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Brand USA reports fiscal year 2014 results

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

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Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, reported its results for fiscal year 2014, which reflects the period October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014. Highlights include: Total revenue of $118.3 million, an 11 percent increase compared to total revenue during fiscal year 2013 of $107.0 million. Revenue includes cash and in-kind partner contributions, partner publishing revenue and tradeshow revenue.

Cash contributions totaled $61.9 million, a 79 percent increase compared to fiscal year 2013 cash contributions of $34.5 million.

In-kind contributions totaled $56.0 million, a 26 percent decrease compared to fiscal year 2013 in-kind contributions of $70.6 million.

Partnership network increased 40 percent—from 339 partners in fiscal year 2013 to 475 through fiscal year 2014.

Partner program offerings increased from 30 in fiscal year 2013 to more than 100 programs with 200 opportunities in fiscal year 2014 — which helped drive a 94 percent partner program retention rate as measured by the number of partners participating in Brand USA co-op programs during both fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

International representation increased with offices expanding their representation of Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom to now include additional offices representing Australia, Brazil, Central America, China, Hong Kong, Mexico, New Zealand, and Taiwan.

The number of markets where Brand USA is fully deployed (with its consumer brand campaign, co-op marketing initiatives, and trade outreach) increased from 8 markets (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and the United Kingdom to 10 markets (with the addition of China and Taiwan).

The number of Brand USA pavilions hosted at international travel trade shows increased from 18 pavilions in fiscal year 2013 to 24 pavilions in fiscal year 2014.

The results of Brand USA’s efforts in driving international visitation, spend, and share of the global travel market, as well as economic impact will be announced in April as part of the organization’s annual return on investment (ROI) study conducted by Oxford Economics.

The 2013 ROI study conducted by Oxford Economics reported that Brand USA’s marketing programs generated 1.1 million incremental international visitors to the USA in 2013 — a 2.3 percent increase over growth that would have occurred without Brand USA’s marketing efforts in partnership with tour operators, travel agents, travel brands, destinations, and many other organization outside of the travel industry. These additional visitors spent about $3.4 billion in the USA, including travel and fare receipts. In total, the incremental spending by international visitors as a result of Brand USA’s marketing efforts fueled the U.S. economy in 2013 by generating $7.4 billion in business sales, $3.8 billion in GDP, and $2.2 billion in personal income. Total economic impact of the marketing effort resulted in the creation and support of more than 53,000 American jobs.

In addition, on January 22, 2015 the board of directors elected Arne M. Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, Inc., as chair of the Brand USA board. Mr. Sorenson, who was appointed to the board in September 2012, served as treasurer and chair of the Brand USA board finance committee from October 2013 to December 2015.

“We look forward to Arne’s leadership as chair of the board, as well as his guidance and support as we begin our five-year strategic planning process,” said Christopher L. Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA.

“As a result of the reauthorization of federal support for Brand USA and continued engagement in our programs and marketing initiatives, we have entered fiscal year 2014 with tremendous momentum,” said Thompson. “Partner contributions to Brand USA received fiscal year-to-date through January 2015 include cash and in-kind contributions of $64.7 million, which represents the strongest pace of contributions in our history,” Thompson added.

Including Mr. Sorenson’s election to chair, the Brand USA board elected officers and Mr. Sorenson appointed the following chairs and members to standing committees:

Finance Committee

Daniel Halpern, chair and treasurer of the board
Andrew Greenfield, member
Tom Klein, member
Barbara Richardson, member

Audit Committee

Tom Klein, chair and vice chair, operations of the board
John Edman, member
Randy Garfield, member
Mark Schwab, member

Governance and Nominating Committee

Andrew Greenfield, chair and secretary of the board
Daniel Halpern, member
Mark Schwab, member
Roy Yamaguchi, member

Marketing Committee

Barbara Richardson, chair and vice chair of the board
Caroline Beteta, member
John Edman, member
George Fertitta, member
Randy Garfield, member

Conflict of Interest Committee

Daniel Halpern, chair and treasurer of the board
Andrew Greenfield, member
Barbara Richardson, member
Roy Yamaguchi, member

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