The nation's no. 1 downtown real estate development.
There's not another downtown development like it in the United States. Some are slightly similar, but none match Sundance Square's size, quality, and management.
In the early seventies, a wealthy oil family began buying up downtown real estate. One block became four, and eventually, the privately held real estate development owned thirty-six blocks of downtown Fort Worth, Texas.
It’s home to class A commercial real estate, luxury residential, restaurants, retail, entertainment venues, and several annual events and festivals with attendance of a million+ each year.
One shot for a thousand reasons.
Full disclosure: Sundance Square was not my client; they were my employers.
Over the years I was with them, and as my responsibilities increased, my talents grew. And as Sundance grew, I was able to do more and more of what I was good at. This photo is an example of one talent - art direction.
My photographer Geno Loro and I were roaming around Sundance one Friday night. Marketing the Square took a ton of imagery and photoshoots were almost weekly occurrences. I have lost count of how many Geno and I did while I was with Sundance.
The lighting was just right, and the traffic light had just turned red, so the towers and the iconic Knights of Pythias building were surrounded by crowds crossing the street. A dad was right in front of us, holding his little girl's hand as they walked down the sidewalk. This was a visual representation of the essence of Sundance Square.
We took several snaps before the light turned green and the sun completely set, but this one stood out.
This photo has become an iconic symbol of Sundance Square and what it means to the city. It has been used many times in publications across the state and the nation.
Your friends are in Sundance Square. Where are you?
We had a 1.5 million dollar marketing budget but I refused to pay for models. I wanted to use Fort Worthians. So I used my friends.
Some of these photos are still used today. Every campaign we ran with them was a big success.
Sundance Square is all about fun. So the social media accounts should be too, right?
The point of marketing Sundance Square was to drive actual foot traffic to the Square. You don't drive traffic by constantly selling to people - you do it by creating a connection. And since Sundance was all about fun, our social media also needed to be fun. These are just two examples of the content I created that helped grow the Sundance Facebook page from nothing to over 35,000 followers by the time I "retired."
Content like this is not created by rounds of revisions and approvals. It's spur of the moment, allowing for testing and, quite honestly, failure.
Every year we were the hosts of the City's Christmas Tree and the annual Parade of Lights. The unveiling and setting of the tree was a big event in its own right. The mayor got to operate the crane for a hot minute and everyone got to see what this year's tree looked like (and critique our choice, of course).
But one year, the last year I was there for the holidays, the tree did not show up on its appointed day. It went missing.
Christmas was not canceled, just postponed by a day or two. 😉 In the meantime, I took this little tree off someone's desk in the office and placed it where the real tree should have been.
This is why I don't believe in a hard and fast content calendar. Use an editorial calendar as a guide but be prepared to think on your feet and go with the flow. This post was the page's top post for months.
We printed a newsletter. Yes, printed.
For a while, we printed it, and I wrote it one-hundred percent. Then we went digital, and it was still written one-hundred percent by me. We had somewhere around 30,000 subscribers.
The printed version was free and was posted in various hot spots around the Square. The digital version is where I learned how to write subject lines that got emails opened.
And get this--I tested the effectiveness and distribution of the printed newsletter with, gasp, coupons. Honest-to-goodness coupons from our retailers. People LOVED it. If that newsletter was one minute late our receptionist was inundated with calls.
We regularly hosted 500,000+ of our closest friends.
We hosted everything from the Fort Worth Main St. Arts Festival (a nationally ranked, juried art show) to boxing events with Univision. And for Super Bowl XLV, we were the headquarters for every ESPN broadcast you could imagine. Even Mike & Mike were here. They are super nice, btw.
I sat on the Entertainment Committee for the Main St. Arts Festival, and yes, the rumors are true. I'm the one that booked Patty Griffin. Which brought Kelly Clarkson to Sundance dressed in disguise so she could see Patty perform. It was such a fun night.
Sundance Square's exposure from events like these helped downtown Fort Worth attract businesses, conventions, and tons of foot traffic. The positive effect is almost immeasurable.
The Basses are known for their attention to detail, specifically Ed Bass. My personality was perfectly suited to this exacting environment, but I was also given space to breathe with content and campaigns. Not everything we did hit the mark. But most of what we did worked.
To this day, some of my happiest years were spent in Sundance. The experiences and the experience I gained are too abundant to list here or even on a resume.
Just know that I give the same exacting attention to detail and thoughtful creativity to every project I do now as a freelancer and creative team leader. Just as if Ed Bass were watching over my shoulder.
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