Port of San Francisco readies for media demands during America's Cup 

The world will be bombarded with a lot of messages, marketing and media when the planet’s biggest sailing race comes to San Francisco in 2013. There’s already the America’s Cup Organizing Committee, the America’s Cup Event Authority and the individual teams who will be spinning the event in their favor.

Now you can add in the Port of San Francisco.

The Port will be hiring three teams of public relations specialists at a cost of $600,000 over the next three years to help spread the word about the America’s Cup and the 150th anniversary of the port.

Half that money is expected to be reimbursed by race organizers, and Port spokeswoman Renee Dunn Martin  said bringing on more publicists will help bring more money and attention to the port as the world tunes into the 34th America’s Cup.

Dunn Martin, the Port’s full-time spokeswoman,  said she will be unable to handle all the tasks required of a massive media push. The contract requires the public relations companies involved to “monitor news headlines, write and issue press releases, and proactively contact the media to place stories about the port and port-related topics — utilizing conventional and social media tools including blogs, Facebook, Flicker, YouTube and Twitter,” according to a report that went to the Port Commission on Tuesday.

“It’s a major opportunity for high visibility, and I’m only a team of one,” Dunn Martin said.

The Port Commission voted on Tuesday to allow requests for proposals to be advertised. Several local communications agencies have already been watching for the lucrative contract to open up, according to Sam Singer, a well-known San Francisco-based media handler who said he will most likely be bidding for the contract.

“There will be a very healthy competition for this,” said Singer, who recently handled publicity for the Zazzle Bay to Breakers race.

San Francisco is expecting around 200,000 visitors a day for the America’s Cup, which could present a logistical nightmare for event planning, transportation and the infrastructure work to be completed before the main event.

The America’s Cup World Series regattas and Luis Vuitton Cup Challenger Series will be in summer 2012, while the America’s Cup final will take place a year later.


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