LAKELAND, FL – June 26, 2013 – One week each year during the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo, air traffic in Lakeland and the surrounding communities is elevated. The media is focused on the world’s second largest aviation expo identified as having a $64m economic impact on the Central Florida I-4 corridor. Local, regional, national and international media coverage is provided by more than 450 credentialed reporters and photographers, bloggers and public relations representatives from over 200 unique companies arriving from an estimated 75 different countries. The Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, for one week, becomes the busiest airport in the world.
SUN ‘n FUN’s mission is to preserve and enhance the future of flight through world class events, inspiring and educating people of all ages. All funds received from year round activities on the SUN ‘n FUN grounds are directed to that mission. More than $1.4m is returned to education in Polk County because of SUN ‘n FUN benefactors, guests through the gates, sponsors, exhibitors and the media. For everyone to understand the event, the story must be spread widely. Uniquely defined in this group of media heros are ones who focus on SUN ‘n FUN as an event and as a unique role model in the future of aviation.
For one week each year, General Aviation (GA) News takes on a labor of love that becomes SUN ‘n FUN Today, a publication that is distributed daily on the internet and 2200 acres to more than 150,000 visitors throughout the week. With a broad knowledge of the aviation community, journalists, sent by GA News to cover SUN ‘n FUN, share unique stories about airshow performers, special guests, historical anecdotes, successful students and daily events. The template is prepared in the months preceding the event and the paper magically appears in the stands with stories, photos and statistics each morning. If you missed SUN ‘n FUN, find publications since 2009 at www.generalaviationnews.com/sun-n-fun-today.
Throughout the year, but more intensely during the weeks amid and surrounding the Fly-In, Netweave Social Networking LLC manages SUN ‘n FUN ‘s Facebook pages (including one designed for international guests). With 174,000 interested persons from the U.S. reading SUN ‘n FUN posts, the top six foreign countries reached in 2013 were Brazil, Canada, UK, Mexico, Italy and Puerto Rico. Video footage on YouTube is available at www.youtube.com/sunnfuninc or visit www.twitter.com/sunnfunflyin for more chat about events in the Lakeland area. Pinterest began for SUN ‘n FUN starting in March 2013 and is yet to be graded. Visit us on Pinterest here: pinterest.com/sunnfunflyin/ . SUN ‘n FUN remains the most “liked” aviation page on Facebook.
The Florida Aviation Network (FAN), based in Orlando, is an “In the Clear” satellite broadast system that promotes aviation and aviation safety. FAN was named in 2013 as SUN ‘n FUN’s official television network. Throughout the week of the Fly-In, remote crews post footage to their website and heavily use satellite networks. Working with Polk County Schools and SUN ‘n FUN, FAN will have a year round presence on the SUN ‘n FUN campus in a new production stage amidst the personal aviation collection of famed aviation pioneer Howard Hughes in the Florida Air Museum. Students and teachers are welcomed year round to a magical environment that challenges their creativity. Visit floridaaviationnetwork.com to find footage of aviation activity during SUN ‘n FUN and the science of aviation.
As SUN ‘n FUN celebrates its 40th anniversary April 1-6, 2014, SUN ‘n FUN Radio will have bragging rights to a 20th anniversary recognition. Throughout the last 20 years, SUN ‘n FUN Radio has been recognized around the world for its professionalism and support of the annual event. Live and taped interviews are offered 24 hours a day – all week on 1510 AM and streamed on www.LiveATC.net/snf. Near 40 professional media volunteers work with Chairman Dave Shallbetter interviewing, taping and refining what is heard across the campus from a building that is busting at the seams with activity on Clubhouse Row on the SUN ‘n FUN campus. Donated time, equipment and money enhance the SUN ‘n FUN radio image that represents SUN ‘n FUN at other airshows as well as on the campus during the week. But, when SUN ‘n FUN ends, SUN ‘n FUN Radio continues. The audio stream is up 24/7, 365 days a year bringing you interviews from the previous year as well as information on upcoming events on the SUN ‘n FUN campus. Visit www.ChatsFromTheDeck.com where you will find many treasures in archived interviews. Aviation enthusiasts from around the world download chats and repeatedly listen to interviews. China, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and India were identified as some of the 30 countries where interviews and programs were downloaded for listeners to learn more about the possibilities at SUN ‘n FUN and the world of aviation. Also, stay in communication with Dave throughout the year at twitter.com/SnFRadio or like the SnFRadio Facebook page.
When the annual airshow is over, 16 full-time staff continue to work with dedicated and skilled volunteers to prepare for 9 weeks of summer camps where teens fly planes on the 4th day of a week-long experience. Fund-raising events such as “Wings ‘n Things” in October, “When Pigs Fly South” and the “Hangar Door Canteen” scheduled for November bring media back to the complex. The dynamic changes being made to the Florida Air Museum as interactive displays are erected and a FedEx Boeing 727 becomes a classroom are stories yet in the making.
Keeping the SUN ‘n FUN name in printed pages, advertisements, radio spots and television highlights is tmr CREATIVE, a Lakeland based marketing firm. Utilizing national and international publications, SUN ‘n FUN is front and center. Media partners in Central Florida barter media placements for admission to the event for listeners and readers.
A special thanks to our aviation media partners who help us promote the Fly-In (Florida’s largest convention) around the world. If you happen to be in Oshkosh for Airventure July 29th -August 4th, visit us in Booths 3012 and 3013. We will have some updated news about the 40th Annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo and opportunities to have you join us as we “Build a Brighter Future through Aviation.” Visit us at www.sun-n-fun.org for a calendar of year-round events and more information about the SUN ‘n FUN mission.