BRANDING RFP ISSUED BY CAPE MAY COUNTY

2021-07-13 by Julio Juarez
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County of Cape May is requesting proposals from qualified firms with experience in Branding and Marketing campaigns to create strategies for Cape May County Air + Innovation Port programs that focus on raising awareness of, and soliciting interest from, technology companies and technology related companies. The scope of services for this solicitation shall include, the development of strategic recommendations for development and roll out of a sustainable branding and marketing program for the site and County. 

This branding and marketing program will be for specific buildings and facilities presently located there, facilities planning to be built and potential facilities eligible to house technology and technology related companies in other areas in the County. The County requires a professional, experienced consultancy in the conduct, analysis, and interpretation of research as well as demonstrated experience with creating destination brands and marketing programs. The main objective is to identify a clear, strong brand identity of the Cape May County Air + Innovation Port with variations for businesses, residents’ and visitor recruitment. The successful firm will emphasize ingenuity, sustainability and our culture to create a successful long-term branding and marketing program. The initial task is to establish a marketing and branding campaign to be used by the County and as appropriate its partner, the Delaware River & Bay Authority, to generate interest and to draw new businesses and industries to the airport and surrounding identified properties. Other branding and marketing concepts to be designed by the successful firm will be determined on an as needed basis in accordance with the provided fee schedule. 

Background:

Cape May County forms the southern tip of New Jersey, and, excluding water bodies, includes approximately 267 square miles of area. Triangular in shape and bounded on two sides by larger natural water bodies and on the third by two rivers and the Great Egg Harbor Inlet, Cape May County is approximately twenty-seven miles long, and is approximately fifteen miles wide at its broadest point. The County is situated approximately 150 miles south of New York City, 80 miles southwest of Philadelphia, and 130 miles due east of Washington, D.C. Given this proximity to the major metropolitan areas of the northeast, and due to its rich natural resources including white sandy beaches, Cape May County is a popular tourism destination. Tourism is the main industry in the County, generating over $6 billion dollars per year for lodging/accommodations, dining, retail, services and related industries. Population swells from 97,000 year-round to over 750,000 during the peak season, with almost as many seasonal/second homes as there are primary residences. Similarly, unemployment rates go from among the highest in the State in the off-season to among the lowest in the State in the peak season. For many years, the County and its partners have sought to diversify the economy by strengthening existing businesses and attracting new industries, particularly those of a tech-related nature. Among the most promising sites upon which to grow and to establish new businesses is the Cape May County Air + Innovation Port. The Cape May County Air + Innovation Port is a 1,000 acre property located in Lower Township, Cape May County. Cape May County Airport was established as “Naval Air Station Wildwood” by the U.S. military in the early 1940’s. Designed as a training facility, it 2021 Spec 43 Airport Marketing Page 11 of 25was owned by the U.S. Government until the 1950’s, when it was deeded to the County. Approximately 80% of the area is managed by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bistate transportation authority that operates the nearby Cape May–Lewes Ferry and four additional airport properties in Southern New Jersey and Delaware. A light industrial park currently is populated by approximately 30 businesses ranging from technology start-ups to construction and motorcycle maintenance to food and retail operations. The property today is a multi-use site that includes an active general aviation airport, a light industrial park, several retail operations, historical museums and county/municipal government buildings. The site has full roadway access, public water and public sewer infrastructure and has the distinction of being exempt from the requirements of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Coastal Area Facilities Review Act. The entire tract is also located within a newly designated “Opportunity Zone”, targeted for economic incentive programs by the State of New Jersey. Additionally, the Township of Lower has designated this tract as an Area in Need of Redevelopment. In recognition of this tract’s significant development potential these designations from State, County and Local entities represent a vital investment of time, effort and energy in removing obstacles to create opportunity at this site. Over the course of time, the County and the Delaware River and Bay Authority have forged a strong partnership to promote economic development at the site and have created a Master Plan to use as a general guide for its redevelopment. This Plan organizes the nonairside area of the property into Districts, grouping “like” land uses and functions together to maximize synergies of tenants. Examples of the Districts include the Historic District, Government Services District and Commercial District. In addition to space for redevelopment, areas for future new development are also clearly outlined on the Plan. Collectively, these areas have traditionally been referred to as the “Business” or “Industrial Park”; this effort contemplates renaming it the “Innovation Port” or an alternate nomenclature to be determined. Recent accomplishments on the site (as guided by the Master Plan) have included the construction/renovation of government buildings, restoration of the Aviation museum, and the construction of a new entry boulevard, Hornet Road, which has themed wayfinding signage, lighting, and a roundabout. The County has also p a r t n e r e d with the host municipality, Lower Township, to renovate the Township’s Public Safety building and to establish new county-wide dispatch services. These projects not only improve the aesthetics at the site, theyalso increase visitation by employees, customers and visitors, which raises visibility and awareness of the progress of these redevelopment efforts. Another key catalyst to the redevelopment of the site was the demolition of the “EverlonBuilding”, a 200,000 square foot vacant building in a prime location adjacent to Hornet Road. With the help of many partners, including the US Economic Development Authority, South Jersey Economic Development District and Atlantic County Improvement Authority the site has been redeveloped as the “Tech Hangars”. The first of several 20,000sf buildings geared towards attracting technology and aviation-related businesses, is home to multiple tenants and is anticipated to be fully leased by Summer 2021. Work on a second Tech Hangar is anticipated to begin in Fall, 2021 with tenants already in line to occupy the completed building. Complementing these initiatives, is the partnership of Cape May Brewing Company and the Delaware River & Bay Authority, which could result in new production space, tasting room and beer garden for a tremendous popular and well-established micro-brewer.

