Marina del Rey CVB Receives Outstanding Achievement Award for DMA West "Best Idea" Program

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"Beach Buddies" Initiative Wins Top Honor at Annual Marketing Summit

"Beach Buddies" Marty & Swinton with DMA West "Best Idea" Award at Marina Beach in Marina del Rey, CA

"As a smaller organization with a modest budget, we're always looking for innovative and imaginative ways to promote our destination," said Janet Zaldua, CEO of the Marina del Rey CVB.

The Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau was honored with an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Destination Marketing Association of the West (DMA West) for its marketing initiative, “Beach Buddies.” The award was presented as part of DMA West’s annual "Best Idea Program" which showcases innovative projects and creative marketing strategies and was presented to recipients during the DMA West Marketing Summit held in Ogden, Utah last week.

The "Beach Buddies" initiative is a collaboration that was launched in September 2014 by the Marina del Rey CVB and the Delray Beach Marketing Cooperative in Delray Beach, Florida. The partnership was inspired by the shared “del rey” name and coastal chic similarities in each destination, including coastal activities, waterfront dining, newly renovated hotels and close proximity to major international airports. Both organizations also have limited budgets (under $1M each) and a staff of 4 – 5 employees which led to the “big idea, small budget” marketing concept.

“Beach Buddies” showcases each destination through the eyes of their mascots, Marty the Pelican (Marina del Rey) and Swinton the Turtle (Delray Beach). The mascots explore each destination with one another – from water sports and dining to community events and local attractions – with their “adventures” featured on Facebook albums, custom hashtags, Instagram photos, blog posts and other marketing collateral like websites, event calendars and community newsletters. This provides locals the opportunity to re-discover their community while potential new visitors can learn about a new destination as Marty the Pelican gives a “bird’s eye view” of Delray Beach and Swinton the Turtle “comes out of his shell” in Marina del Rey.

“I’m thrilled that the Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau was selected as a winner of DMA West’s Best Idea Program,” said Janet Zaldua, CEO of the Marina del Rey CVB. “As a smaller organization with a modest budget, we’re always looking for innovative and imaginative ways to promote our destination. Our “Beach Buddies” partnership with Delray Beach, Florida was a low-cost promotional campaign that helped promote our destination from coast to coast. We achieved great results and made a lasting friendship with the other ‘del rey’.”

More than 20 destination marketing organizations from all over the western United States entered their projects in the annual competition. A board-appointed task force reviewed the submissions and selected the top four candidates, including Marina del Rey, California; Flagstaff, Arizona; Lane County, Oregon; and Salt Lake City, Utah. Representatives from each organization presented their winning ideas at the marketing summit. To see a full list of project entries, please visit

About Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau
Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization that promotes leisure and business travel for Los Angeles’ premier waterfront destination. Situated along the Los Angeles coastline and only 4 miles from LAX, Marina del Rey is the largest small craft manmade harbor in North America and is the gateway to Southern California with sparkling marina views, on-the-water recreation, waterfront dining and contemporary hotels just steps from the water’s edge - all walking distance from world-famous Venice Beach. For more information, log onto or contact 310.306.9900.

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