International Speedway Corporation, the owner of Daytona International Speedway, wanted to transform the Speedway into the world’s first true motorsports entertainment complex. Major renovations were planned for the track, grandstands and racing facilities as well as development of 181 acres adjacent to the property into a mixed use facility with hotel, retail, office and condominiums. The scope of the project necessitated ISC to gain approval from the City of Daytona and Volusia County. Opposition to the project quickly developed – the resulting coalition included current retail and hotel interests as well as Daytona anti-development activists.
The Orange Solution
ISC turned to Orange Agency strategists to develop the messaging and strategy to shepherd this $400 million project through the numerous government hurdles. Working with ISC, an economic impact study was commissioned, a series of focus groups conducted and a comprehensive public survey was completed. From the findings Orange designed and executed an aggressive message dissemination strategy that included earned media, opinion pieces, a robust digital advertising program and a grassroots focused website. We also helped to recruit and organize a coalition of supporters that attended and testified at hearings and meetings that proved beneficial to putting a local face on the project.
The strong grassroots, earned media and digital campaign overwhelmed the opposition and in January of 2013, both the City of Daytona and Volusia County unanimously approved the largest private development project for the area. Both boards were won over by the economic impact that would be felt short-term by the construction and long-term by the added tourism that will result from completion of the project. In July of 2013, ISC broke ground on the track redevelopment and has signed letters of intent with Bass Pro Shops and Cobb Theaters to anchor the multi-use development.