Wisconsin's tourism industry hopes TV ads during NBA Finals will help boost the economy

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MADISON Wis. (CBS 58) -- While thousands will pack Fiserv Forum Tuesday for game six of the NBA finals, millions will watch from home -- an audience the state's tourism industry is hoping to capitalize on.  

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism Acting Secretary Anne Sayers says they didn't want to pass up the Milwaukee Bucks deep run into the NBA playoffs and the national attention the team is gaining.   

"The bucks making it this far is certainly a new opportunity we weren't going to let it pass us by," said Sayers.  

Earlier this month, the agency decided to start airing Travel Wisconsin ads during the final's games in hopes to not only showcase what the badger state has to offer but to attract new travelers who may have not thought about planning a trip here.  

"We certainly expect that with a strategic, retargeted approach this is going to translate into real economic growth, not just for Milwaukee but for all of Wisconsin," Sayers said. 

The TV commercials are airing in 7 markets including Chicago, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Madison and Milwaukee. While these ads were already scheduled to launch this summer, Sayers said they adjusted to make sure they would air during the games to make sure basketball fans got a glimpse of what Wisconsin has to offer.  

While it's difficult to estimate the total economic impact from the Bucks playoffs, the ads are expected to reach 1.5 million people.  

Other estimates from the city's visitor bureau, Visit Milwaukee, says each time the Bucks play at home it's brought in more than $3 million into Milwaukee's economy. 

"It's been incredible for Milwaukee, but it's good for the rest of the state too," said Claire Koenig, communications director at Visit Milwaukee. "While many great vacations start [in Milwaukee] people then progress throughout the state." 

Officials are remaining hopeful regardless of the outcome of the NBA Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks will have a lasting impacting on the state's economy for years to come.  

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