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Destination Cleveland Announces “Undefeated” Campaign

Destination Cleveland has announced a community-focused initiative to help lead the region out of the initial phase of the COVID-19 crisis.

The destination marketing and management organization's new "Undefeated" campaign seeks to inspire all Clevelanders and business owners to commit and ultimately act to advance the region as it safely and responsibly reopens.

"Figuring out how to move forward from the myriad of challenges and personal loss that many of us have experienced as a result of COVID-19 will require sustained commitment, collaboration, passion and inspiration," said David Gilbert, president and CEO, Destination Cleveland. "We believe undefeated optimism defines Clevelanders and how we show up in life—in both good times and bad.

"Our undefeated and bold spirit reflects our community's resilience and determination to not just get back up but to get up and move forward. Reinforcing our undefeated spirit is Clevelanders' loyalty to the city regardless of the circumstance. We don't quit on our people, our teams or our great city."

Designed using consumer sentiment research, the campaign has three phases to help kick start the local economy and support the businesses, attractions and experiences that define Cleveland: Responsibly Reopen and Commit (online throughout June), Rediscover and Reconnect (estimated to start in July), and Remind and Recover (approximately August and beyond).

The phases speak to re-engaging at the pace at which individuals feel comfortable—only when ready.

In the first phase, Destination Cleveland is collaborating with its community partners to help the region's businesses emerge as quickly and safely as possible from the COVID-19 crisis. Given the organization's role as steward of the travel industry, tourism and hospitality businesses are the initial focus.

Recent research from Destination Analysts found that consumers need visual assurances of cleanliness and sanitation at places of business to enhance their feeling that their health is being prioritized. In response, Destination Cleveland and the region's healthcare experts at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, City of Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic, The MetroHealth System and University Hospitals are asking tourism and hospitality business owners to be CLEAN COMMITTED by adopting a standard set of cleanliness practices.

Pending Council approval, Cuyahoga County has committed $700,000 in funding from its federal CARES Act dollars to support the CLEAN COMMITTED program, which will allow for the production and distribution of more than 300,000 CLEAN KITS to tourism and hospitality businesses and, ultimately, residents.

"We're extremely appreciative of the funding being proposed by Cuyahoga County to County Council to expand the program beyond Destination Cleveland's more than 600 partners," said Gilbert. "We're confident this collaboration will have a significant impact on the responsible and safe restart of our region's economy."

In recognition of voluntarily agreeing to operate by the uniform standards, Destination Cleveland will promote tourism and hospitality businesses as CLEAN COMMITTED and provide an opportunity to access supplies that promote cleanliness and help to protect people. Its partner, Supply Side USA, is offering the products at reasonable rates to any business that agrees to be CLEAN COMMITTED.

In addition to bulk supplies (such as thermometers, industrial size sanitizer and more), CLEAN COMMITTED businesses can obtain CLEAN KITS, which are intended to be provided to patrons. The individually sealed packets contain three PURELL SINGLES® Advanced Hand Sanitizer Packets, a paper mask, and recommended practices to follow when out in the community. Business owners that make the CLEAN COMMITMENT will receive materials to post in their establishment to illustrate the clean practices.

"We want people in the community to feel safe and to be safe," said Armond Budish, Cuyahoga County Executive. "Businesses are opening back up, but many residents are wary about entering them. This 'Undefeated' campaign, which includes visible commitments to follow best cleanliness practices, accompanied by our own clean kits, should do just that: help people feel safe and be safe. I commend Destination Cleveland for this innovative approach and am proud that the County is helping to lead this effort."

Frank Jackson, Mayor of Cleveland, echoed that sentiment.

"We must all do our part to slow the spread of this highly contagious virus," said Jackson. "We are asking Cleveland business owners to make a commitment to responsibly reopen for the health and safety of their customers, employees and all Clevelanders."

An essential Northeast Ohio company and inventors of PURELL® Hand Sanitizer, GOJO Industries provided additional program support by supplying PURELL SINGLES® Advanced Hand Sanitizer Packets at a preferred cost.

For Destination Cleveland's partners who agree to be CLEAN COMMITTED, the organization will illustrate its commitment by providing a shipment of 50 CLEAN KITS and the associated program collateral. Additionally, Destination Cleveland will provide nearly 35,000 CLEAN KITS for distribution to residents through equitable channels, which are in the process of being finalized.

Following two weeks of collecting business commitments, an online resident commitment effort—called #MyWordMyCLE—will begin. Destination Cleveland will ask citizens to share how they will help move Cleveland forward. Examples include volunteering, helping others find job opportunities, focusing on health and wellness, eating or shopping local, etc. Residents should share their commitments through their social media channels using the hashtag #MyWordMyCLE.

Destination Cleveland will build upon the ask for online commitments in the second phase of the campaign. If the public health experts remain supportive of responsible activity resumption, residents will be encouraged to consider taking a staycation in July or August.

"As we did with the Cleveland brand launch in 2014 and again with our Visit Me in CLE campaign in 2020, Destination Cleveland is first turning to locals to help stimulate the visitor economy," said Gilbert. "Ongoing consumer research is showing that trips to see family and friends will lead when travel resumes. Helping to ensure locals are inspired to get back out when they feel comfortable is vital so they can then encourage visitation from family and friends at an appropriate time."

Courtesy of Groups Today.

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