The organization that is putting Tennessee's new lottery together expects to hire a public relations and marketing firm on Monday, and several Nashville-area firms are among the finalists.
The three-month contract, which may be extended to nine months, does not have a set value. Instead, the winner will be paid on an hourly basis, said Will Pinkston, spokesman for the Tennessee Education Lottery Corp.
There are three groups of finalists for the contract. Each includes public relations and marketing firms from across the state.
Group one consists of Dye Van Mol & Lawrence, Kinnard & Associates and Caliente Consulting, all of Nashville, and firms in Knoxville and Memphis.
Group two consists of the Ingram Group in Nashville and firms in Memphis and Knoxville.
Group three includes Katcher Vaughn & Bailey of Brentwood, Hispanic Marketing Group in Nashville, and firms in Memphis, Maryville and Chattanooga.
Eventually, the lottery is to have its own marketing staff and should not need long-term assistance, Pinkston said. The lottery organization will have as many as 350 employees, about 250 to 300 of whom will work at its headquarters in Nashville. Presently it has no employees other than several individuals who are on loan from state departments. They are working in temporary space in a state office building downtown.
To be selected as a finalist, the firms had to have been based in Tennessee for at least five years and either have a statewide presence or the ability to partner with firms that have offices in East, Middle and West Tennessee. Minority participation is required, according to the requirements the state set for the contract.
The winning group will draft information releases, respond to media inquiries, manage the Web site, plan statewide dvents and meetings and help develop a logo, Pinkston said.