Schifino Lee was selected to create the brand and marketing plan for the new Cross-Bay Ferry completely from scratch. Armed with a goal of top-notch results for our client, we set out to position the ferry as more than a mere means of transportation, but rather a “destination on-the-water experience” between St. Petersburg and Tampa.
Now, after months of anticipation, the initial results are in and our hard work has paid off. The Cross-Bay Ferry exceeded expectations for ticket sales on each of its paid round-trips in November, with over 70% of all seats sold from Friday through Sunday. Nearly half of the one-way trips sold at least 90% of the vessel’s available inventory. Even the Tampa Bay Lightning got on board with the project, giving St. Pete fans a treat by sending their cheerleaders and mascot over to a game on the ferry.
These impressive stats were achieved thanks to exceptional creative thinking, a dedication to meeting tight deadlines, and an ability to build strategic partnerships between the ferry and local businesses. Key partnerships include:
- Tucker/Hall – public relations services
- Tampa Bay Times – print and digital advertising
- Frontier Communications – cable TV advertising
- iHeart Media – radio advertising
- Clear Channel Outdoor – billboard advertising
“The Ferry’s weekend ridership was comparable to the number of passengers carried on a weekday basis by all of HART’s express, limited express, and flex service buses combined,” said project advisor Ed Turanchik.
The Cross-Bay Ferry is set for a six-month trial run, and while it is yet to be determined if the ferry will become a permanent addition to Tampa Bay, it seems to be on a very promising path. But the work is far from done. Schifino Lee continues to handle all aspects of marketing for the ferry including TV and radio spots, billboards, and social media. Tucker/Hall handles the PR and media relations as part of the Cross-Bay Fery team.