If you're one of the most famous people in town, and you're under a criminal investigation, that could potentially put a damper on your appeal to advertisers.
Nevertheless, Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane still appears in material circulated by local tourism bureaus in a campaign to call attention to the state's financial shortfall.
The campaign is called “Think Outside the Deficit,” and it's the work of a coalition of local groups called the Illinois Council of Convention and Visitors Bureaus. There's a picture of tall trees with the phrase, “Slashing Illinois tourism funding would be like chopping down the trees at Shawnee National Forest.” The one with Kane compares cutting tourism funding to benching the best player in the world.
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“This campaign rolled out back in late May, early June, before Mr. Kane's legal troubles,” says Kristin Dicenso, a Springfield-based consultant working on the campaign. She says the ICCVB's role has been to distribute the materials to local bureaus, which use them as they see fit. “We haven't been using that image. I would assume no one's using that image right now.”
Dicenso says while few places in Illinois are vacation destinations, most do compete for convention business. “If they can't travel, if they can't go to trade shows, it's really looking bleak for the next year,” she says.