Ocean City Today

Coke to partner with resort for promotions

By Greg Ellison | Feb 15, 2018

(Feb. 16, 2018) Ocean City and Coca-Cola co-branded water tanks, oversized Adirondack chairs and Boardwalk light pole banners are proposed marketing partnerships that were introduced during the Recreation and Parks Committee meeting on Tuesday.

Special Events Superintendent Frank Miller, while noting Ocean City’s preferred vendor contract with Coca-Cola runs until Jan. 2022, said the new concepts were generated from conversations with Taylor Honeycutt, a recently hired marketing manager with the soft drink company.

“He is definitely a creative mind trying to think outside the box,” he said. “I would consider these to be value added elements to the town.”

To select which water tank would be considered for re-branding, Miller consulted with Public Works Director Hal Adkins who suggested the Route 90 water tank.

“That is the next tank identified to be refreshed and refurbished,” he said. “It’s a high visibility and high value location.”

The aesthetic choices are open for conjecture and could involve complex or simplistic designs.

“It could be a logo or color scheme,” he said. “We could look at doing the beach ball with a Coke logo on it.”

Tank repaints last on average eight years, although the most recently completed beach ball design could last longer, Miller said.

“It would be setting a precedent and could be a potential revenue stream,” he said.

Noting there are variable design options, Miller said avoiding a negative impact on the resort’s appearance is vital.

“Maybe a Coke logo on one side only,” he said. “There is a tasteful way to do it and at some point you sort of cross that line.”

Coca-Cola has also proposed creating three-dozen high quality Sunbrella canvas light pole banners, which would provide full season coverage along the Boardwalk.

“Boardwalk banners started with the Ocean City Air Show in 2008,” he said. “We would be asking Coke to pay for these canvas banners.”

Miller said there are three-dozen dual banner light pole spots, which would be split into two groups of 18, with design preference given to the town.

“This is not all about Coke when these banners go up, it is also about Ocean City,” he said. “The bottom reads, ‘Proud Partners.’”

Miller said the proposed banners would be used whenever poles aren’t reserved for other uses, such as the Elk’s Lodge Hometown Heroes program.

The third marketing asset proposed were co-branded oversized Adirondack chairs, which are about eight-feet tall and provide memorable photo opportunities for visitors.

Weighing in at roughly 500 pounds, Miller said the first challenge would be determining a means to anchor the chairs.

Thus far, three potential locations have been identified for oversized chairs, including Northside Park, and on the beach north of Division Street and south of 27th Street.

“These are areas where the beach tractors can’t clean,” he said. “They can’t reach the corners well.”

There are four designs being considered, and year- round versus seasonal placement is also being debated, Miller said.

“If there is something we want to put on there, we can,” he said.

Miller also noted comparable oversized Adirondack chairs can be found in Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head.

The commission agreed to forward all three concepts to the City Council for approval, with Miller planning to provide updated chair designs during their meeting on March 13.

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