Vegas, The Big Game & Brand Marketing: Perspectives from the sidelines

Jack 39 Blog

February 14th, 2024 By Ashley Brantman

The Big Game & Brand MarketingWhat happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. And that’s a good thing.  

People will talk and rehash the details about Sunday night’s game and the days leading up to it for weeks to come. The NFL’s viewing numbers reached epic proportions (Swiftie effect?), exceeding Apollo 11’s space mission broadcast. If Vegas wasn’t already a city of passion, indulgence, wins, and losses, add a huge end-of-season football game, and a perfect brand environment is born.  

A few days after returning and processing the madness of the experience, here’s what stuck: 

  1. Allegiant won. As someone who has evaluated, executed, and managed several naming rights partnerships, this is a use case I would shop around as a rights holder. For a brand that entered the deal to gain national recognition (with a focus on NFL markets, mind you), you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who has yet to mention or hear of Allegiant Stadium. At $7M for a 30-second spot during the game, Allegiant dominated camera-visible shots throughout – well beyond 30 seconds, generating massive exposure value. Not to mention the earned media across sports media coverage for weeks. For a brand, the timing of this deal is a marker when considering or constructing the terms of a partnership. Five years after the folks at Allegiant executed this deal, I expect a host-city market naming rights deal to mirror the success we’ve seen from this one. One thing I always wish I saw more of from naming rights partners is investment in storytelling around how their brand is impacting the megaevent to really pull the influence of the partnership through the line.  
  2. Lighthearted and fun = positive. This big end-of-season football game is a mid-winter escape, a fun day for even the most casual of fans. This year felt refreshingly normal, Tswiftie and all. We watched, partied, and had fun, and Vegas was the perfect host city as the escape capital of America. This sensation manifested through the line from the TV ad creative to on-the-ground executions. Everyone felt the electric energy up and down the strip, which showed with the brand activations, a great sign of economic optimism and consumer engagement.  
  3. Go big or go home. The next one will be bigger, and there will be a next one. Vegas will host the game again, and brands will get behind it in a more impactful and provocative way. Whether through talent, stunts, or hospitality, the foundation has been laid for bigger and better. There will be massive opportunities, even with all the “clutter”, to be edgy, loud, and unafraid to capitalize on the perfect storm of entertainment and competition under the brightest lights of Sin City. Doritos on Luxor’s pyramid – simple yet very effective out of home – or Pepsi’s “Big Game Vault” that leaned into Vegas’s allure of secrets was a taste of what is possible. In the future, we’ll see and expect more of these activations and programming in a big way.  

 In essence, what unfolded in Las Vegas was not just a football game but a testament to the enduring draw of spectacle and the limitless possibilities of marketing and strategic partnership. The success stories will set a high standard for brands in the future, prompting companies to reconsider their strategies and explore innovative ways to maximize their investments. So yeah, what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas—it reverberates across industries, leaving an enduring legacy of inspiration and innovation.