City of Milton, NFL great Bradshaw ready to team up
On the Web
To learn more about "Today in America with Terry Bradshaw," visit todayinamericatv.com.
MILTON In the battle to market itself, the city of Milton plans to tap into the star power of a celebrity as unlikely as he is high profile: former NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw.
The city council this week approved entering a production agreement with "Today in America with Terry Bradshaw," a documentary-style TV program that features stories on business news, lifestyle features and profiles of experts and business people from a variety of industries.
Bradshaw, a football broadcaster for Fox Sports and member of the National Football League Hall of Fame, is the show's narrator.
Producers from the show this month contacted the city with a pitch to feature Milton in a paid production of a segment titled "Cities of Distinction Across America: Great Places to Work, Live and Play."
After preliminary talks with show producers, the city agreed to have the show produce a five-minute segment on Milton. The agreement will cost $19,800, according to a March 16 memo from City Administrator Jerry Schuetz.
Schuetz said city staff this week would continue negotiations with the show's producers, but he said filming could start this summer.
The move comes as the city is immersed in plans to step up marketing efforts in the face of the pending Highway 26 bypass.
"Today in America" is produced out of Coral Gables, Fla., and is filmed on location in cities throughout the country and worldwide. It airs in the daytime on major national networks and won broadcasting awards in 2010 and 2011 that included numerous Telly awards, according to a company news release.
Mayor Tom Chesmore, who has been in talks with the program's producers, said he hashed over the cost and had city staff look into whether the city could do a similar marketing film on its own. He said there was no way.
Under a production deal, the city will get a production crew that will spend at least 16 hours in Milton. The crew will collaborate with the city to write a script highlighting key features of the city such as commerce, industry and history, Chesmore said.
Schuetz said Bradshaw would narrate the segment and that the company has guaranteed it would run live at least once on CNN and 19 more times on the Fox Business network or Discovery Network.
"It sounds like they spread it around pretty good," Chesmore said.
Chesmore considers the nearly $20,000 investment to be a bargain because the city will get marketing exposure on national television. Also, through the production agreement, the city would retain rights to the show, allowing it to post the segment on the city's website.
"They (producers) said you couldn't get Terry Bradshaw to appear in Milton for that," Chesmore said.
The Gazette could not reach a vice president at "Today in America" on Wednesday for details on the show, including what other cities could be featured in the series or whether the segment would be a news or infomercial-style format.
Chesmore said producers were interested in Milton because of the diversity of its business and community growth in the past decade.
The city would pay production costs with money from all three of its tax increment financing districts.
Other Rock County cities have taken similar measures to market themselves. Evansville has a three-year contract that runs through June with Discover Media Works, the production company that airs "Discover Wisconsin."
In a memo to the city council, Schuetz said being featured in "Today in America" will be just one part of ongoing efforts to showcase the city's strengths in commerce and government.
"No one item within that strategy is a magic bullet to long-term promotion and marketing sustainability, but this particular investment is a tool that could be used in ongoing marketing and branding efforts in Milton for years to come," Schuetz wrote.