Fordham Report: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week's Impact on Local Business
For Immediate Release FORDHAM REPORT: MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK GENERATES OVER $40 MILLION IN ANNUAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITY FOR LINCOLN SQUARE COMMUNITY Restaurants $9 Million Hotels $6 Million Retail $6.8 Million Venues $11 Million IMPORTANT STUDY QUALIFIERS NYCHA Employment Opportunities
September 6, 2011
New Study by Fordham Business School Measures Event’s Impact on Local Business
New York, NY (September 6, 2011) –As part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week’s ongoing commitment to the surrounding community, IMG Fashion, Fordham University and the City of New York announced today the results of a summer study done by students at the Fordham University Graduate School of Business. The study was designed to measure the economic impact of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) on the Lincoln Square neighborhood specifically.
The report released today is part of a broader set of initiatives by IMG Fashion and the City of New York to maximize the positive impact of MBFW on the surrounding community. Along with the study, these initiatives include voluntary upgrades to the generators used to power MBFW; a program to promote the hiring of New York City Housing Authority residents by MBFW staffing agencies and its vendors; participation in the City of New York’s Young Adult Internship Program; and work with the Lincoln Square BID on their Fashion Plate Prix Fixe and Crew Cuts promotions.
“The Fordham study was inspired by our desire to understand and maximize the positive impact of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in the surrounding community,” said Peter Levy, SVP Managing Director of IMG Fashion Worldwide. “Since our move to Lincoln Center last year we have been actively working to engage the neighborhood and be a positive addition to Lincoln Square. We are committed to continuing the IMG-City-Fordham relationship to broaden our research moving forward, and hope to work closely with local officials to use this data effectively.”
Completed with assistance from the New York City Economic Development Corporation, NYC & Co and the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District, the study specifically measured the impact of staff, crews, and various working constituencies of the event on businesses within the five to ten-block radius of MBFW. It did not include the economic activity of the thousands of general, non-working event attendees, or any activity outside the immediate Lincoln Square neighborhood.
Overall, the study estimates a nearly $40 million annual economic impact in Lincoln Square, generated by Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week staff, crew, designers, and media attendees. This includes over $6 million on hotels, nearly $7 million on retails, $9 million on restaurants, $12 million on venue rental and use, and several more million in spending by event producer IMG and other MBFW sponsors.
To put this in context, Fordham’s findings indicate that over ten percent of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week’s estimated economic impact on the entire City of New York (~ $233 million per season, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation), goes directly to local businesses in the immediate Lincoln Square community.
“New York City is the fashion capital of the world, and nothing demonstrates this more than Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week,” said Seth W. Pinsky, President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “Each year Fashion Week provides a major boost to the City’s economy – especially in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, which as this report points out, can expect tens of millions of dollars in increased economic activity as a result. I would like to thank the students at Fordham University and all those involved with this important study, and look forward to another terrific week for our City.”
"We were very grateful for the chance to participate in this project," said Donna Rapaccioli, Dean of the Undergraduate Gabelli School of Business and Dean of Fordham's business faculty. "The Fordham business curriculum stresses the importance of both hands-on learning and service to others — which is why we are so happy to provide pro-bono consulting services to our New York City community. With guidance from experienced professors, our students were able to practice the business fundamentals they learn in their courses while making a significant, tangible contribution to a neighborhood where many of them spend their time."
"Now that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has made the move to Lincoln Center," said Council Member Gale A. Brewer, "it's good to see forward movement on the initiatives set forth to positively impact the surrounding neighborhood through job opportunities, youth education, economic development, and quality of life. The findings of the Fordham University survey confirm that the thousands of visitors and industry professionals attending Fashion Week provide an important economic benefit to our small businesses, restaurants, watering holes and non-profits. I say to each of them, on behalf of all of us: Welcome to the West Side."
"We have long believed that the Lincoln Square neighborhood is an ideal location for such a world-class event," said Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Director of Fashion at Lincoln Center. "In a neighborhood already rich with culture assets, from Fordham University to our own Lincoln Center campus, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has proven to be a fantastic addition to the community."
“The Lincoln Square BID (Business Improvement District) is always thrilled to welcome the world into our neighborhood,” said Monica Blum, President of the Lincoln Square BID. “Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week offers us the opportunity to again host Fashion Plate Prix Fixe and Crew Cuts – promotions showcasing the wonderful variety of eateries and small businesses that make our community so special.”
"We are delighted that Fashion Week found its home on the Upper West Side,” said Mel Wymore, Chairman of Community Board 7. “Not only does the event bring excitement, commerce, and style to our community, but IMG and Lincoln Center continue to contribute by engaging and responding to the needs of the neighborhood. Fashion Week represents the kind of business--community partnership that keeps our city humming. Everyone joins in and everyone benefits."
The Fordham University Study based its methodology on surveys sent to three key working constituencies of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, along with an estimation of the total spend by event producer IMG and various event sponsors.
In addition, the Fordham team surveyed local hotels, restaurants, retail shops and services located within the Lincoln Square area to get a sense of any increased economic activity they see during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. These business surveys informed the students’ analysis but did not factor into the total revenue numbers presented in the report. A top line of the key findings is below.
ANNUAL ECONOMIC IMPACT BY ACTIVITY
· The study was done with the major limitation of limited access to information on general, non-working guests of MBFW;
· There was also difficulty associated with obtaining data from local businesses in between seasons – as opposed to directly after when they have data readily available;
· These numbers were calculated based on MBFW’s February 2011 season. Due to weather and the schedule of the fashion industry, the spend during the September season is probably much higher;
· In addition, the study was done with the knowledge that by looking only at Lincoln Square, we were actively leaving out a substantial amount of impact elsewhere in the City of New York. For example, due to the limited number of hotels in the surrounding area, the majority of MBFW attendees spend their money on accommodations in other neighborhoods.
In addition to the Fordham study, IMG has announced several new and ongoing community initiatives during their Spring 2012 season.
Addressing Community Concerns about Event Generators
In response to various community concerns last season about the generators used to power Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, we have worked diligently with the City of New York to find a solution. We have been in constant communication with the Mayor’s Office, Con Edison of New York, and local elected officials representing the Lincoln Square area to address this issue.
First of all, thanks to existing power supplies extended to us by Fordham University and the Koch Theater, we were able to eliminate two generators from 62nd and Columbus, which were typically some of our longest-running units. In addition, IMG has voluntarily upgraded its entire fleet of generators to Tier 1 and 2 for the upcoming Spring 2012 season. These are cleaner, less noisy, and the most modern version available on the market today. They use biodiesel fuel, and meet all of New York City’s emissions, noise and air quality requirements.
In addition, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and IMG Fashion will expand their partnership with the New York City Housing Authority this fall. Last season, through coordination with event vendors and the City of New York, IMG Fashion was able to offer employment to several public housing residents over the course of the February event.
This season, the event is working with NYCHA and its vendors to expand this program and offer more opportunities to NYCHA residents.
Participation in NYC Young Adult Internship Program
IMG Fashion will also be participating in New York City’s Young Adult Internship Program, an initiative designed to provide short-term, publically subsidized internships, work readiness training, and follow-up services to young adults who are not in school and are not working. Through YAIP, IMG Fashion has hired two interns to assist with the Spring 2012 season.
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For Immediate Release
FORDHAM REPORT: MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK GENERATES OVER $40 MILLION IN ANNUAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITY FOR LINCOLN SQUARE COMMUNITY
Restaurants $9 Million
Hotels $6 Million
Retail $6.8 Million
Venues $11 Million
IMPORTANT STUDY QUALIFIERS
NYCHA Employment Opportunities