The Pure Michigan regional summer advertising campaign started Monday, with radio, television and outdoor (billboards, bus wraps) advertising now running in our top nine regional markets – Chicago, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and southern Ontario. Outdoor ads are also running in smaller regional markets and in Michigan. The budget for the regional ad buy is $3.8 million, and it will run through June. Our $12-million national cable TV buy, which launched March 19 on 25 cable networks, also continues to runs through June.

Travel Michigan was joined by Detroit Metro CVB, The Henry Ford, Sault Ste. Marie CVB and Circle Michigan in the Brand USA International Pow Wow in Los Angeles in April. Pow Wow is the largest international travel trade marketplace in the U.S., matching up tour operators and media from around the world with destinations across America. Based on both the number and quality of our international trade and media appointments, this was the most productive Pow Wow for Michigan in years.

During the event, the U.S. Travel Association announced that Pow Wow 2014 will be held in Chicago, the first time Pow Wow has been in our region in 16 years. It was last hosted in Chicago in 1998. This will be an excellent opportunity for Michigan tourism industry members who want to expand their international marketing efforts, and we expect this to be a boost for tourism efforts in the entire Great Lakes region.

Also in April, we announced our partnership with Roush Fenway Racing, which included our sponsorship of a Pure Michigan Ford at the Nationwide Series NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway outside of Dallas on April 13th. I am happy to report that Roush driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driving the No. 6 Pure Michigan Ford, won the race, dramatically increasing the branding exposure for Pure Michigan at this event and on television.

A second component to our relationship with Roush Industries is the Pure Michigan 400 Sweepstakes. The grand prize of this sweepstakes is a custom 2012 Stage One Roush Pure Michigan 400 Mustang, which will be given away at the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series NASCAR race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, August 19th. Click here for details on the sweepstakes, which has already attracted more than 20,000 entries.

Finally, the Michigan Travel Commission meets on Friday, May 18 at 9:00 am at the Oliver Arts Center, 132 Coast Guard Road, in Frankfurt. Industry attendance and participation is encouraged.

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