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Dec 05 2011

VISIT FLORIDA Selects SapientNitro as New Lead Agency


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (December 6, 2011) – VISIT FLORIDA – the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida – is proud to announce the selection of SapientNitro, part of Sapient (NASDAQ: SAPE), as its new lead agency of record.  The official announcement, which included the retention of Miles Media Group as part of the digital team, was made during the closing session of VISIT FLORIDA’s annual Marketing Retreat in Orlando.
“Over the last several years, we have significantly improved the impact of our advertising efforts, expanded our digital footprint and increased the ROI of our marketing campaigns,” said Chris Thompson, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA.  “We’ve been incredibly successful, but as we look at where we need to be in the next four years, this is the team that will help us – and the Florida tourism industry – get there.”
VISIT FLORIDA recently completed a new four-year strategic plan with the ambitious goal of becoming the No. 1 travel destination in the world.  In order to achieve this goal, VISIT FLORIDA must establish best-in-class partnerships with organizations that bring innovative approaches to helping effectively market the Sunshine State in today’s ever-changing digital landscape.
The appointment of SapientNitro as lead agency is the result of a comprehensive competitive process begun in February when VISIT FLORIDA enlisted the assistance of Digital DNA Infusion to help develop a needs assessment and vendor selection criteria.  In doing so, VISIT FLORIDA recognized the increasing role that technology plays in integrated marketing efforts and the importance of having the ability to serve the Florida tourism industry through digital platforms.  It was determined that the search for a new lead agency would need to encompass both brand and digital expertise.  The ensuing six-month long process elicited submissions from nearly 100 candidates.

“The need to provide visitors with impactful travel planning information in a hyper-competitive global tourism market drove our desire to combine digital and brand initiatives under one lead agency,” said Will Seccombe, Chief Marketing Officer for VISIT FLORIDA. “SapientNitro clearly demonstrated their ability in both areas and we look forward to working with their team to take the state’s marketing efforts to the next level.”
SapientNitro has more than 6,000 employees in 36 offices around the world and an impressive list of clients including Enterprise Rent-A-Car, American Airlines, Burger King, Marriott, Staples, Coca-Cola, Avis, Chrysler, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Hyatt.  While VISIT FLORIDA will be served day-to-day by the 400-member staff in SapientNitro’s Miami office, their presence and focus in key Florida target markets such as China, London, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Boston and Atlanta provide an invaluable level of additional insight and perspective.
“We see this as a great opportunity to re-position the Sunshine State and make it a premiere destination for travelers worldwide,” said Gaston Legorburu, executive director and worldwide chief creative officer, SapientNitro.  “We’re particularly excited to work with VISIT FLORIDA because of their openness to using innovative ways to reach consumers in today’s increasingly digital world.”
SapientNitro’s scope of services will include branding, advertising creative, media planning and buying, and digital marketing across web, mobile and social media.
For the last 14 years, Miles Media Group has been VISIT FLORIDA’s partner in developing innovative, award-winning programs such as the “Florida Insiders.”  As a result, VISIT FLORIDA has the No. 1 trafficked destination marketing organization website in the country.

“We retained Miles as a key part of the digital team because they know our industry and have led us to a leadership position,” said Susannah Costello, Vice President of Brand for VISIT FLORIDA.  “Combining their proven track record with SapientNitro’s creative global perspective will allow us to deliver cutting-edge marketing programs for our industry partners that ensure Florida is top-of-mind with travel consumers everywhere.”

About SapientNitro
SapientNitroSM, part of Sapient®, is an integrated marketing and technology services firm. We create and engineer highly relevant experiences that accelerate business growth and fuel brand advocacy for our clients. By combining multi-channel marketing, multi-channel commerce, and the technology that binds them, we influence customer behavior across the spectrum of content, communication and commerce channels, resulting in deeper, more meaningful relationships between customers and brands. SapientNitro services global leaders such as Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Foot Locker, Singapore Airlines, Target, and Vodafone through our operations in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter@sapientnitro.
As the state’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 82.3 million visitors in 2010 who spent more than $62.7 billion, generating 22 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue and employing nearly 1 million Floridians. For every $1 spent on tourism marketing, VISIT FLORIDA – the state’s official tourism marketing corporation – generates more than $177 in tourism spending and $11 in new sales tax collections, paid by visitors, not residents. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 10,000 tourism industry businesses, including nearly 3,000 invested Partners, more than 7,000 web affiliates and major strategic alliance partnerships with AirTran Airways, Disney Destinations, Dollar Rent A Car, The Hertz Corporation, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and Universal Orlando. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, please go to or follow our corporate blog at

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