Just another reason why I love marketing

Sioux City goes with SUX airport code

Reported by the Associated Press from SIOUX CITY, Iowa

Sioux City leaders have finally embraced the Sioux Gateway Airport’s memorable but impolite three-letter identifier – SUX – making it the centerpiece of a new marketing campaign.

Airport codes are used worldwide, printed on tickets and luggage tags, announced on the airwaves. Twice, local officials petitioned the FAA to get it changed. They were given a choice of GWU, GYO, GYT, SGV, and GAY.

Either the town council didn’t like the available choices or they’ve been introduced to the economic benefits of a powerful brand; either way they deserve credit for taking a chance and having a sense of humor. “FLY SUX” has been printed on ‘SUX gear’ and is available through a link on SUX’s redesigned website. Check it out at http://www.flysux.com.

Associated Press quoted SUX marketing mastermind Dave Bernstein: “As long as they’re talking about you, go with it,” he said. “Let’s make the best of it.”

Mayor Craig Berenstein, who described SUX as an “embarrassment” to the city five years ago, now says he views the new slogan as a “cute little way” to make light of the situation. He also owns a tshirt.

Other airports might look at their branding potential as well: ACE (Canary Islands), SEX (Sembach, Germany), BUM (Butler, Missouri), BAD (Barksdale AFB), LUX (Luxembourg) and LOL (Lovelock, Nevada) are a few good ones. Yes, in fact there is a FAT (Fresno, California) and a FUK (Fukuoaka, Japan). You knew there had to be.

Designer Jeff Nelson, a former Sioux City citizen who designed the new flySUX.com website said, “People have made fun of (SUX) for years. It’s kind of a twist of embracing it now.”

Hmmmmm… An airport named SUX. It brings to mind an old song about a boy who grew up quick and mean… OMG, wasn’t that a boy named Sioux?!

They just need to make sure the airport doesn’t live down to its name.

Gaia Graphics & Associates… creative by nature ~ www.gaiagraphics.com