160over90 partners with the Hipp to promote ‘Regional Theater’

Public relations firm 160over90 has some important nationwide projects on its docket, but it has recently taken up a local pro-bono mission: rebranding the Hippodrome.

The firm branch, which took up residence downtown at 21 SE Second Place in October, is tasked with rebranding UF. It also does campaigns for national clients including Nike, American Eagle Outfitters and Mercedes-Benz.

Abbey Anderson, a spokeswoman with 160over90, said the firm will now offer updated branding, design and messaging for the Hipp, which she called “one of Gainesville’s most iconic institutions.”

“We are excited to be able to work with the Hippodrome to create new messaging and design that reinforces the mission of the Hipp and its commitment to Gainesville and the surrounding region,” Anderson wrote in an email.

The project is still in its initial stages, said Jessica Hurov, the Hipp’s managing director.

So far, she said, the Hipp has gone through the process of “discovery” with the 160over90 team. They spent two days interviewing people who have a vested interest in the theater: sponsors, donors, subscribers, patrons and the administrative team.

Along with the interviews, she said, 160over90 conducted a “discovery questionnaire” containing hundreds of questions that different people connected to the theater filled out.

“That really gave them the understanding of the Hippodrome from the point of view of many different constituents,” she said.

In these ways, Hurov said, the national branding agency has been able to gain a local perspective on where the Hipp is at and the direction it’s moving in.

“They really are taking a 360-degree look at the Hippodrome and its role in the community,” Hurov said.

She said the underpinning ideas behind the campaign are positioning the Hippodrome on the national front and helping the public understand what it means to be a regional theater.

Andersen reiterated the enthusiasm for helping the Hippodrome increase its reach outward from Gainesville.

“Ever since our first trip to Gainesville, we’ve been intrigued by the Hippodrome and all that it represents to Gainesville,” Anderson said. “Being neighbors, it was inevitable that we would partner at some point.”

Hurov said that among theater industry circles, the Hippodrome is well-known for its productions nationally. As a national firm, Hurov said 160over90 is well-positioned to appreciate that perspective.

“They understand that the reputation of the Hippodrome doesn’t end at the line of Alachua county,” she said.

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