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2019 JEM Grant Presentations

Sister Bay Celebrates New Year's Eve the Wisconsin Way

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The Sister Bay Advancement Association is putting the cherry on top of 2018 with their second-annual New Year’s Eve Cherry Drop. With help from a $12,536 JEM grant, Sister Bay is looking to promote the event to new target markets across Wisconsin. The New Year’s Eve Cherry Drop features family-friendly activities and concludes with the dropping of a seven-foot round, 300-pound red cherry at midnight.  

For the second year, the New Year’s Eve Cherry Drop offers activities throughout the day such as shopping, ice skating, live entertainment and a fireworks show. The midnight cherry drop puts a local spin on the time-honored tradition of the New York’s Times Square Ball Drop by promoting the area’s popular cherry orchards. The celebration is expected to attract 1,700 attendees, generating an estimated $144,000 in visitor spending in the area. Grant funds will go towards print, radio, digital and outdoor advertising to attract visitors from the Appleton, Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee areas. 

Shawano Country Launches "Wild" Branding Campaign 

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The Shawano Country Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is launching a new brand campaign for Year 2 of its multi-year rebranding project. With help from a $27,750 JEM grant, the campaign promotes the area’s newly developed “Wild & Scenic” brand that emphasizes activities throughout Shawano and Menominee Counties and along the Wolf River, like ice fishing, snowshoeing, kayaking and whitewater rafting.

The brand launch follows a 2017 assessment that uncovered the importance of the Wolf River’s recreational opportunities in Shawano and Menominee counties. Advertising efforts will build off the “Wild & Scenic” brand by encouraging travelers “find their wild side” in Shawano Country. The chamber will also develop and encourage new activities that range in travelers’ choice of “wild,” from mushroom hunting to sky-diving. The campaign runs January through June 2019 and is anticipated to attract 6,200 attendees, generating an estimated $140,800 in visitor spending. Grant funds will go towards outdoor and digital advertising targeting Millennials and Gen Xers from Green Bay, Fox Cities, Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago. 

Professional Rodeo Back in Rusk County for Year Two

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Rusk County Rodeo is wrangling up fun in Northern Wisconsin with help from a $13,633 JEM grant. The event features seven varieties of rodeo disciplines, as well as live music and family-friendly activities. Rusk County Rodeo is set to take place Aug. 8-10, 2019 at the Rusk County Fairgrounds in Ladysmith. 

In addition to classic rodeo events, Rusk County Rodeo includes a County Kick-Off night, Dirt Dash for Kids, live auction and more. Last year’s sold-out rodeo has resulted in the addition of 1,000 seats that will accommodate even more fans. Rusk County Rodeo is expected to attract 6,000 attendees, generating an estimated $124,800 in visitor spending in the area. Grant funds will go towards radio, print and digital marketing to attract members of equine associations from Wisconsin and surrounding states to the event.

Rice Lake Welcomes New Winter Sport

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Rice Lake Tourism & Retails Development is welcoming a Nordic winter sport to the area for the first time with help from a $30,625 JEM grant. The first-ever Western Extreme Skijoring Event features skijoring, a version of drag racing in which horses tow skiers along a snow-covered racecourse. The event is set to take place March 1-2, 2019 at Barron County Fairgrounds in Rice Lake.

Being towed by actual horsepower, skijoring allows skiers to hit speeds up to 30 mph and get air from jumps and obstacles that are part of the course. Grant funds will go towards online, print and broadcast advertising to target winter sports fans from Chicago, Eau Claire, Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee and Minneapolis. The event is expected to attract over 4,500 attendees, generating an estimated $240,000 in visitor spending in the Rice Lake area. 

Barron County Heats Up the Fun at New Bar-B-Q Festival

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The Barron County Fair is grilling up fun at the inaugural Blue Hills Bar-B-Q Fest with help from a $37,337 JEM grant. The two-day event will act as a kick-off for the annual Rice Lake Aquafest, as well as Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned competitions in Wisconsin. Blue Hills Bar-B-Q Fest takes place May 31-June 1, 2019 at the Barron County Fairgrounds.  

The Blue Hills Bar-B-Q Fest will feature regional and national grilling teams competing for KCBS points. There will also be live entertainment on two stages and vendor areas for local small businesses. The event is expected to attract more than 3,300 visitors to the region, generating an estimated $211,200 in visitor spending. Grant funds will go towards outdoor, online, print and broadcast advertising to markets in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

American Players Theatre Promotes New Art Installation

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American Players Theatre (APT) is celebrating its 40th anniversary season with “Art in the Woods,” a series of art installations placed throughout the 110-acre APT property. With help from a $39,550 JEM grant, APT looks to promote the exhibition to several Midwest Markets, including Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Eastern Iowa. Art in the Woods will run July 21-Sept. 1, 2019.

