Rochelle Small-Toney: Event Center to benefit city


Rocky Mount City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney


City Manager

Sunday, October 15, 2017

When I first read about the Rocky Mount Event Center project, I was excited.

It has been proven in many communities that sporting events in the downtown area are a draw for locals and visitors. My excitement continues as I watch the daily construction progress of what will become a major attraction for sports and entertainment. With a state-of-the-art health and wellness facility, medical care will be even more accessible to our community. Industries may host employee events, and the economic impact is expected to fill storefronts with businesses.

The significance of the Rocky Mount Event Center is why the city council, Sports Facilities Advisory, Sports Facilities Management and Gary Smallshaw, strategic marketing and sponsorship consultant, have been deliberate regarding the center’s brand. All parties involved want to ensure the brand best represents the event center and Rocky Mount. This brand success will not be derived solely from a great logo, but will encompass everything the Rocky Mount Event Center and the city of Rocky Mount stand for. Our brand is who we are, who we want to be and how our audience perceives us.

Smallshaw recently revealed a logo with the letters RM encased in a circle and accompanied by the words Rocky Mount Event Center. The logo is simple, bold and authentic with a professional feel, words used in stakeholder interviews to describe our city.

The logo was chosen from many logos submitted by national designers. Fonts and a color palette were also developed to compliment colors to be used for the facility.

The branding process continued with the creation of a brand story. Who are we? Where are we headed? Why does it matter?

After a review of the city’s marketing materials, previous studies, comparable sports tourism venues and downtowns and interviews with key community stakeholders, eight key ingredients went into our brand story. The ingredients were an inspirational vision, relevant history, new landscape, a bold vision, a unique destination, the national stage, a celebration and a welcoming culture.

Rocky Mount has an inspirational vision to ignite downtown. Our relevant history is a result of the work being done at the Rocky Mount Sports Complex. This new landscape includes the flexible event center, to be used for sporting events, conferences, concerts, graduations and more, making Rocky Mount a destination location.

The bold vision is crafted by tournaments, hosting teams from across the country. We are already celebrating sports tourism as part of a national conversation and trend, allowing the city to access the national stage. Recently, HBO’s “Real Sports” highlighted the center and downtown Rocky Mount.

The key ingredients have led to a tagline, or a memorable description, for both the Event Center and the city — “The Center of it All.” Rocky Mount is at the center, or located mid-way, between New York and Miami. We are currently at the center of a transformation, a conversation and a national trend.

In the coming months, look for the logo and tagline on Rocky Mount Event Center materials and a variation of the logo on city paraphernalia as we are re-branded. After all, the entire city is undergoing a positive transformation, and the “Center of it All” is a community shift we encourage all to embrace.