Cultivating the Fresh Fridays Brand
The downtown core of the City of Sarasota has seen a huge influx of residents and visitors, even as it faces competition from other commercial districts such as Lakewood Ranch in east Sarasota County. As part of its ambition of maintaining its position as the go-to destination for shopping, dining, and nightlife, the Downtown Improvement District funded the creation of a monthly event series called Fresh Fridays that transforms different streets into a block party with live music, food and beverage offerings, and engagement from downtown merchants. The brand, concept, event management and marketing for Fresh Fridays is all unified by a robust campaign that uses a fun, conversational voice and colorful, accessible visual identity to garner attendance for these events that exceed 2000 guests. A weekly newsletter, high-impact social media presence, in-kind media sponsorships and effective cross-marketing with merchants and vendors helps Fresh Fridays far outpace its budget by drawing attention, traffic, and dollars to the dynamic downtown core of this bustling mid-sized city by the sea.