Olympic Peninsula Gold
Olympic Peninsula Gold is the heart of a regional marketing campaign to promote the Olympic Peninsula to the world as a tourist destination in Washington State. "Oly Gold" for short, the campaign walks a tight line between legal restrictions on the use of the word "Olympic" and the need of a community to promote its attractions in order to maintain the viability of its primary industry - tourism.
The Olympic Peninsula region has the unique distinction of sharing the word "Olympic" with the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia in Canada. The word "Olympic" enjoys a special protection among all words in the English language. The exclusive marketing rights to the word "Olympic" were granted by the United States Congress to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in the 1978 Amateur Sports Act.
The Olympic Peninsula region also has the unique distinction of sharing its biggest asset, Olympic National Park, with the world. Olympic National Park is designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is the only World Heritage Park in the northwest. The closest one south is Redwoods Park in California. To the east is Yellowstone. The park is in Jefferson County, but it belongs to the people of the United States of America. UNESCO's designation claims that in some way it belongs to the people of the world.
How To Avoid Confusion
Marketers of the Olympic Peninsula were confronted with a quandary: how to ensure compliance with the legal requirements surrounding the use of the word "Olympic," and still be able to effectively market the Olympic Peninsula to the world. Washington State's Olympic Peninsula is located less than 100 miles from the site of the 2010 winter games. Confusion seemed inevitable.
"Oly" - New Brand
The solution was to rebrand the Olympic Peninsula region with a new identity. The word "Oly" became the brand. The regional marketing campaign substitutes the brand name for the word "Olympic" to designate resources of the Olympic Peninsula, linking the "Oly" brand with regional assets, such as Oly Heritage, Oly Gold, and Oly Map, to arrive at promotable combinations that would not be permitted with the word "Olympic."
The use of the brand minimizes semantic and legal confusion with the USOC and its claims over its protected assets. In fact, local residents historically have used the combination of "Oly" with other words, such as OlyCAP for Olympic Community Action Program and OlyPen, a local internet provider. At one time a local brewery, Olympia, which is out of business, sold an Oly brand beer.
Come For The Gold
Come For The Gold is the call to action for the "Oly" Gold campaign to invite visitors to the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park, World Heritage Park. "Come For The Gold" is friendlier and more inclusive than "Go For The Gold," the motivational cry of Olympians seeking to win gold medals in sanctioned competition. Come For the Gold is an open invitation from businesses and communities around the Olympic Peninsula to encourage visitors to come and discover the treasures in and around Olympic National Park.
The word "gold" is a symbol for the region's ecological and cultural wealth, waiting to be discovered by visitors on such websites as DiscoverOly.com. The wealth includes Mt. Olympus - Home of the Gods - the summit of the Olympic Mountains, ecologically unique rain forests, ocean beaches, native American communities and culturally diverse towns.
Gold is more than a symbol for the natural wonders surrounding Olympic National Park. The precious metal is actually present in some streams and on select beaches around the Olympic Peninsula. The rich history of gold prospecting and discovery is documented in the book, Olympic Peninsula Gold, which can be ordered on Amazon.
Olympic Legacy in NW
The promotion of the Olympic Peninsula as a destination rich in the history of the "Olympic" traditions of the ancient Olympic games is based on the documented similarities of the region with the original Olympic festivals of Greece 2700 years ago. For a historical perspective see "Comparison of Olympic Peninsula and Ancient Games of Greece. Download Invitation to Press in pdf format. Read Seven articles on comparison of Olympic Peninsula to ancient games of Greece.
Businesses and communities are permitted to promote regional attractions with the name "Olympic" in their title. The region was granted special exemptions from the 1978 Amateur Sports Act in those cases where the use of the word "Olympic" is associated with geographic features of the region, such as "Olympic Mountains" and "Olympic Peninsula." These protections were granted by a 1998 amendment to the Amateur Sports Act and they are specific to the region in Washington State, defined by the act, as west of the Cascade Mountains.
Other protection to businesses and organizations using the word "Olympic" around the Olympic Peninsula region come from the longevity of its Olympic Peninsula Travel Association (OPTA), founded in 1932, and grandfathered in its use of the word "Olympic", by its existence prior to 1950, the year of the USOC's charter and the exempted date for prior use, established by the 1978 Amateur Sports Act. For example, the organization promoted the "Olympic Loop" and its triangular logo as "The Welcome Sign of the Olympics."
The logo for the new brand is the word "Oly" depicted in white letters and imposed upon a red heart. The logo evolved out of the phrase Heart of the Olympic Peninsula, one recognized for decades in use by Jefferson County, the jurisdiction spanning the Olympic Peninsula. The center and heart of the county is Mt. Olympus atop the Olympic Mountains in Olympic National Park. The word heart also represents the sense of "spirit" and "love," indicating the deep respect and love for the region and the ecologic wonders it contains.
The Heart of the Olympic Peninsula "Oly Heart" brings together the best travel and recreational resources from all areas around the Olympic Peninsula to provide entertaining and informative opportunities for people planning trips to the region, simply seeking information about the region or looking for tours, destinations, products and services that are available and accessible online.
The promotional campaign employs a platoon of mascots and cartoon characters, such as Captain Oly The Pirate, Dungy The Dungeness Crab, an Olympia Oyster, an Oly The Mammoth, for example, promotes the Seven Wonders of the Olympic Peninsula Tour. Cartoon characters are created by Dan Youra.
The Olympic Peninsula Gold campaign represents the combined efforts of local communities, cities, counties, businesses and non profit organizations, such as visitor centers, chambers of commerce and economic development agencies promoting travel, tourism and the sales of locally produced products and agricultural specialty items.
The promotional campaign offers mobile access for cell phone users, activated for travelers, who depend upon their cell phones, while visiting new destinations. Mobile access is centralized on the web at OlyMobile.com and on the mobile web at Oly1.mobi.
The inclusion of travel information for cell phones is further personalized in the Olympic Peninsula Gold marketing campaign in a special program promoted as "My Oly" at MyOly.com, which includes access from the popular social networking sites, rebranded in the "Oly" themes to OlyFace.com, OlyTweet.com, OlyTube.com and OlySpace.com.
The marketing mix includes two additional features to assist cell phone savvy travelers. One is a set of standard QR codes
for easy access from cell phones enabled with cameras and QR picture capture apps. The picture codes help smart phone users to quickly access web sites with a single click of the handset's camera. The second helpful app for cell phones is an advanced Business and Attraction Finder for locations on the Olympic Peninsula and in the Seattle Vancouver metro areas. Apps are powered by Pipper with data downloaded by Earthcomber.
2010 is a year that offers special challenges to the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsula. In addition to the challenges faced by all communities around the state and the nation due to economic contractions, this region of Washington State has it own unique challenges and opportunities. Unemployment on some of the native American tribal lands on the Olympic Peninsula is greater than 30%. The tourism promotion campaign presented here is intended to act as a stimulus package for economic development to assist all the communities on the Olympic Peninsula and increase the quality of life for the region's residents.
The promotion of Olympic Peninsula Gold is an integral part of the positioning of the Olympic Peninsula to successfully take advantage of world media coverage of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia in Feb and the Paralympics in March, 2010.
For more information on the Oly Story contact Dan Youra, president, organizing committee for "Come 4 The Gold" promotional campaign.
Legal Use of "Olympic"
For more information on the legal use of the word "Olympic" as applied to the Olympic Peninsula region and Puget Sound, visit Legal Uses of "Olympic" and see historic examples of use in OPTA Newsletter.
Author: Dan Youra, travel writer and publisher of guides and maps for Olympic Peninsula since 1984. More information about the author: Dan Youra