America's Home for College Sports

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism Bureau Now Official Corporate Sponsor of the Southeastern Conference (SEC)

Jul 20, 2011

ATLANTA, Ga., (July 20, 2011) – Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism today announced it has become an official corporate sponsor of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

By entering into this non-exclusive sponsorship with the SEC, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism will receive official corporate sponsor status including use of conference logos, marketing rights, SEC television and web presence, event signage, and merchandise. Additionally, the company will have an interactive presence at the Dr Pepper SEC FanFare during the Conference’s annual football championship weekend and men’s basketball tournament. These two events, held in conjunction with the respective SEC Championships, draw more than 60,000 SEC fans each year. The sponsorship will also include a football kickoff weekend, which is set to take place in August 2012.

“We are pleased to welcome Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism as a new Conference sponsor,” said Mike Slive, Commissioner, Southeastern Conference. “We are confident in the tourism bureau’s ability to make a positive impact on our fans and anticipate a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”

The unique sponsorship initiative, which was created as a result of the efforts to overcome the 2010 oil spill, will allow the tourism bureau to use the SEC as vehicle to restore the region to a prominent vacation destination for families across the southeast.

“This Official SEC Corporate Sponsorship is an exciting new avenue for us to begin engaging our core market of potential and repeat guests,” said Herb Malone, President/CEO of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism. “We are extremely grateful and humbled to have our family-oriented beach destination mentioned alongside such a strong and well recognized institution, especially as we continue to make positive steps for our destination. This sponsorship solidifies our position as a vacation and beach destination for SEC fans.”

The agreement, which will run through June 2014, was negotiated by IMG College, the SEC’s multimedia rights partner, in conjunction with Atlanta-based MELT (Marketing Entertainment Lifestyle and Trends), Fishbait Marketing, and Shaul Zislin, a prominent local business leader in Gulf Shores.

“This is a great program for everyone involved and one that will have tremendous impact for a region whose natural beauty has never been in doubt,” said Vince Thompson, President/CEO of MELT. “The opportunity to shoot a groundbreaking ad campaign with SEC football legends and to host the 2012 kickoff weekend, will help bring positive exposure to a truly pristine region.”

“We are grateful for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism’s decision to join the SEC Sponsorship program in what is a ground-breaking opportunity,” said Ben May, General Manager, IMG-SEC Sports Marketing. “We look forward to working with the bureau to connect SEC fans to the many available recreation options in the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area.”

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism’s sponsorship marks the seventh new agreement in nine months for the SEC through its partnership with IMG College.

About the Southeastern Conference (SEC)
The Southeastern Conference was formed in 1933 and consists of 12 member institutions: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The league currently sanctions championship play in nine men's sports and 11 women's sports. Its headquarters has been located in Birmingham, Ala., since 1948. For more on the conference, visit

About Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism serves as the official destination marketing organization for the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in addition to the unincorporated area of Fort Morgan. To learn more about Alabama’s 32 miles of sugar white sand, visit either or . The convention and visitors bureau is an accredited Destination Marketing Organization, 2008-2012.

About IMG College
IMG College is the leading multimedia, marketing and licensing/brand management company in America representing more than 200 of the nation’s top collegiate properties including the NCAA and its 89 championships, NCAA Football, leading conferences, and many of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. Headquartered in Winston Salem, N.C., IMG College employs 700 people in nearly 100 offices throughout the U.S. with annual sales of nearly $450 million. IMG College is the leader in capturing consumer devotion to college sports through partnership opportunities in multimedia rights, licensing, events and hospitality, marketing, stadium and arena development, stadium seating solutions, ticketing, sales, and consulting. IMG College produces nearly 30,000 hours of radio programming on the largest sports network in the country, manages nearly 5,000 hours of local television programming, is the leading publisher of college sports publications, and is the largest manager of university athletic websites. IMG College is a division of IMG Worldwide, a global sports, fashion and media business. For more information, please visit

About MELT
Founded by Vince Thompson in 2001, MELT (Marketing Entertainment Lifestyle and Trends is an award winning full-service sports and entertainment marketing agency with a unique expertise in collegiate sports. MELT represents some of the most recognized brands and sports properties in the world including Coca-Cola, Powerade, Coke Zero, CBS, State Farm, Avon, The Southeastern Conference, Athlon Sports, Shane’s Rib Shack, and Champs Sports.

About Fishbait Marketing
Fishbait Marketing, LLC., based in Charleston, S.C., is a full service boutique that provides strategic council to companies that have an interest in adding collegiate sports to the marketing mix. Fishbait Marketing represents multiple clients and is a sales and marketing agency for the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), National Football Foundation (NFF), College Football Hall of Fame, and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and their collective charitable endeavors. Please visit for further information.