Explore Asheville Selects 360i as Agency of Record

By Lindsay Rittenhouse 

ASHEVILLE, NC – OCTOBER 6: The downtown area is undergoing a small building construction boom as viewed by the number skyline cranes on October 6, 2015 in Asheville, North Carolina. Named one of the “Top 10 Great Places to Retire” by AARP, Asheville is experiencing a minor cultural revolution, with the addition of new restaurants, live music, and a vibrant arts community. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Explore Asheville, the tourism hub for the western North Carolina city known for its lively arts scene, has selected digital shop 360i as its agency of record across creative, strategy, media and influencer marketing.

The agency said it will leverage data to target travelers in various parts of the U.S., while also initially partnering with Explore Asheville in 2019 to launch a free educational workshop to “empower local tourism businesses and nonprofits to be smart marketers in the modern world.” The workshop will include content from 360i employees with expertise in social marketing, paid social, insights, SEO/SEM and influencer marketing, as well as guest speakers from other platforms.


“We are thrilled about 360i’s data-focused expertise and ahead-of-the-curve strategies to market the Asheville area and grow the $2 billion annual visitor spend that puts more than 18,000 people to work here in Buncombe (County),” Explore Asheville president and CEO Stephanie Brown said in a statement. “An exciting additional layer is how 360i’s expertise will directly support our small business owners through free workshops and collaboration with local production, artistic and entrepreneurial communities.”

Marla Tambellini, Explore Asheville deputy director and vice president of marketing, praised 360i in a statement as having “some of the nation’s most curious and strategic minds in advertising.”

“Not only do they understand changes in the marketing landscape, but they have a history of predicting and defining them,” Tambellini added. “The quality of their work will give Asheville one foot in the future, which is exactly where we need to be as stewards of this destination and the economic vitality of Buncombe County.”

Explore Asheville is a division of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA), self-described as a quasi-governmental entity for marketing the county as a tourism destination.

“This is an amazing community and truly one of the most beautiful places on earth,” 360i CEO Jared Belsky added in a statement. “We’re absolutely elated to have the opportunity to put 360i’s integrated service offering to work for Explore Asheville to help solidify (the city’s) reputation as a world-class tourism destination.”

360i has experience in the category working with the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation over the last six years. Over that time, according to the agency, the city’s economy has grown by 30 percent.