Art in the Woods looks to enhance the audience experience with up to 12 art installations commissioned by regional artists. Each piece will fit into one of three categories that align with APT’s mission and programming and encourage visitors to explore the grounds. The exhibition will make its debut for APT’s 40th anniversary celebration on July 21. Smaller events, such as arts talks and guided tours of the installation, will be held through Sept. 1. Art in the Woods is expected to attract over 5,400 attendees, generating an estimated $185,440 in visitor spending. Grant funds will go towards direct mail, online, print and radio advertising. 

Oneida County Tourism Council Jumpstarts Year 2 of Development Campaign

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The Oneida County Tourism Council is jumpstarting Year 2 of its development campaign with a new brand strategy for the area. With help from a $8,500 JEM grant, the brand launch includes a new website, revamped social media presence and marketing campaign that aims to increase travel in the fall season and attract younger travelers. Grant funds are going towards digital advertising in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Appleton, Chicago and Dubuque. The new brand strategy will run through December and is expected to attract 4,500 attendees to the area, generating an estimated $444,00 in visitor spending. 

Tomahawk Regional Chamber Embarks on Year 3 of Marketing Campaign

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The Tomahawk Regional Chamber of Commerce is embarking on Year 3 of its current marketing campaign with help from a $39,550 JEM grant. The campaign looks to promote the region through a new website and social media efforts. The chamber will also launch two sweepstakes that give contestants a chance to win overnight accommodations and “Chamber Bucks” to be used towards their trip. The sweepstakes will help the chamber introduce the Tomahawk brand to new audiences during the winter and spring seasons, drive traffic to its website and increase e-newsletter subscribers. Grant funds for the marketing campaign will go towards digital advertising and publicity to target women from Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago. The campaign is expected to attract 7,500 attendees, generating $760,00 in visitor spending in the area.

Kubb Culture at the Center of Visit Eau Claire Marketing Campaign

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Visit Eau Claire is growing tourism to the area through a unique campaign about Wisconsin’s Kubb culture. With help from a $39,500 JEM grant, the campaign aims to introduce visitors to the welcoming and playful vibes of Eau Claire, where the sport of Kubb has skyrocketed in popularity over the past several years. Kubb is a Swedish lawn game described as a cross between horseshoes and bowling. Brought to Eau Claire over 10 years ago, the game has grown so much in popularity that the city is now the Kubb Capital of North America. With no restrictions on age, skill or gender, the game evokes feelings of community, inclusion and fun for its players.

The marketing campaign aims to convey the feelings that visitors get when visiting. Running December 2018 through May 2019, the campaign will target family travelers in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. It is anticipated to attract 2,000 visitors, generating an estimated $104,000 in visitor spending in the area. Grant funds will go towards digital, print and TV advertising, as well as photo and video production.

Silent Sports Make a Splash in La Crosse County

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Explore La Crosse is embarking on the second year of its silent sports expo with help from a $13,322 JEM grant. The Driftless Outdoors Show promotes La Crosse County as a premiere destination for silent sports and will once again showcase outdoor sports equipment provided by some of the nation’s top experts and retailers. The expo takes place May 17-18, 2019 at the Onalaska Omni Center.

The Driftless Outdoors Show highlights 50,000 square feet of the latest in silent sports, from hiking, biking and kayaking to camping, fishing and archery. Beyond vendors, the expo features seminars and events, such as the DockDogs canine aquatic competition, live bird presentations and a craft beer night. This year, the Driftless Outdoors Show is expected to attract more than 3,800 visitors to the region, generating an estimated $161,600 in visitor spending. Grant funds will go towards outdoor, online, print and radio advertising.

Rusk County Tourism Gets a Boost with Help from Grant

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Rusk County Tourism is unveiling a new branding campaign as part of a $7,150 Year-3 JEM grant. The campaign, called “Four Rivers. For Everyone” promotes fall travel to the area and emphasizes the unique recreational opportunities that Rusk County’s four rivers – the Flambeau, Chippewa, Jump and Thornapple – bring to the area, including fishing, canoeing, hiking and fall color chairlift rides.

This is the third year Rusk County Tourism has received a JEM Grant to help the county’s rebranding efforts. In 2016, the grant aided in collecting data about behaviors related to and perceptions of Rusk County. In 2017, the grant helped the organization create a new brand strategy based on 2016’s collected data. This year, the grant helps the execution of the promotional campaign developed from the past two years of preparation. The new campaign runs through December and is anticipated to attract 5,000 attendees to the area, generating an estimated $177,00 in visitor spending. Grant funds will go towards online advertising to attract visitors from the Twin Cities, Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago.

