the County and City recognize the importance and value in the initiative. We are engaging with both the City and County next week to answer any questions they may have," said Scott Czechlewski, communications director of the Wilmington Chamber, on Friday.
The tournament at Eagle Point Golf Club is expected to pump between $40 million and $60 million into the Wilmington area, according to the PGA Tour.
For more on the marketing initiative tied into the Wells Fargo Championship, pick up the Feb. 10 issue of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.