Adams County blown away with marketing campaign UW-Madison students did to increase winter tourism in the midst of pandemic

MADISON, Wis. — A group of students at UW-Madison are getting high praise from the Adams County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism for a marketing campaign that went above and beyond its expectations.

Through UW-Madison’s UniverCity Alliance program, local governments can tap into resources to get help with whatever they need. The program matches students and courses at UW-Madison to take on real world projects.

Out of 72 counties in Wisconsin, Adams County has not moved from the 19th top destination spot in about 10 years. according to the executive director of Adams County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Laura Hook.

Additionally, unemployment raises by 3-4% in the winter time because of fewer tourists, according to Daric Smith with Adams County Economic Development. The Chamber reached out to UW-Madison students through the UniverCity Alliance program to help them move the needle and were blown away by what the students delivered for them.

“The hardest part was tailoring it in a way where we could visualize it in a pandemic world or a post-pandemic world,” said Olivia Fuld, a senior who helped worked on the project.

She and a group of 10 other students not only marketed to increase winter tourism, but also helped market Adams County as a place to live year round.

“We conducted brand analysis, competitor analysis, consumer analysis, etc. Then we made content and deliverables like print ads in digital media forms that Adams County can utilize,” Fuld said.

With the pandemic potentially changing the way we operate in the future, more people have moved to Adams County because of the flexibility of working from home and more people wanting to move out of bigger cities where community spread of the virus is more rampant, according to Hook.

“They pitched the idea of ‘Winter has never been cooler’ and had all the different outdoor activities that we could take in a pandemic or not and it was awesome,” Hook said. “It was super what we were looking for.”

Hook said after the marketing products were revealed, the Chula Vista Resort in the Wisconsin Dells expressed interested in partnering with the students to do its own ad campaign.

“It’s been amazing and rewarding to see,” Fuld said.

Hook said it plans to launch all the marketing materials within the next year.

The UniverCity Alliance program managing director Gavin Luter said this was just one of 34 projects students within the program are working on.

Luter also said the program has even caught the attention of Governor Evers’ office and earned itself $300,000 per year in the upcoming budget.