Pierce County Touism Launches Brand Research Project

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Pierce County Economic Development Corporation is launching a research project to identify the county’s tourism brand with help from a $13,144 JEM grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Data collected from the project will help Pierce County establish a new brand and develop marketing materials to attract travelers to the area.

The research study, which began in early December, will reveal the tourism assets that are unique to the area and how visitor perceptions align with current marketing efforts. The study will also help the Pierce County Economic Development Corporation make recommendations about branding, marketing and development opportunities. Surveys will collect data from local stakeholders, current visitors and potential visitors. Grant funds will go towards research costs related to the study.

Northern Pines Sled Dog Race Mush-ers in the Fun

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The Iron River Area Chamber of Commerce is sprinting into the first-ever Northern Pines Sled Dog Race with help from a $3,900 JEM grant. The new event, which aims to showcase Northern Wisconsin’s natural beauty and recreation opportunities, will feature three sled dog races, with sprint lengths of 4.8, 8.4, 12.5 and 16.2 miles. Northern Pines Sled Dog Race will take place on Feb. 16 at Northern Pines Golf Course and Event Center in Iron River. Attendees can watch sled dog racers on different parts of the race route, with spectator areas at the start and finish line. They can also experience Northern Wisconsin woods and winter recreation with free snowshoeing and other family activities.

The event is anticipated to attract 1,300 attendees, generating an estimated $75,200 in visitor spending in the area. Grant funds will go towards print, TV and social media advertising to attract guests from Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

Central Wisconsin Military Show Educates Visitors and Honors Veterans

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The Central Wisconsin Military Show is celebrating U.S. military history and honoring veterans with help from a $39,275 JEM grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. The annual show, which will take place Aug. 9-11, 2019 at the Motorama Auto Museum grounds in Aniwa, showcases antique military vehicles, battle re-enactments and speakers from all branches of the U.S. military. 

The event, the largest of its kind in Wisconsin, aims to increase awareness and education of the U.S. military while honoring past and present veterans. Attendees can get up close and personal with military vehicles and memorabilia, meet veterans and veteran service groups and watch historic re-enactments. The Central Wisconsin Military Show is expected to attract 4,500 attendees, generating an estimated $344,000 in visitor spending in the area. Grant funds will go towards print, broadcast and online advertising to attract attendees throughout the Midwest.

Stevens Point Area CVB Launches "Fun on Tap" Campaign

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The Stevens Point Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is embarking on Year 2 of its new brand campaign with help from a $39,550 JEM grant. The “Fun on Tap” campaign will launch in March 2019 and aims to inform potential travelers about the area’s natural resources, the community of makers who call Stevens Point home, and the connection between these two assets. 

The brand campaign launch comes after a year-long a perception study conducted by the Stevens Point Area CVB. The study, part of the Year 1 JEM grant project, identified travelers to the region, highlighted the area’s assets and provided quantifiable reporting of the economic impact of tourism in the Stevens Point Area. Survey respondents cited the city’s craft brewers, outdoor recreation and natural areas as a destination asset. Year 2 grant funds will go towards online and social media advertising, video and logo development and public relations efforts to promote the new “Fun on Tap” brand campaign.

Boulder Junction Races into Second Annual Winter Triathlon

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Boulder Junction invites athletes to glide, stomp and pedal their way through the Forest Frenzy Winter Triathlon with help from a $15,000 JEM grant. Taking place February 15-17, 2019, the second annual triathlon will combine a 7.5K cross-country ski race, 5K snowshoe race and 7.5K fat bike race. Participants in the triathlon’s first year were primarily from outside the local area, including other Midwest states and as far as the East Coast.

This year, grant funds will go towards digital and print marketing to attract experienced triathletes and winter sport athletes from the entire Midwest and beyond. The event is anticipated to attract 355 attendees, generating an estimated $45,120 in visitor spending in the area.

A Gathering of Rogues and Ruffians – A Renaissance Faire Takes Visitors Back in Time 

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Shakespeare on the Edge is transporting visitors back in time for A Gathering of Rogues and Ruffians – A Renaissance Faire with help from a $39,550 JEM grant. The 11thannual faire brings the Renaissance to life with a look at the era’s arts, activities and characters. A Gathering of Rogues and Ruffians is set to take place on October 13 and 14 at Circus World in Baraboo. During the event, visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to experience aspects of the Renaissance, from jewelry to pottery to costumes of the times. In addition to Renaissance-themed shops, there is a variety of live performances such as archery, sword fighting, magic, jousting and more.

The event is anticipated to attract 6,200 attendees generating an estimated $590,000 in estimated visitor spending in the area. Grant funds will go towards outdoor, online, print and broadcast advertising to attract both day-trippers and out-of-state visitors from Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.