MADISON, Wis. (Oct. 7, 2020) – The Department of Tourism today announced $73,950 awarded in Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grants in September. The City of Burlington was awarded $34,450 to assist in research and rebranding efforts, and Fox Cities was awarded $39,500 to be used on the heels of a recent rebranding effort to market the destination and further increase awareness and visitation.

JEM grants provide partnership funding to help nonprofit Wisconsin organizations promote tourism, including 501(c) (6) organizations such as Convention and Visitor Bureaus and Chambers of Commerce. A JEM grant is often a catalyst for communities, giving them the means to tap into the power of travel to make a solid impact on their economy and create jobs for its residents.

“I applaud both destinations for their foresight and planning to stimulate economic growth,” said Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney. “We are pleased to support these organizations, as each recipient provided thoughtful plans based on research and insights to help them reposition themselves and better communicate the fantastic destinations they are.”

Destination market research studies reveal tourism assets that are unique to the area and how visitor perceptions align with current marketing efforts. These insights will guide the City of Burlington to identify branding, marketing and development opportunities in order to define the new brand positioning and messaging and increase awareness and visitation.

Fox Cities will be applying this year-two grant to market Fox Cities Originals - the newly launched rebranded identity to further increase tourism and economic development in the Fox Cities region. The JEM grant funds will help market the region, including all new creative and positioning for the Fox Cities. Estimated visitor spending is expected to exceed $350,000. 

In fiscal year 2020, the Department funded 52 JEM projects, awarding $1,154,904 million statewide, with estimated visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects at $206 million. JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project's first-year advertising and marketing costs and provide support for second- and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining. For information on the JEM program and application materials, visit