NEW YORK — The Simon Property Group is cooking up a storm.
In another marketing tack, Simon has organized a chefs tour with cooking demonstrations and food and wine seminars at several of its malls.
The tour starts at the Town Center in Boca Raton, Fla., on April 17, among Simon’s most productive properties, and proceeds to cover about 20 markets coast-to-coast. It concludes at the Northgate Mall in Seattle on Aug. 28.
Last year, Simon, the nation’s largest shopping center developer, staged a massive teen marketing program, Simon DTour Live, covering two dozen malls and integrating concerts, contests, games, scholarships and prizes. The road show was supported by several corporate sponsors and retailers. Simon also organized the Simon Kidgits Club, a membership club for children involving programs revolving around education, toys, nutrition and a newsletter. The company is planning other marketing events, including some that could involve physical fitness or holidays.
Headlining the “Simon Super Chefs Live!” tour will be celebrity chefs Curtis Aikens, Lidia Bastianich, Alton Brown, Mary Ann Esposito, Sara Moulton, Jacques Pepin, Michelle Bernstein and Martin Yan. The tours will be hosted by Bill Boggs.
Each event is free and culminates with a “cook-off” presented by Oster Products, at which two local food afficionados will serve as sous chefs to the professionals. The chefs tour is being geared to promote good cooking and good eating, as well as making the mall experience more fun.
Simon Super Chefs Live! is the developer’s newest proprietary program targeting a specific demographic, in this case men and women ages 25-54. The marketing strategies are organized by Simon Brand Ventures, founded in 1997, which works to build partnerships with brands that sell in the malls, and build customer loyalty. Simon, a real estate investment trust, owns or has interests in about 240 properties. ?
— David Moin