Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Kim McMillan, Corporate Communications & Marketing

Catherine Bonfiglio, Corporate Communications & Marketing

Charlotte, NC — Mayor Patrick Cannon announced today that Friday, Jan. 10 has been declared “FAN Friday” across the City encouraging residents and businesses to promote their Panther Pride by wearing team colors or simply all black to back the Panthers. The team is wearing all black in the playoff game against San Francisco at Bank of America Stadium this Sunday, Jan. 12.
The City of Charlotte along with other Panther Pride Partners including Charlotte Center City Partners, Charlotte Chamber, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, and Mecklenburg County, will lead by example and promote FAN Friday and encourage employees, businesses, customers and partners to participate.
Each partner is leveraging marketing and promotional assets to boost team spirit, participation in FAN Friday and the Panthers Pep Rally Weekend at EPICENTRE. Starting mid-week the following will occur:
·        Signage will be put up throughout uptown Charlotte, including bus shelters, over street banners, news racks and digital signage at the EPICENTRE provided by Charlotte Center City Partners.
·        Electronic posters will be pushed out by Charlotte Center City Partners and will be available for download at The Charlotte Chamber will issue an email blast to members and utilize outdoor billboards provided by member company Adams Outdoor Advertising along 485 at the Tyvola Road exit as well as a number of other locations around Mecklenburg County.
·        The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority will change out building marquees, including a Panther-blue exterior ribbon on the NASCAR Hall of Fame, in addition to arming its network of 600-plushospitality and tourism partners with Panther Pride posters and social media messaging.
·        The City and Mecklenburg County will post a 28-foot-wide,33-foot-tall banner on the courthouse parking deck, providing an awesome fan entry into the city.
·        CATS buses and LYNX light rail cars will carry special digital “Go Panthers” messaging.
·        Together, all partners will participate in an aggressive social media campaign to cross promote the ever-popular #KeepPounding hashtag throughout the week, and the #BlackFriday hashtag on Friday, Jan. 10, to encourage the community to wear all black to work and fan events.
In order to spark a friendly competition, Mayor Patrick Cannon and San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee both agreed to a mutually beneficial wager. The wager will not only raise awareness of each City’s culinary treats but will highlight an initiative that is important to each mayor - youth and the importance of mentoring.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to join Mayor Lee in raising awareness about the need for more mentors. The playoffs represent what happens when you work hard and have good coaching. The same can happen when our youth receive the right coaching through a strong mentoring program,” said  Cannon.
At the upcoming meeting of the U.S Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C., Jan. 22-24, both Cannon and Lee will have breakfast and meet with children who are part of the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program. In addition to the meeting and breakfast, the children will accompany each mayor to several conference activities. The mayor representing the losing team will wear the colors and fan apparel from the winning team during the morning’s activities.
“This is another example of how we can promote goodwill and mentoring in both Charlotte and San Francisco, and throughout the country. I just hope Mayor Lee looks good in Panther colors,” Cannon concluded.
What else does having the Carolina Panthers and an NFC playoff game mean to our community and local economy? The following quotes are from each Panther Pride Partner:
Being home to the Panthers puts Charlotte in the big leagues. It puts us on an exclusive list of cities that are home to strong brands like the NFL, NBA and NASCAR."
Bob Morgan
President, Charlotte Chamber
Bring on the January football in Center City! These are the seasons that bring the economic development payload, not only in direct hospitality spending, but also in updating the impression of our vibrant City to corporate leaders and talented workers across the county. Keep pounding!”
Michael Smith
President and CEO, Charlotte Center City Partners
“The opportunity to host a home game during the playoffs is one that will showcase our best assets not only to our residents, but to visiting fans that travel from near and far for this game. From our accessible airport and transit system to the undeniable southern hospitality that’s intrinsic to the region, we excel when the spotlight shines on Charlotte. Combine that with the impressive momentum that the Panthers have generated and visitors will surely have an unforgettable experience.”
Tom Murray
CEO, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority