CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that Illinois will become the first state to implement a strategic asset-marketing initiative to increase revenue for programs and services. He has chosen Team Services, LLC, to help Illinois identify, market and develop new profitable partnerships between the state and private businesses.
“Illinois – like other states across the country – is dealing with a deficit at the same time it’s looking for ways to improve services for its citizens. It’s possible to do both successfully, but we will need to take creative approaches and not just look to taxpayers for revenue. This program will do just that,” Blagojevich said. “The state has programs and events that reach thousands of people. Private sponsorship of these programs and events can allow business to expand their marketing outreach, and most importantly, provide the state with needed revenue to improve and expand its services. It’s an old idea employed at a new level.”
Blagojevich pointed to New York City as a leader in this field. Over the last few years public-private partnerships have generated millions of dollars for city programs and events. Most recently the City of New York named Snapple the city’s official drink and gave the company exclusive rights to sell juices and water in city buildings and schools, and to advertise on city trash cans, ferries and at concerts in public parks. In return, New York City and its school system will receive a total of $166 million over five years.
Last fall Blagojevich began developing a plan to attract similar partnerships with the State of Illinois. His administration began by identifying potential assets and services that might offer attractive marketing opportunities for businesses, including the Illinois State Fair, the designation of “Official State products”, and the First Lady’s Highway Beautification Program.
In mid-November, the Department of Central Management Services posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a professional marketing firm to help the state hone-in on its most marketable assets, estimate the value of potential partnerships, develop an outreach strategy and support negotiations between the state and potential partners. Respondents were evaluated based on their background and experience in developing marketing partnerships, their ability to commit staff and resources to Illinois’ project, and the quality of their proposed methodology and work plan.
Team Services, LLC, was chosen from seven firms that responded to the RFP. Team Services was co-founded in 2002 by EJ Narcise and Fred Fried, who each have more than 20 years of experience in marketing and business partnerships. Their client list includes the University of Connecticut, the University of Maryland, the Baltimore Ravens, the Carolina Panthers, the University of Texas, Illinois based Dairy Management Inc.,and the Town of Vail, Colorado.
Team Services will begin implementing Illinois’ marketing strategy immediately and hope to have the state’s first partnerships in place by this summer.