Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau

A new brand image unveiled this week caused a stir among those attending the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau’s annual luncheon. Many wanted to know where they could get T-shirts.

Cathie Anderson: Sacramento gets a gold star in re-brand

Published: Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012 - 2:29 pm

The staff of the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau unveiled a new brand image at its annual luncheon Thursday, and before it was over, about 50 people asked how they could get a black T-shirt that read: "SACRAMENTO: CALIFORNIA BEGINS HERE."

The gold tagline and a gold star (replacing the second "a" in Sacramento) are nods both to the city's place as the state capital and the region's Gold Rush history, said Sonya Bradley, the bureau's chief marketing officer. Yet the image also allows a multifaceted story to be told.

"It truly allows us to branch out to everything that we try to sell this destination for," Bradley said. "For example, 'Farm to Fork,' this is California's agricultural region. Now we can say if you really want a true 'Farm to Fork' experience, you'll find it right here in Sacramento."

The new brand sounds more commanding than the "Discover Gold" phrase used over the last 10 years, Bradley said. Who wouldn't want a commanding T-shirt?

FUEL for change?

No one has to tell partners Brent Rector and Steve Worth of FUEL Creative Group what a great place Sacramento is to live or visit.

They grew up here. Rector's a product of Foothill High School in Sacramento, and Worth graduated from El Dorado Hills' Oak Ridge.

The two men have built a business in midtown with four employees and billings that average $500,000 to $600,000 annually.

Still, when leaders of the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau asked them to update the region's brand, the duo struggled with finding the right icon to represent Sacramento.

Finally, they recommended the simplicity of a star, so often used to identify Sacramento on maps, along with a bold promise that they felt was as honest and genuine as their town.

"We live in a great place, but for some reason when a resident goes out to talk about Sacramento, sometimes we will apologize," Worth said. "That needs to go away. That's really what we're trying to do with the re-brand. We're trying to give the entire city permission to be … confident."

Six anglers SCORE

Fishing buddies can float some wild ideas – like starting a sports league for professional anglers in the Western states.

It's been tried before, without success.

Yet six businessmen and anglers – Gary and Richard Dobyns of Dobyns Rods, marketing guru Jim Markham, angler Tony Franceschi, information technology expert Rod Lee and attorney Craig Gottwals – wanted to give it a try.

So, who do you call when you want to bring in this kind of haul? Markham chose the nonprofit Service Corps of Retired Executives and its series of workshops on the well-run business. (The next series starts Aug. 21. Sign up at

When Markham's workshops ended earlier this year, he and other classmates created forums to advise one another, and Markham recruited three volunteer SCORE mentors to advise his Outdoor Heritage sports league.

"Everything's confidential, so after we have our monthly corporate meetings, I basically take my notes to the meeting (with mentors), and I … ask them, step by step, what do they think about holding retained earnings or other different financial aspects, how we should approach sponsorships, how we should treat our customers, what should we put toward the television commercials or newsprint media, basically asking their opinions because they've walked a mile or 10 miles in our shoes already."

The first Outdoor Heritage tournament is scheduled for January, Markham said. He and his partners have lined up sponsors and are negotiating with three television networks to run a show. See for more information.

It was SCORE, Markham said, that helped him and his partners stay on course.

Outdoor Heritage Promo Video from Bass Hookups on Vimeo.

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