PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia’s pitch to stand out among the 238 applicants who wanted their towns to become home to Amazon’s second headquarters? Strong cellphone service.
That’s according to a heavily redacted copy of the city’s bid for the Seattle tech giant’s HQ2 provided to The Associated Press.
Amazon’s request for proposals before deciding the location of its second headquarters set off a competition that has turned governments across the country into suitors vying to woo the company with offerings that ranged from billion dollar tax breaks to a 21-foot-tall cactus.
What Are Philly’s Chances To Host Amazon Headquarters?
Besides being able to hear each other well on the phone, Philadelphia’s proposal touted the city’s proximity to other cities, the length of time it takes to fill engineering jobs here (it’s about 25 days) and its airport. A city spokeswoman said Amazon asked for such information.
Backers of the Philly proposal have also put up a lot of money to make sure others see it as well.
Nearly a quarter of a million dollars was spent to create and promote the plan, including $160,000 by the public-private Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation on a website and the written submission, said Jessica Calter, PIDC’s marketing communications vice president.
The home page of the “Philadelphia Delivers” website says the city is in the “Goldilocks zone” for Amazon before hyping its affordability, large minority population and potential sites for the new headquarters. Videos atop each page flash scenes from the city’s transit hubs and parks on loop. Testimonials from business people and notable city dwellers boosting the city are sprinkled throughout.
The region’s tourism marketing agency, Visit Philadelphia, also spent $85,000 to plaster buses in Seattle with images of some of Philadelphia’s most well-known landmarks.
“This campaign was all about branding. It was about letting people know in a gentle way that this is what Philadelphia looks like and that is what you’ll experience when you come to Philadelphia,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of Visit Philadelphia.
Trades Council Flies ‘Amazon, Pick Philly!’ Banner Over Company’s Seattle Headquarters
The bus ads ran in late October and most of November but stopped short of mentioning Amazon or its new headquarters. They instead offered slogans such as “Philadelphia: City of Independent Love” alongside a photograph of…