Lots of weird local media news lately, if you care. Starting with good news. Good news, everybody. Not only is the Valley’s economic crash over, but print is back, baby! So says Arizona Foothills Magazine, in a rare piece of self promotion.
Meanwhile, the AZ Republic just bought themselves an s-ton of smoked meat, as in they signed on as the title sponsor of the Arizona BBQ Fest. Which was announced by the event’s founders in one of the most hilariously-obnoxious press releases ever!
First things first, Arizona Foothills is “pleased to announce that the March 2011 issue will be its largest issue in more than two years!” Plus, “Arizona Foothills has seen luxury advertisers entering the market and snapping up pages in the magazine for the first time in years, or for some, ever!” Which is good news for those hard-working folks over at AFM & Media That Deelivers. But speaking of AFM owner/publisher/Sharpie aficionado, Mike Dee, a quick look at some of those new “luxury” advertisers had us scratching our heads.
Aside from the usual suspects (jewelers, boutiques, car dealers and more plastic surgeons than you can shake a Botox needle at) there’s a down-home BBQ joint and a local PR company? Weird that Rose + Moser + Allyn would advertise in a local mag, right? Especially considering that head honcho, Jason Rose, is considered more of an AZ politics guru (he’s best known as Sheriff Joe’s talking head) than a luxury goods promoter. That said, they have expanded to rep some of the bigger restaurants (and medical marijuana dispensaries) in town, such as Stingray Sushi and Greenway University (seriously).
Oh, and there’s this. Back in October, Mike Dee took the unusual step of endorsing PV Mayor, Vernon Parker in his failed US Congress bid. Although Parker lost to ‘The Dirty’ contributor, Dan Quayle, you’ll never guess who reps Parker? Yup, Mr. Rose. If only the Phoenix New Times still existed, we bet there’d be an interesting nit-picking expose here.
Moving on, the EATERAZ crew, who also dabble in food and wine promotion, just landed a huge title sponsor for their second annual AZ BBQ Fest. Yes, AZCentral’s parent company has shelled out a reported $75K to be the title sponsor. Two things here. Odd that the owners of both the AZ Republic & 12 News would decide to promote their website over their newpaper/TV station. Seems like a pretty concrete statement about the bleak future of those dying mediums.
More important, did you read EATERAZ’s press release? Seems they got some flack a while back for absolutely savaging a sloppy press release some poor PR person sent their way. So when tooting their own horn, they went absolutely hog wild with the hoary (and whore-y) PR terms. We counted at least 14 tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek cliches, including ‘zeitgeist’ ‘lingering unemployment’ ‘macro-economic factors’ ‘comfort food’ ‘growing brand equity’ ‘branding potential’ … Not to mention, the BBQ Fest is described as a “potent weapon in the marketing arsenal of active companies, in terms of accelerating customer relationships and overall ROI.” Nice work, guys. Read the full press release below.
[Editor's Note: I worked as the Editor-in-Chief of Arizona Foothills a few years back, and have a lot of respect for the staff over there. Hi Mike!]
Mike Dee image via
AZCENTRAL.COM LOVES BBQ SO MUCH, THEY BOUGHT THEIR OWN BBQ FESTIVAL!
Arizona’s largest online news source signs on as Presenting Sponsor for the
2nd Annual Arizona Barbecue Festival
(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.)—There’s no denying the persuasive power of good barbecue, just ask the Arizona Republic who wants to harness the power of the 2nd Annual Arizona Barbecue Festival on March 26th at the Scottsdale Waterfront to promote azcentral.com, the official web site of The Arizona Republic and 12 News.
“When we heard that their inaugural event drew over 10,000 people, we immediately began a conversation about getting involved in year two,” says Aimee Jolley, Marketing Director with azcentral.com. “We’re certainly interested in marketing to crowds of that size,” she says.
The attendance swell came not only from an intense marketing effort by ABF founders and media vets, Rick Phillips and David Tyda, but because barbecue is the hottest food category in the country right now. “Barbecue is America’s cuisine,” says Phillips. “And it’s a snapshot of the current zeitgeist. A slowly recovering economy, lingering unemployment, and other macro-economic factors mean that people want comfort food, and our event provides it. Meanwhile, sponsors want immediate results while also growing brand equity. In response, events like these have emerged as potent weapons in the marketing arsenal of active companies, in terms of accelerating customer relationships and overall ROI. That’s why this partnership with azcentral.com is such a perfect fit.”
The 2nd Annual Arizona Barbecue Festival Presented by azcentral.com is a competition sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) and attracts professional and amateur teams from all over the country. With $20,000 at stake, this is no culinary frivolity. “Barbecue is the next competitive sport,” says Phillips, “and companies are quickly realizing the branding potential. Think NASCAR, but on a much more affordable level.”
More Americans own a grill than a television, confirming the avid culture behind grilling and smoking meats. Couple that with the high-profile location—between SouthBridge and the Fashion Square mall in downtown Scottsdale—and this years’ event is poised to become one of the best events ever produced in Arizona.
Other sponsors include Jack Daniel’s, Samuel Adams, Mercedes-Benz, Whole Foods Market, Mark-Taylor Residential, Wood Partners, Sub-Zero/Wolf, Arizona Farm Bureau, Yelp, Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, 98.7 The Peak, and Whiskey Ranch BBQ.
The Arizona Barbecue Festival takes place on March 26, 2011, from 10am to 5pm, at 7025 E. Via Soleri in downtown Scottsdale. General Admission is $10 (kids under 12 are free), Whiskey Row Tent is $10, VIP costs $100. Competition food samples are $2 each. Tickets are available online at www.azbbqfestival.com
ABOUT ARIZONA BARBECUE FESTIVAL—Owned by Affordable Food Festivals, LLC, the Arizona Barbecue Festival is a national barbecue competition created as a fun, affordable event for any budget. AFF founders Rick Phillips and David Tyda also own the Arizona Taco Festival, a competition and culinary festival that served over 20,000 tacos in its inaugural year. They also operate the National Taco Association, a sanctioning body for taco contests, as well as EATERAZ.com, a popular food blog that people love to hate.