MARTINSBURG — Marti, a stuffed black bear, is the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s new mascot — and he’s already gaining attention while traveling around the state.
“Adding Marti as our mascot is a small act that we feel will produce big results and visibility for us and Berkeley County,” said agency communications assistant Samantha Cronk.
For example, he recently attended a hospitality event at The Greenbrier that drew participants from across West Virginia, and he got lots of attention as a result, Cronk said.
But that’s only the beginning, because The Marti Campaign is part of a new outreach effort aimed at highlighting “all of the great aspects of Berkeley County,” she said.
“Marti is the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s newest marketing venture, creating a recognizable and relatable brand for the organization and the county,” Cronk said.
“A friendly black bear interested in learning about his new home, Marti will be a visible presence throughout the county, attending ribbon cuttings, festivals, events government meetings and greeting visitors, becoming a recognizable symbol for Berkeley County,” Cronk said.
In addition to making personal appearances, Marti has his own Facebook page – “The Adventures of Marti” – which can be found at www.facebook.com/MartiCVB, so visitors and residents can follow him in his travels throughout the county, she said.
This approach represents a way for “potential and repeat visitors will become engaged and interested in the county in a fun, creative way,” Cronk said.
Marti is also an approachable way for children to relate to Berkeley County, and be excited about visiting the area, she said.
“The Adventures of Marti Facebook page will be a safe, easy way for families to share their upcoming or previous vacation together and keep track of what Marti is doing and where visitors may want to go throughout the year,” Cronk said.
“It will allow families to see how much there is to do in Berkeley County, in a fun way, throughout the year. Kids can share what Marti is doing with their friends, helping to spread the news about the county and its attractions,” she said.
This campaign will build on the agency’s ongoing efforts to ” ensure Berkeley County is seen as a great place to visit for all ages. With established programs like our geocaching trails with Tim Eggleston and events like ODDFest, we felt we needed to add a level of accessibility for families, especially those with young children,” Cronk said.
Additionally, Marti bears will be sold at the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Center’s gift shop, she said.
“It will allow families to take part of Berkeley County home with them. And with this tactile reminder of their visit or vacation to Berkeley County, families will likely be more interested in repeating their experiences here,” Cronk said.
The Martinsburg-Berkeley County CVB is located at 126 E. Race Street, and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. More information is available at Martinsburg-Berkeley County CVB’s website at www.travelwv.com.
Additional information is available by contacting Cronk at 304-264-8801, or [email protected].
Staff writer Jenni Vincent can be reached at 304-263-8931, ext. 131, or www.twitter.com/jennivincentwv.