It's a great day for Bluffton-based BFG Communications, which will soon be awarded a $57 million contract with the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
During the contract's six-and-a-half-year duration, the agency will be responsible for marketing the state's parks to visitors, with a focus on the undiscovered and unique experiences South Carolina offers.
"We look to the agency to bring the expertise, the technology, the media strategy to our marketing approach," said Marion Edmonds, PRT spokesman. "We were impressed with their creativity."
For nearly 30 years, the contract has been handled by Greenville-based Leslie Advertising and its successor, the bounce Agency, which is closing.
That set off a firestorm of competition for the big-dollar contract.
BFG was selected from a group of four finalists, all South Carolina ad agencies, Edmonds said.
The firm, which started in 1995, has more than 250 employees, and its clients include Coca-Cola, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Hanes Brands.
PRT's spring ad campaign is already set, but the public will see BFG's imprint beginning with the fall advertising effort. The new contract takes effect Jan. 15 after a standard 10-day period, during which the award can be protested.
"Our job will be simply to uncover these hidden gems and showcase them with all the passion we have for the friendly people, intriguing places and immense opportunities offered throughout this great state," Kevin Meany, BFG Communications president and CEO, said in a statement.
A $2.5 million media campaign gearing up this year is aimed at attracting visitors to lesser-known areas, including smaller towns people bypass on the way to more traditional tourist spots, state parks and rural attractions such as the Cherokee Foothills Trail and Jocassee Gorges.
Bruce Smith of The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Follow reporter Gina Smith at twitter.com/GinaNSmith.