Marriott-Starwood merger promoted at Rockefeller Center event

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"Through this interactive map, we're showcasing all of our properties," said Marriott's Jennifer Utz.
"Through this interactive map, we're showcasing all of our properties," said Marriott's Jennifer Utz. Photo Credit: Jamie Biesiada

NEW YORK  — Marriott International was out in force Friday at Rockefeller Center, raising brand awareness following its merger with Starwood Hotels & Resorts with a 4,140-square-foot walkable map identifying its properties around the world.

The initiative, part of Marriott’s Global Travel Day, saw the large map placed in Rockefeller Center. It included 30 large push pins with RFID chips inside of them, part of a sweepstakes.

“About three weeks ago we merged with Starwood to become the world’s largest hotel company, so what we’re trying to do today is educate people about all of the brands that we have, over 30 now in over 110 countries — 5,700 properties around the globe,” said Jennifer Utz, vice president of buzz marketing and global partnerships for Marriott International. “Through this interactive map, we’re showcasing all of our properties and giving people a chance to win trips to all of our great brands.”

Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards loyalty program members had the chance to queue up and get an interactive key card. It was linked with their loyalty program and social media accounts. When participants swiped the key card over the different pins, it would connect with their social media accounts and post that they entered into the Global Travel Day sweepstakes.

Large push pins were RFID-enabled so loyalty program members could swipe key cards against them, entering them in a sweepstakes.
Large push pins were RFID-enabled so loyalty program members could swipe key cards against them, entering them in a sweepstakes. Photo Credit: Jamie Biesiada

They had a chance to win prizes from all of Marriott’s 30 brands, Utz said. For example, as of 11 a.m., someone had won an all-expenses-paid trip to the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman.

A large crowd was expected throughout the day on Friday. Utz said Marriott had been working closely with Tishman Speyer, the real estate firm responsible for Rockefeller Center, which said an estimated 400,000 people visit the location each day.

Utz said the map was all about creating buzz and consumer awareness surrounding the Marriott-Starwood merger.

In keeping with the mission of creating buzz and awareness, Marriott also placed 250 extra-large push pins in front of all of Marriott International’s properties in the city.

“The goal is that when people are walking around the city today, they’re seeing all of these hotels, realizing, oh my gosh, Renaissance is a part of the Marriott portfolio. Westin’s a part. W. I had no idea that there were 30 different brands that are a part of the new Marriott portfolio of hotels,” Utz said.

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