Our City Online


Columbus High Five Campaign to Launch Next Week

Walker Evans Walker Evans Columbus High Five Campaign to Launch Next Week
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Next week, a collaborative team of districts and neighborhoods located along High Street will be unveiling a new “High Five” marketing and outreach campaign. The new High Five moniker is intended to propel the destinations and experiences found in German Village, Downtown, The Arena District, The Short North and the University District to a new national level.

“High Five is an amazing grassroots collaboration between districts and destinations,” said John Angelo of Destination Marketing. “It could have tremendous benefits for the vibrancy and development of the urban High Street corridor. We are extremely excited to share the concept with Columbus… and to take the story regionally and nationally.”

The official launch event takes place on Wednesday, February 24th at 3PM at the Arena Grand. More information will be coming soon at ColumbusHighFive.com.

Print Friendly


  • rdysetdisco

    forget about clintonville, olde towne, or franklinton!

    cleveland has been working desperately over the past few years to re-brand itself and managed to do it fairly well without alienating it’s many districts, even those branded “emerging”.  i realize this isn’t an initiative by the city, but i expect the city will be more than happy to cooperate with “H5’s” efforts.

  • agtw31

    they got their catch phrase wrong.

    it should be

    ‘if it’s hip,it’s closed”

  • cc

    lookout – buzzwords are a flyin’

  • While healthy skepticism is always a good thing, I’m going to refrain from being unnecessarily negative about this and hope that it actually does really well. The entire city stands to benefit from successful branding/marketing campaigns, so this is something that most people should want to see succeed.

  • It’s a great idea. I hope it does well.

    I’m very concerned about the approach.

    Personally, I would launch the concept with some more meat. Right now there’s  a name and a site with a map that has some rollovers.

    There’s no about us page on the website. There should be images and bios of those involved.

    What’s the business model?

    The site doesn’t communicate why I should care.

    How do I get involved? There’s no way to contact them.

    If this is the launch then they should be collecting email addresses of those that visit the website. Right now.

    How do I follow them on Twitter? How do I fan them on Facebook? There’s no blog.

    How do I search for those places to eat and shop? Where can I find those places? What are people saying about those places? What are people saying about the “High Five”?

    If something else is being revealed next week then reveal the concept and the site at that time with meat on the bones.

    The site should be the number one marketing asset or “campaign” for this type of organization. It should immediately be deep and informative.

    Chances are I will forget to go back to this site because I didn’t find anything the first time, I wasn’t able to connect and there was no real messaging or interaction other than that map.

    I get it – Five Districts – what’s next?

  • cc

    (cue subway jingle soundtrack)

    five districts…. five miles….

    5 mile shopalongs….

    It’s ka,ka, catchin on…

    note: I really hope this succeeds, I just hope there ends up being more meat than gravy.

  • I understand the point of this but it would help businesses in these neighborhoods if the city would spend just a little bit more on wayfinding and neighborhood gateways such as arches like I’ve already been saying. Instead, it looks like it’s up to neighborhoods to provide way-finding infrastructure guiding visitors to and from their hoods. 

    Using KL as an example of the city’s failing in this department you do have an arch serving as a gateway to KL on the east end on Downtown on Long, but there is no signage pointing you from High to the small business district across the highway, which is also the site of a new theatre. You’d have to know it was there without any help. Hopefully, neighborhoods not included will collaborate with the city to point visitors in their direction.

    Just FYI High St south of Downtown is officially the Brewery District on both sides with GV just east of High but that would it “High 6”.

  • JohnAngelo

    oops… our investigative reporter, Walker Evans, uncovered the website in test mode before it was to go public. The URL hadn’t been publicized as yet. The active links and some initial details are not in place. For example, the map will be a portal to each partner’s website… click thru to ShortNorth, Wexner Center, etc… We’ll pop it off line for a few days to finish the details and make it live for the launch. Jon, in particular, thanks for the great feedback. There were a number of points we can benefit from in time for Wednesday. There will also be upgrades and evolution to the project…

  • jpizzow

    So it’s basically a preview site.

  • Right on John, I hope that was helpful. Like I said, I think it’s a great idea and want the project to succeed.

  • alove

    Yeah this is a very good thing. If you remember seeing the visual on the main page, I think that’s what the city should do for every neighborhood in Columbus. Make people more aware of their city.

