Now that Blue Springs is receiving national attention thanks to "American Idol" David Cook, the is looking into ways to honor the local star.
You may know the name David Cook.
Blue Springs city officials certainly know the name.
The 2008 “American Idol” winner and Blue Springs native will soon embark on a summer tour with the other top 10 “Idol” finalists, and Blue Springs officials would like just the tiniest favor from the show’s producers: a moment of Cook’s time.
“The city, council members, the mayor – we’d like to have a few minutes with him at some point, to thank him for what he’s done,” Merideth Parrish, the city’s spokesperson, said Tuesday, nearly a week after Cook’s landslide victory.
Ideally, Parrish said city members would like to meet with him to not only offer kind words of encouragement, but to show him their gratitude for putting the city on the map.
“We’d love to have him back here so we could present him a sign,” Parrish said.
Not a sign for him to take home, but a sign that would most likely be installed near one of the city’s main entrances.
“We were thinking Adams Dairy Parkway, perhaps near the exit or entrance ramps, where many people come in and out,” she said.
“We were thinking about something like, Blue Springs, home of 2008 American Idol winner. Something along that line.”
Installing a sign along city streets is easily done, Parrish said,
Signs along I-70 is another story. This week, the city’s Public Works department plans to meet with the Missouri Department of Transportation to discuss options for a sign along the interstate. While the city would certainly have input, it would be up to MoDOT to decide.
Many of the former contestants who won the show have been honored with signs, both in and outside city limits, Parrish said.
“Blue Springs shouldn’t be any different,” she said.
Until then, there are signs devoted to David Cook and his win. Lamar Advertising, working with Aquilla Energy, has put up several specific messages on signs. Some locations include Missouri 7, U.S. 71, Interstate 470, I-35, I-29 and I-670.
When Cook came home for his parade, Mayor Carson Ross presented him with a Key to the City, the first key to be given to anyone in Blue Springs. Parrish said there was some discussion about a plaque, but that was dismissed by Ross.
“He really believed in the key,” she said.
In late August, Cook is scheduled to perform at the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City. Parrish said the city would like to meet with him before that date, but she realizes how difficult it would be.
“The producer said she would keep in touch,” she said.
Brien Starner, director of the Economic Development Corporation, said his organization would like also to capitalize on Cook’s fame for the good of the city, but that’s something which would depend heavily upon research and strategy.
“There probably is a way for the city to use it,” Starner said. “The challenge is figuring out how to package it.”
In most cases, Starner said Cook’s fame will allow the city to co-brand itself; that is, call the city by name to prospective residents and business owners, with a quick mention of David Cook.
“You get more benefit from the reflection that is cast off the image in the mirror,” Starner said.
Starner said he anticipates more interested parties and business owners contacting the city because they read or heard about it from American Idol coverage.
“It works that way with Overland Park,” he said. “People read about events or company openings there and call. With this, there will be a ripple effect, surely.”
One thing at a time, though.
Starner said the city continues to examine ways to brand itself — as it has tried long before David Cook.
“We’re still trying to discover and make work the branding program,” he said. “But this...We’ll be able to get mileage out of this.”