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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Derrick

It's [sport] Vegas baby

Whilst Hollywood is facing scandal after scandal, sport is soaring into the post-pandemic world at a rate of knots. Not only was sport the great escape for many of us during lockdown/s but it was also a new hobby for many. And so it’s really no wonder that Vegas wants in.

The switch from ‘Hollywood on the strip’ to ‘sport capital of the world’ is unfolding before our very eyes. Whilst we already see some of the greatest boxing and wrestling matches take place in the iconic theatres, we’re now bracing ourselves for perhaps the most theatrical Formula 1 race in history, where we’ll see drivers speed down the Vegas strip, at night, full lights, fountains and all. On a Saturday night too of course. F1 has finally found its American groove.

More so, Oak View Group has announced a project worth $3 billion that will see creation of a new state-of-the-art sport entertainment district. The district will include a new 20,000 seat arena specifically to house huge sporting moments, specifically, a new Vegas NBA franchise residency (LeBron, you coming?).

This week we're hearing that MLB’s Oakland A’s are also looking to move to Sin City as they bid for a new spot of land for a domed stadium.

If that wasn’t enough of a line up, the Superbowl is set to be hosted in Vegas come 2024; even though the Las Vegas Raiders have only been a ‘thing’ since 2020. Add to that, we’ll see 2025’s National Championship for college football, 2023 Vegas hosts March Madness, 2026 Frozen Four…the list is likely to go on.

So what could this look like for brands who want to roll the dice with a Vegas partnership? Some initial predictions:

  • Short-term, unbundled sponsorship deals: Vegas only baby. Brands who are looking for a quick brand fix will hope to partner with one of these huge Vegas sporting moments but refraining from anything longer-term. We should expect big bucks, big experiences, big exposure. In essence, the Super Bowl just got competition.

  • Limited edition Vegas kits: becoming collectibles in themselves, tourists, fans and those willing to pay for the Vegas experience will expect exclusive merch and memorabilia.

  • Bespoke Vegas fan experience: whether it’s fan coach convoys, themed hotel rooms, branded pop-up fan zones or spaces to watch the games/matches if you’re one of the many likely to miss out on tickets, we should expect very bespoke and unique experiences for fans across the Vegas space.

  • Create content around the whole trip: brands, teams and athletes with personal brand dreams should look to bolster their content around the Vegas match/game. More is the answer. More behind-the-scenes, more exclusive insights, more fan created content. More more more!

  • Tie in launches or big moments: Vegas is all about the drama and with so many eyes watching in order to be part of the spectacular, it’s THE place to make large-scale announcements. This could be the signing of a new player, new community/fan initiative, competition winner or sponsor.

As brands, teams, franchises and athletes enter the Metaverse and simultaneously fans emerge from the physically restrictive lockdowns, large-scale physical events are in hot demand and Vegas is clearly taking advantage of this. Vegas, we’re coming for ya.

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