  • BUSH


    I agree. I wish them luck. BUT–can they keep Mayor Coleman’s Traffi Nazi’s off of me?

  • ilovethiscity

    If John is behind High Five, I’m a fan!

  • lizless

    I like the idea a lot, especially in terms of regional tourism. The whole of these neighborhoods is greater than the sum of their parts, each district brings something unique to downtown Columbus. Linking the neighborhoods together for branding, marketing and cross-promotional special events will really help the retail districts of each neighborhood compete on a more regional level and boost tourism to downtown. People might not come to downtown to visit one specific neighborhood or store but if there were reason to visit a few spots in one trip, they might be more inclined to make the trip. I think it will be really helpful promotion for these districts, kudos to all those involved! My hope is that this might eventually spur on a similar collaboration on Gay Street or Broad Street to further connect more neighborhoods.

  • bk_brown

    Does anyone have any information on the launch tomorrow? Since the site isn’t live yet, there really isn’t a lot of information available.

  • I think the launch is where the information will actually be revealed.

  • What was revealed?

  • anillo

    wait the north market is in the short north? shouldn’t that be in downtown? or maaaaybe the AD?
    edit: the site is nice looking, especially considering it’s not even public yet. I dig the design, didn’t mean to come of as a negative nancy =P
    also, if you don’t already have plans for it, you should add markers for public parking lots/garages and bus stops.and if it takes off enough, maybe you could even give people free parking/bus passes if they buy something at a local business in one of the 5 zones. it’s good to see people treating the areas along high as tourist attractions.

  • More details:

    Press Release:
    Columbus High Five – Five miles. Five districts. Countless encounters.

    Nine celebrated Columbus districts and destinations united by proximity, spirit and a common thread have teamed together to create a new destination brand… the Columbus High Five. The nine partners include (from south to north): German Village, Downtown Columbus, the Arena District, the Greater Columbus Convention Center, North Market, the Short North Arts District, South Campus Gateway, the University District and the Wexner Center for the Arts.

    The common thread… they are all neighbors linked together by a five-mile stretch of road called High Street.

    Having worked on the concept for over two years, the grassroots partnership debuted the new brand at a press conference held Wednesday, February 24 at the Arena Grand Movie Theatre.

    In September 2007, John Angelo, then director of the Short North Business Association, began contacting representatives of each of the future partner properties to discuss a collaborative idea. The Short North was on an upswing and had been featured in stories in National Geographic Traveler, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Chicago Tribune… and a story was developing in the New York Times. Angelo found himself trying to introduce travel writers to the plethora of options available both in the Short North and in immediately adjacent areas. “It seemed only logical to tell a writer about the University District and the Wexner Center to our north and the North Market, the Arena District and downtown to our south,” explains Angelo. “Visitors, tourists in particular, were more apt to make a visit if we could quickly convey the amazing number of offerings. But it was cumbersome. We needed a way to refer to the whole collection. Potential visitors weren’t going to piece together the fact that the attractions were physically adjacent to one another.”

    The team began with a premise that each of the partners represented a dynamic destination. The epicenter of the collaboration happened to be the Greater Columbus Convention Center. From this point it was 2.2 miles to Thurman Avenue on the south side of German Village and 3.2 miles to Arcadia Avenue on the north side of the University District… a considerable distance, but navigable by foot, taxi or the many COTA routes along High, including the #2 and the late night #21.

    Inspired by nationally recognized monikers such as the Magnificent Mile in Chicago and Bourbon Street in New Orleans, the team set out to unite their collective offerings under a recognizable umbrella that would resonate with Columbus residents as well as potential visitors. “We quickly realized the draw of the combined offerings,” said Jennifer Davis of the Greater Columbus Convention Center. “All of a sudden we were talking about an outrageous volume of authentic experiences in a walkable distance in either direction from the Convention Center. There’s nothing else like it in Ohio. It’s a case where, as a draw for visitors, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. There is something for every taste, and always something happening. It’s well worth the visit when you know the whole story and how easy it is to explore.”

    To facilitate the conversation, the team contacted Ologie, a downtown, Columbus-based marketing firm that had worked with several of the properties individually and was working on similar campaigns for citywide branding.

