By Barry Janoff
January 25, 2017: The city of Atlanta is living up to its nickname of "Hot-Lanta" these days.
The NFL’s Falcons are in Super Bowl LI and next season will begin play in their new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Hawks are making a strong run for the NBA playoffs. The expansion United FC are preparing for their first MLS season. This spring, for the 2017 MLB season, the Braves will move into their new stadium, SunTrust Park.
In February 2019 Super Bowl LIII will be played in 71,000-seat Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
And this January, the 2018 College Football National Championship Game will be played in the new stadium.
Although that game is more than 340 days off, the Atlanta Football Host Committee wants to get the party started now. This week, AFHC unveiled a multi-media effort to raise awareness not only for the game and the host venue but also for the city of Atlanta.
The effort initially will be titled "I’m In" and include Internet, digital and outdoor featuring politicians, celebrities and local leaders "who make hosting the game possible."
Creative will feature Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta chief of police Erika Shields, Atlanta public schools Teacher of the Year (2015-16) Jerry Kosoff, world-renowned locals Zac Brown Band and other "behind-the-scene employees who make it possible to host such a major sporting event," according to AFHC.
A press conference to launch the campaign was held this week in Centennial Olympic Park near the first sign, which depicts Mayor Reed alongside the words, "I’m In" and the 2018 championship game logo.
"For Atlanta, this event is more than just a football game," said Dan Corso, president for the Atlanta Sports Council.
Other billboards will be located throughout the city, with one keeping running countdown until game day.
The week prior to the game itself will see the campaign morph to "Atlanta’s All In."
Outfront Media, one of the largest out-of-home media companies in North America, was signed to work in partnership with AFHC for the '18 College Football Playoff National Championship.
Outfront Media's in-house full-service creative boutique, Outfront Studios, worked with AFHC to "conceptualize, create, and develop the 'I’m In' out-of-home campaign, aiming to build awareness for Atlanta being named host city for next year's event.
"We are excited to work with the AFHC on a campaign that has deep ties to Atlanta and its people," Eddy Herty, Outfront Media's national creative director, who also leads Outfront Studios, said in a statement. "We pride ourselves on the ability to deliver impactful and engaging work for our clients, and our team had a lot of fun working with the AFHC on the 'I'm In' concept and creative.
"We believe it will resonate with both Atlanta residents and college football fans across the nation. There are 128 schools competing to reach the final game in Atlanta, and our efforts will help promote this championship every day until it takes place," said Herty.
Trenches Sports and Entertainment in Atlanta is the exclusive sales agency.
Also this week, the Atlanta Sports Council launched a Championship Hosting Division, which will focus on "streamlining efficiencies for planning and producing major sporting events locally."
For ASC, that includes the '18 College Football Championship, Super Bowl LIII and the 2020 NCAA Men’s Final Four, which will be played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
"Sporting events of this caliber are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to be a part of, and we're honored Atlanta was chosen to host next year's game," ASC’s Corso said in a statement. "Our goal for the 'I'm In' program was to create a sustainable campaign that could attract national attention all year long, but also tie into our local roots.
"The creative highlights how everyone came together — both well-known Atlanta stars and those playing pivotal behind-the-scenes roles — all to make the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship the best experience yet.," said Corso.
Mercers-Benz Stadium, scheduled to officially open this summer, currently has ten founding partners, including Coca-Cola, Equifax, The Home Depot, NCR, Novelis, SCANA Energy, SunTrust, IBM and American Family Insurance.
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