Scope of Work:

The County is seeking a marketing and branding consultant (the “Consultant”) to provide professional services in four task areas: 1) Facilitating the articulation of a Mission, Vision and Culture for the Cape May County Air + Innovation Port as it relates to attracting interest and attention from technology companies and technology related companies in the site and throughout the County of Cape May. 2) Development of media and publicity platforms. 3) Development of a lead/prospect sourcing plan. Collectively, these services will establish a foundation for a marketing and branding campaign to be used by the County, the Delaware River & Bay Authority as appropriate and other partners to generate interest and to draw new businesses and industries to the site. 1) Facilitating the Articulation of a Mission, Vision, and Culture: The County seeks professional services to facilitate discussion and to develop draft Mission Statement, Vision 2021 Spec 43 Airport Marketing Page 13 of 25Statement and description of the expectations for the Culture at the Cape May County Air + Innovation Port and throughout the County of Cape May. Building off an appreciation for the history of the site, the County of Cape May, and the redevelopment efforts of the County and its partners, the Consultant will identify core values, key assets and future objectives for use in defining the Mission, Vision and Culture. It is anticipated that both verbal and graphic elements will be developed as part of this task. 2) Development of Media and Publicity Platforms: The consultant will develop a catalogue of clear and consistent messages for use by the County and its partners as it seeks to inform current / prospective businesses, and the general public regarding the Mission, Vision, Culture, and Brand of the Cape May County Air + Innovation Port. An evaluation of available platforms including but not limited to local media, website, social media, trade and business publications shall be undertaken to determine the highest and best use for the communication of the brand to the intended audience. It is anticipated that efforts in this regard will involve not only the direct communication of the brand and culture through earned and unearned media but will also entail the attendance and participation in recommended events, conferences and trade shows. The consultant will develop a recommended trade show “package” that will include tabletop materials, publications, displays, and other items as deemed necessary for the effective written and visual communication of the message to prospective businesses. The consultant will also develop a performance management plan for use by the County to measure the success of each element of this task and will recommend strategies for readjustment, as deemed necessary. 3) Development of a Lead/Prospect Sourcing Plan: The consultant will contact all existing businesses located on the site in order to assess the culture and diversity of the current clientele base and to identify opportunities for expansion and collaboration. The consultant will also develop a target customer base (in County, out of County, in U.S., and out of U.S.) and will work cooperatively with Cape May County Economic Development representatives and provide realistic and attainable strategies on how to best position the County with respect to connecting with those entities to assess possibilities for future collaboration.

Due Date:

2:00 pm prevailing time, on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11th, 2021

Address:

4 Moore Rd DN 103/116

Cape May Court House NJ 08210

Allison L Hansen 609-465-6879

Agencies worth considering include Coyne PR and 5WPR.