Pure Michigan, MEDC, Visit Detroit Team Up on Showcasing Detroit’s Swagger

Pure Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., and Visit Detroit have teamed up on a digital ad campaign showing what makes Detroit both an epic sports town and an ideal place to live, work, and play ahead of the April 25-27 NFL Draft taking place in downtown Detroit.
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Sam Richardson
Actor and comedian Sam Richardson and Detroit football legend Barry Sanders meet at Hot Sam’s clothing store in the On The Clock ad campaign. // Photo courtesy of MEDC

Pure Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., and Visit Detroit have teamed up on a digital ad campaign showing what makes Detroit both an epic sports town and an ideal place to live, work, and play ahead of the April 25-27 NFL Draft taking place in downtown Detroit.

The campaign follows Emmy Award-winning actor, comedian, and Detroit native Sam Richardson around the city as he makes his picks on things to do, places to see, and people to meet, with a special appearance from Detroit Lions legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders.

“What so many people get wrong about Detroit is its enduring global influence,” says Claude Molinari, president and CEO of Visit Detroit. “People call it the Motor City, but it’s so much more. From music and culture, to art and architecture, food and innovation, Detroit has a style that continues to influence the world. This campaign offers a glimpse of that through the eyes of iconic Detroiters, and we hope visitors will experience it for themselves around the draft and beyond.”

Richardson takes viewers on a journey to explore Planet Ant Theatre where he got his start in comedy, the Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck with special guest Alex Wright, manager of the Detroit City Football Club; the record shop Paramita Sound, Lafayette Coney Island, and Hot Sam’s, the oldest men’s clothing store in downtown Detroit.

The integrated campaign has 15- and 30-second spots that will run across Amazon, ABC, Barstool Sports, ESPN, Meta, and TikTok from today through May 22 with corresponding content shared on social channels from Michigan Economic Development Corp., Pure Michigan, You Can in Michigan, Visit Detroit, Sam Richardson, and Barry Sanders.

“Detroit is where I grew up, where I started my professional career, where my family lives, and home to the best sports franchises in the country,” Richardson says. “Getting the opportunity to show off some of my favorite hangouts and share what this city means to me has been an amazing experience. Oh, and hanging out with one of my all-time sports heroes was also pretty epic.”

Detroit is a classic sports town, home to enthusiastic fans and is the only U.S. city whose NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL teams play in the city center within a few blocks of each other. The city offers a game-day experience for any type of sports fan whether that means catching the thrill of a live game at one of the city’s world-class venues or enjoying Detroit’s sports culture at one of the city’s iconic sports hangouts.

“It’s an honor to represent my adopted hometown in this campaign,” Sanders says. “Ever since I was drafted and came to Detroit in 1989, I’ve found it to be a welcoming and vibrant community, full of possibilities. When I retired, I knew I wanted to make Detroit my new home and I can’t wait to welcome the entire sports world here for the Draft in a few weeks.”

Michigan offers two peninsulas with abundant outdoor resources and cultural experiences in cities such as Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City.

“This campaign offers a glimpse of the entertainment, dining, shopping and culture visitors will find in Detroit, which are a dynamic example of the wide range of experiences that have made Michigan a global travel destination,” says Kelly Wolgamott, interim vice president for Travel Michigan, part of the MEDC.

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place April 25-27. The main stage and viewing area will be east of  Campus Martius Park, with additional viewing and activities in Hart Plaza and the south Woodward corridor. For more information on the NFL Draft presented by Bud Light and for travelers looking to plan a trip to the Motor City, visit: michigan.org/2024Draft, visitdetroit.com/2024nfldraft, or nfl.com/draft.