Item Coversheet



TO: Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee Members

Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager

DATE: May 22, 2020




The Production Industry Council  (PIC) discussed and recommended that the City of Miami Beach ("CMB")  consider the following regarding the branding of the City: 
    1. Virtually every resident, visitor, guest, friend, colleague, member of the media, and others refer to the two-week period in early December as “Art Basel week” DESPITE the fact that there are 20 plus other important and recognized art fairs.
    2. These many art fairs together drive substantial revenue and exposure to COMB, and have become foundational to the branding for CMB as a world class destination.
    3. “Art Basel” is a highly protected brand / trademark wholly owned by MCH Swiss Exhibition, Basel Switzerland.
    4. MCH Swiss Exhibition company has, and will continue to, vigorously defend its rights to protect the use of its trademark.
    5. Should MCH Swiss Exhibition company move its art fair to another city, it would pull the plug on COMB’s use of the “Art Basel” brand, and with it take all of the associated economic brand value.
    6. The CMB must NOT lose any brand value associated with the collection of art fairs that has been built over the years,  and CMB can only protect its position by building and relying on its OWN brand that will withstand the test of time.
    7. A non-exclusive license by Art Basel to COMB to use its brand will not suffice as the Art Basel brand will never be granted to CMB in perpetuity and without restriction.
    8. COMB can/should no longer ride nearly exclusively on the coattails of the Art Basel brand and must 1) ESTABLISH, 2) OWN and 3) PROTECT its own trademark and domain name that encompass all art fair and related activities under a grand umbrella of brand protection.
    9. Art Basel WILL continue to be Art Basel, and nothing related to Art Basel will change.  However, under what I propose, the COMB will be able to have the latitude to promote art related events without the fear of trademark infringement for this exceedingly important economic engine that drives much of what the City of Miami Beach is famous for.
    10. CMB, as the owner of its own protected brand, will enable the City to promote all art related activities under its OWN brand, and not be beholden to any other interests.  One cannot put a value on this freedom.


In 2019, the Communications and Tourism and Culture Departments created  the “Miami Beach Art Week” brand. Through all of our communications tools, residents and visitors are pushed to our website where all the events, activities, and news that take place during that week are posted.  


This brand is also used throughout the year to inform, educate and entertain about all of the arts and culture in Miami Beach.


Here is a dropbox link to the brochure of 2019 showing as an example of how the brand is already incorporated.



As long as there maintains adequate resort tax funds to purchases ads and other marketing/branding collateral, we should be able to continue to leverage Miami Beach as a destination for art during Art Week and beyond.  

In the meantime, the Administration can explore the purchase of a vanity URL.

Applicable Area

Not Applicable
Is this a "Residents Right to Know" item, pursuant to City Code Section 2-14? Does this item utilize G.O. Bond Funds?
No No 

Strategic Connection

Prosperity - Market and promote Miami Beach as a world class arts, culture, and quality entertainment destination.
LTC PIC January 2020Memo
Email from PIC ChairmanMemo