KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Mayor Sly James is breaking out some of his best puns in Amazon product reviews, as KC competes to be the home of Amazon's new headquarters.
Kansas City leaders have said they will present a competitive bid to be Amazon’s next headquarters location.
Now, James wants Kansas Citians to tell Amazon why their city is so great to get the company excited about putting a headquarters in Kansas City. In a playful video posted to his social media accounts, James reviewed products on Amazon's site while touting KC's affordability.
According to a press release, James recently ordered 1,000 products from Amazon and used a review for each one to tell a story about Kansas City.
“It’s no secret we believe Amazon is a great fit for Kansas City,” said Mayor James in the release. “So the idea was easy - make Kansas City the most-well reviewed city on Amazon.”
For example, he reviewed a set of premium wind chimes and wrote, “I live in beautiful Kansas City where the average home price is just $122K, so I know luxe living doesn't have to cost a ton. That's why at $14.99, these wind chimes are music to my ears.”
James wants KC residents to use the hashtag #KC5Stars to tell Amazon why they love Kansas City and why its new headquarters would be a good fit here.
All of the products James purchased will be donated to local charities.
This all came after James tweeted a photo of himself surrounded by Amazon boxes earlier Wednesday morning, saying he has “been busy online shopping.”
Kansas City isn’t alone in adopting unusual techniques to get the company’s attention.
The Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama installed three larger-than-life Amazon delivery boxes around his city. And the Tucson Economic Development Group sent the company a 21-foot-cactus, which Amazon donated to a museum.
“This is the dream prize that comes along once a century,” said Bill Black, a professor of economics and law at UMKC. “There has been nothing like this in modern history. And so the competition is going to fierce, it’s going to be comic at times.”
For its new headquarters, Amazon is looking for a location which has an international airport, access to mass transit, and close proximity to a major highway. The company also wants about 100 acres of undeveloped land or 500,000 square feet of existing buildings.
All bids are due Oct. 19.
Kansas City is also a test site for Amazon Flex, a new delivery method in which anyone can download the Amazon Flex app and deliver packages, making anywhere from $18 to $25 per hour. (It’s kind of like Uber, but for packages.)
Amazon already has a presence in the metro area, with fulfillment centers in Edgerton, Kansas, and KCK.