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City?s image to get extreme makeover

BY CRAIG GILBERT [email protected] Sudbury Saturday Night is no longer good enough. City council has agreed to spend $75,000 to buy the city a new image. That $75,000 could lever up to $2.
BY CRAIG GILBERT

Sudbury Saturday Night is no longer good enough. City council has agreed to spend $75,000 to buy the city a new image.

That $75,000 could lever up to $2.7 million in marketing value (a return of 40 to1) in the local economy, according to business development officer Sean Poland.

On Thursday, council approved the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation's (GSDC) choice to develop a new brand position, graphics and strategy for the city.

The funding approval allows the GSDC to apply for matching funds from FedNor for the balance of the contract.

The $148,130 contract for Phase 1 of the rebranding plan was awarded to Toronto-based OVE Design. OraclePoll Research and 50 Carleton & Associates, two Sudbury firms, will also be involved with the project.

In a dynamic, multi-media presentation to council, Poland and Doug Nadorozny, the city's general manager of economic development, told council a new brand for Sudbury could turn the city around like the Â?I Love New YorkÂ? campaign has done south of the border.

That was what Ward 6 Councillor Lynne Reynolds wanted to hear.

"This is one of the cheapest, most exciting initiatives I've seen," she said. "The roads have become a symbol for what we think is wrong with our city. Branding will repair our civic pride. 'I Love New York' gave that city the power to survive the worst terrorist attack in history."

Worried about how the public would take the new brand, Ward 1 Councillor Terry Kett seemed to want to knock the "Greater" out of Greater Sudbury.

"Outside the city, we talk about Sudbury, whether we like it or not. We need to get this right."

Ward 4 Councillor Russ Thompson was impressed by the report Poland prepared, which included all the criteria used to evaluate the tenders and make the decision.

"This is something to get excited about. It's so up front and transparent, it's awesome."

The creation of a new brand for Sudbury will take place over the next few months. The city will then spend in the region of $300,000 on print publications, media advertisements, work on sudburytourism.ca, event sponsorship, brochures, posters and signage to get the message across.

Poland described this second phase as crucial, pointing out that a good brand is nothing without a marketing scheme behind it.

Timing is to branding what location is to real estate: it's the golden rule, Poland said.

"The city is on the cusp of an economic development renaissance," Poland said earlier Thursday. "We have seen forward-thinking in strategic planning not only in economic decvelopment but across all sectors: health care, education and business, to name a few. There is a great deal of optimism in the community right now.

"We need to bind this new city together with one united brand to the rest of the country and the world."

He said branding is not about immediate job creation, but making long-term financial sustainability "possible and attainable.

Ward 3 Councillor Andre Rivest, in his endless search for money to fix Sudbury's roads, asked to defer the matter to Saturday's all-day budget meeting.

"Let's not deviate from the priorities here," he said. Â?Seventy-five thousand dollars, that's what, two kilometres of roads?"

Ward 6 Councillor Janet Gasparini said nice roads are useless if there is no one to drive on them.

"We need to look at the big picture here."


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