LVMH’s Onboard Media marketing agency has partnered with the Alaska Small Business Development Center and its BuyAlaska program in a first-at-sea initiative to help stimulate local sales by cruisers as the state opens to tourism again.
All Carnival Cruise Line ships visiting Alaska this season will feature a diverse group of locally owned businesses through shop-ping materials guests receive during their voyage, prepared by Onboard Media.
Since its inception in 1986, the Alaska SBDC has provided resources, advice, and assistance that help small businesses grow by creating measurable economic impact. The statewide program is hosted by the University of Alaska Anchorage through the Business Enterprise Institute.
“With Alaska not having received cruise guests since 2019, it was so important to support local port towns and small businesses, aiding in their economic recovery. With this Onboard Media partner-ship, we can provide exponentially higher exposure for our members’ businesses and expedite their recovery,” says Jon Bittner, Executive Director of the Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
Buy Alaska program
A BuyAlaska directory, accessible via QR code, will identify locally owned businesses. The Directory will be featured on customized port guides that cruise guests receive at every Alaska port.
Originally launched in the mid-1990s, the BuyAlaska program was relaunched to better address the needs of Alaska’s small businesses. The BuyAlaska Business directory hosts more than 800 businesses as part of a statewide network advocating for Alaska small business support. Together they value community, collaboration, and prosperity.
The goal is to show authentic Alaska to its 1 million plus annual visitors.
Jeffrey Meister, General Manager of Onboard Media, shared, “We are thrilled to be the first media company to partner with the SBDC on this important initiative to promote small businesses from the ports visited, as well as align with our partner Carnival Cruise Line’s mission to support the local communities visited as part of the cruise itinerary.”
Andres Villalever, Head of Retail for Carnival Cruise Line, added, “The partnership that Onboard Media developed with the SBDC very much aligns with Carnival’s values of supporting the local communities our ships visit as well as offering our guests a wonderful opportunity to bring home a truly unique item from their vacation.”
Silver Hand/Made in Alaska
In addition to identifying local small businesses, Onboard Media is also partnering with the Made in Alaska and Silver Hand programs to help guests identify items made in Alaska by local craftspeople and native people.
The Made in Alaska program’s mission is to promote products made, manufactured, or hand- crafted in the state, produced by both Native and non-Native crafts-people.
“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Onboard Media and Carnival Cruise Line to educate visitors on the importance of authentic Alaska. We believe this will contribute to an outstanding guest experience and enable them to identify true Alaska keepsakes,” said Program Manager Grace Beaujean.
The Silver Hand seal may only be attached to original work that is produced in the state of Alaska by a full-time resident and member of a federally recognized Alaska Native tribe.
“Being able to clearly and easily identify authentic Alaska Native arts and crafts is good for the artist and the cruise guest who is buying work that’s unique to Alaska, so we’re thrilled to be a part of this important initiative,” said Andrea Noble, Executive Director of the Alaska State Council on the Arts.