Buckle up…we’re landing a Las Vegas Super Bowl

February 5th, 2024
By Denadjae Combs, VP, & Daryl Ellis, VP Group Director @MKTG

Five fast rules for surviving a week of football marketing on the Strip

When Tony Curtis declared ‘if you know how to live in Las Vegas, you can have the best time’, we doubt he had sponsorship in mind but substitute the word ‘live’ for ‘activate’ and many brands will be hoping they’ll have the best time as we hit the sharp end of the NFL season.

As a rotating feast, Super Bowl marketers are well versed in adapting their approach to meet the challenges each host city brings but the inaugural Vegas showpiece is a whole new ball game with the 24/7 always-on culture presenting a stack of yellow flags:

  • Smaller stadium footprint means fewer tickets, suites, parking spaces, and just about everything else

  • A saturated market with few answers for ambush marketing and a ton of clutter

  • Increased costs including higher room rates and ticket prices, increased labor charges, mandatory corkage fees, and more

  • A city flushed with marquee, large scale events; the Super Bowl (and its sponsors) must wait its turn and is not even the biggest thing to happen in Vegas. Ever heard of CES or the World of Concrete

So, aside from the ‘drink water and sleep when you can’ basics that every Super Bowl rookie usually learns the hard way, here’s our five pro-tips for making sure you don’t go brand-bust in Vegas this week:

01 | Hit the tables early

Super Bowl week ramps up by the day each year…come Friday and Saturday, the crowds and the chaos take over. And in Vegas – expect the same and then some. Brands working to communicate messages through content, PR days, media stunts, etc. should execute earlier in the week (Mon – Thu) to avoid the clutter as much as possible. It also helps with costs, NFL player/influencer availability, and logistics.

02 | Come for the glitter, stay for the brand message

Las Vegas offers a wide range of flashy spectacles to leverage for events and content. While this can help brands to stand out in a crowded market, do not let the glitter outshine the message. Align with partners who are a solid equity fit – it’s easy to go south fast in this town. 

03 | What happens in Vegas MUST NOT stay in Vegas

On the ground activation at Super Bowl is time tested and brands will be splashing millions on one-to-one engagements with fans. But even in Vegas, there is a limit to how many people can be reached so focus on extensions – owned and partner social channels, influencers, media, streaming, etc. and make sure it’s both creative and media supported as there will be more ‘influencers’ in Vegas pedaling brand messages than at any Super Bowl in history. 

04 | Win friends to influence people

Be patient with your local partners and vendors; they’ve got a lot going on. Las Vegas has had no shortage of large events over the last several months. Hard to believe, but the Super Bowl may not be the next biggest thing on their radar. Relationships built on mutuality over transactions win every time.

05 | Play your cards right

Don’t try to compete with everything Las Vegas has to offer. It’s easy to get distracted by the bright lights, but a focused activation plan allows for a consistent, purposeful message that nets results. You know your target audience best. Continue to lean on the things that allow you to reach them in authentic ways.

Oh, and remember to drink water and sleep when you can…

To see what MKTG and our clients are up to during Super Bowl week, follow us @mktg_inc.