Downtown Miami Sees Bright Future Aloft With American Airlines
By Catherine Lackner
Directors of Miami’s Downtown Development Authority think they’ve found a new partner to help them promote the city, a partner that has more than 85,000 employees, lots and lots of shiny machines and — significantly — at least two consumer publications.
"We’ve been working with the American Airlines people out of Dallas," said board member Nitin Motwani, who chairs the authority’s Marketing and Communications Committee. The idea is to place downtown-focused items in the airline’s on-board publications, which include "American Way" in English and the Spanish-language "Nexos."
"There are new, cool, great stories coming out of downtown, and that’s what their publications are all about," Mr. Motwani said at last week’s board meeting. "We brought them downtown, and they were shockingly impressed. The feedback was "wow.’ We want to make sure it’s a very close partnership. They want [stories originating downtown] to come to them first."
"The beauty of the relationship that we’re trying to form," said board member Alvin West, who also serves on the marketing work group, "is that we both are motivated. They see the possibility of increasing bodies in seats. Both downtown and American Airlines are in an evolutionary stage."
"This is the most important hub to American Airlines, because of the connection to South America," noted board member Tony Alonso.
In fact, the airline is paying particular attention to the increase of Brazilian tourists and Brazilian residents in Miami, Mr. West said, and plans to translate 50% of "Nexos" into Portuguese. "The Brazilians are coming, and that’s great from a relationship standpoint."
"The way this strategy is going to unfold is not a one-shot deal," Mr. West said. To have the maximum impact, "We want advertising month in, month out," with possibly the placement of a seven- to 10-page advertorial about downtown. "They [the airline] are going to come back to us with a plan."
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