    “The challenge was finding a way to simultaneously present ourselves as part of a bigger picture and yet retain our unique identities,” commented David Wible, Director of the North Market. “German village has an historic focus. Downtown has theater. The Arena district offers professional sports and entertainment. The Short North is art and fashion. We’re all about culinary scene.” As the team worked with Ologie, it began to get a sense of how to describe the whole without losing the individuality. Words like “authentic, evolving, creative, spontaneous, inviting and vibrant” surfaced again and again. They, ultimately, set the tone for what would become the new brand.

    The name “Columbus High Five” emanates from the 5-mile stretch along from Thurman to Arcadia.

    The Launch
    The launch included the new High Five logo, a pocket map and a state-of the-art website. The pocket maps were printed courtesy of Grange Insurance. The website was designed and implemented by the team at Quick Square Consulting. The logo features the words “High Five” stacked over a line of five dots (one for each mile) with “Columbus” forming the foundation. ColumbusHighFive.com, which features a striking, interactive map of the area, serves as a snapshot overview of the High Five and a portal to each of the partners’ individual websites.

    “The project has found strong community support,” offers Cleve Ricksecker, Director of the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District (SID), one of the partners. “Between the districts, the destinations and the sponsors, we have laid a strong foundation.” In turn the SID will be adopting the program and managing its future development in collaboration with the partners.

    Over the coming months the group will distribute tens of thousands of High Five pocket maps and begin generating hundreds of business links to the ColumbusHighFive.com website. The site serves as a portal to the websites of each of the partner districts and destinations. Partners will begin incorporating the logo and map icon in a variety of materials. Already, the Short North has published its latest visitors map, which includes the elements. The Short North is also planning to introduce the icons on its way-finding signage to be installed by May. Other partners will follow suit as opportunities arise. The team will also begin sharing the concept with regional and national travel writers. Further down the road, the group envisions “Columbus High Five” events (perhaps a 5 mile run or bike tours), window stickers, and visitor specials.

    By the numbers
    The Columbus High Five stretches five miles from Thurman Avenue on the south side of German Village to Arcadia Avenue on the north side of the University District. All partners are either directly on High Street or within one to two blocks east or west. Collectively, there are roughly 150 full service restaurants, 200 stores and boutiques, 40 art galleries, 50 entertainment venues, over 100 annual events and thousands of hotel rooms.

    “Our message is that this is an amazing stretch of diverse offerings,” says Tina Guegold representing the Arena District. “When you visit the Columbus High Five, you will find an unparalleled mix of experiences. Prepare to be entertained, inspired and engaged. You can be yourself here. You can take adventures here. Within walking distance you can transition from one extremely unique cluster of experiences to another.”

    “There are many possible benefits from the campaign taking hold,” offers Ricksecker. “Three years from now it would be amazing if ‘Columbus High Five’ were part of the everyday vernacular of Columbus and the region. When convention planners debate about which city to host their gathering, they would instantly recognize that our Convention Center is in the middle of the ‘High Five.’ They may not know all the details of the ‘High Five,’ but they know they’ve heard of it and their conventioneers will have plenty to do. That could be that extra boost to help them choose Columbus over the competition.” The team also envisions entrepreneurs wanting to establish businesses in the High Five and new residents to Columbus wanting to live in the High Five.

    “We also see this as a catalyst,” says Pasquale Grado of the University Area Business Community. “While there are hundreds and hundreds of offerings from German Village to the University District, there are some holes in the walkability along the way. Touting and promoting the stretch of experiences will help us fill in gaps between the Short North and OSU and a few other areas.”

    The group also hopes its initiative will have an extremely positive impact on neighboring districts and destinations. Scott Heimlich of the German Village Business Association, remarks: “If we can get people down to the High Five and exploring the diversity of offerings, we hope they will be inspired to head over to COSI, the Art Museum, the Discovery District, Franklinton, and beyond. We truly believe ‘a rising tide raises all ships.’ The critical mass of this bite-sized chunk of experiences may be enough to get their attention, get them on the road, and get them to our doors.”


  • I agree with Jon Myers, there was no way to connect thru the High Five site.  I wanted to suggest seamless wifi as a way to connect them all along the High St. corridor.  And do a mobile app with easy access to maps and news.

metro categories