After setting an attendance record in 2016, with guests visiting from all 50 states and more than 110 countries, the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park’s board of directors selected Tipping Point to manage the park’s overall marketing, sponsorship and publicity throughout 2017. The goal: to earn even greater exposure for the largest inland Naval Park in the country that serves as the crown jewel of Buffalo’s waterfront renaissance.
Tipping Point’s team, led by Buffalo Office Director Mike Barone, worked closely with the late Col. Patrick J. Cunningham, its executive director for nearly 25 years, Anthony N. Diina, Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of its Marketing Committee and Paul Marzello, the Park’s Director of Development to create a timeline and comprehensive marketing plan to drive attendance in 2017. The plan included strategic consultation, media relations, social media and sponsorships.
The day before the kick-off of the season, former Naval Park Executive Director Colonel Cunningham, who spent 30 years in active military service with the U.S. Army, passed away, eight days before his 79th birthday. Immediately, the tone and direction of the season-opening press conference changed, and Tipping Point responded quickly and strategically.
In addition to announcing the events for the season, the ceremony recognized the life of Col. Cunningham, introduced the new Executive Director, Capt. Brian Roche, and recognized the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Navy's donation of the Destroyer USS THE SULLIVANS and Guided Missile Cruiser, the USS Little Rock. Media coverage throughout Western New York was significant and powerful, and successfully introduced many reasons why people should visit the Naval Park this season.