Fort Lauderdale Takes a Quick Trip to NYC

Destination Opens Pop-Up Shop to Lure Visitors

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NEW YORK ( -- Fort Lauderdale is popping up in New York.

Taking note of the success enjoyed by Nike, Sony and Motorola, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau is transforming a bank building in New York's Union Square into a 3,600-square-foot pop-up store from Jan. 10-16 to tout the south Florida destination.

Virtual fishing trips
The initiative is called Coast(954) and will include such elements as virtual fishing, a putting green, hand massages and original video content. Visitors can book daily travel specials online through the Vacation Station on site, sponsored by Travelocity. There are daily giveaways, including a grand-prize trip to February's Super Bowl XLI in nearby Miami.

New York is Fort Lauderdale's biggest market. Coast(954), so named after the region's area code, will be supported by a marketing and public relations campaign, including street teams of brand ambassadors, advertising and live TV and radio remotes. The concept was the brainchild of Greater Fort Lauderdale's longtime public-relations agency, M. Silver Associates, New York.

A trend pops up
"We believe we're the first destination marketer to try the pop-up store," said Francine Mason, VP-Communications for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Greater Fort Lauderdale might be the first destination to try the concept, but certainly not the first marketer. Delta's short-lived low-fare airline, Song, had a pop-up store in New York two years ago. Sony Electronics opened a pop-up store in November to enhance its Hispanic marketing. Sony Para Tu PaĆ­s (Sony For Your Country) was located in Montebello, Calif., and featured bilingual sales reps.

In November, while the National Basketball Association's Cleveland Cavaliers were visiting New York to play the Knicks, Nike opened a pop-up store to sell 250 limited-edition pairs of the Zoom LeBron IV NYC, the sneaker endorsed by Cavaliers star LeBron James.

Product Red, the global fund created by U2 frontman Bono to funnel money to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, worked with Motorola to create a pop-up store in Chicago in October, and hip-hop apparel brand Rocawear opened a pop-up for two weeks in New York last August to coincide with Fashion Week and the MTV Video Music Awards.

Quality messages
What the pop-ups lack in quantity -- they have short shelf lives and limited impressions -- they make up for in quality, with a more targeted message devoid of competition.

"We loved the idea when it was presented to us," Ms. Mason said. "We pride ourselves on finding attention-grabbing ways to reach potential visitors," said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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