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Springfield-Branson National Airport Director of Aviation Brian Weiler says the Airport Board will review proposals from three organizations to manage ad placements throughout the airport.
Springfield-Branson National Airport Director of Aviation Brian Weiler says the Airport Board will review proposals from three organizations to manage ad placements throughout the airport.

Airport officials accept proposals for ad space

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For the first time at the new midfield terminal, Springfield-Branson National Airport will contract with a firm to manage advertising placements throughout the airport.

On Nov. 30, Airport Board officials will begin reviewing request for proposals from three organizations that submitted proposals to earn the right to secure ad buys at baggage claims, inside terminals and common areas.

Airport Board members are weighing proposals by Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau; Allentown, Pa.-based Clear Channel Airports; and St. Louis-based Airport Advertising Inc. Each group had representatives at a Nov. 2 RFP meeting.

Airport Director of Aviation Brian Weiler said the organization selected to manage its advertising would offer four traditional avenues: 17 digital media screens, cobra stands, interactive concierge displays and wall wraps. Other ad ideas are welcome, he said.

“It is commonly done this way at commercial service airports. If I was an individual company that wanted to advertise out here, I would actually work through this agency that we are soliciting proposals from right now,” Weiler said.

Airport spokesman Kent Boyd said airport staff previously sought out advertisers, but there was the feeling among airport operators that the marketing materials, particularly around the baggage claim area, were not very attractive.

Weiler said there was no target date for the 11 member board to vote on the proposals, but Boyd said a decision was likely by Jan. 1.

Boyd said the ad initiative should generate at least $175,000 in annual revenue, equal to the ad revenue collected in the old terminal.

“We’ll stand back and look at the proposals and choose the one that we think is the best and then go for that one. It’s not a bid process in the sense that ‘I’ll do it for $60,000,’ or ‘I’ll do it for $50,000,’” Boyd said. “There’s going to be an awful lot of work done by
whoever gets this. … They’re going to have to get out and pound pavement to find clients.”

After the opening of the midfield terminal in May 2009, Boyd said airport officials wanted the new design to take center stage. More recently, officials decided it was time to look at adding advertisements. Boyd said it was important to solicit ideas from outside groups or agencies that could manage more professional campaigns and find clients for marketing.

“I think ultimately, we would have advertisements from local, regional and national advertisers and this agency would coordinate that, using not only the digital screens that we already have in place, but we also have the flexibility with these proposals to have (applicants) submit other things,” Weiler added. “From the airport’s standpoint, we want to maximize exposure for potential advertisers, but also, we want to maximize our advertising revenue for the airport.”

Springfield CVB Public Relations Manager Susan Wade said the CVB’s proposal had been sent to airport officials as of Nov. 21.

She said its proposal would generate an estimated $100,000 in ad revenues by its second year.

“Part of the reason we think we’d be a good supplier is we already know the industry. We have the contacts. We understand our local market,” Wade said, adding that the CVB already pays the airport a rental fee to maintain a couple of lighted displays it owns near the information center.

“Airport officials want to maintain the integrity of the aesthetics out there. They don’t want a lot of changes to what already exists,” she said, adding that the CVB is meeting requirements to utilize the airport’s own digital advertising displays as part of its proposal.  

She said the CVB would reach out to companies that want the attention of business travelers, should it secure a contract following consideration of its proposal.  

According to surveys taken inside the terminal, half of total passengers fly on business, while 23 percent are vacation travelers. The ad placements would be seen by roughly 1.5 million people a year, according to FlySpringfield.com.

Weiler said the Airport Board would carefully guard the airport’s image, and it would not be willing to accept ideas that diminish its appeal to travelers.

“This is a community asset, and it has been done in such a way that really reflects positively on the Springfield region,” Weiler said. “We are very sensitive to maintaining the look and feel of the terminal building.”[[In-content Ad]]

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