Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Awards Ad Agency $110M One-Year Contract

Posted on: June 11, 2020, 09:46h. 

Last updated on: June 11, 2020, 10:59h.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is extending its decades-long advertising contract with R&R Partners for at least another year.

Las Vegas LVCVA R&R Partners
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is keeping one thing normal – its ad agency, R&R Partners – during a chaotic time for the casino mecca. (Image: Twitter)

The city authority, responsible for marketing and promoting Southern Nevada for leisure and business travel, voted unanimously this week to award a one-year contract extension valued at $110 million to the ad agency, headquartered in Las Vegas. R&R Partners will receive a monthly agency service fee of $475,000, $600,000 monthly budget for content creation, and a 6.5 percent commission fee on the gross amount of media buys the firm makes on the LVCVA’s behalf.

The LVCVA’s 2020 fiscal year will conclude at the end of the month, and with it, R&R Partners’ long-running contract was set to expire. The tourism and convention agency was in the process of fielding proposals from advertising agencies when the coronavirus pandemic struck and closed down Nevada.

Steve Hill, president and CEO of the LVCVA, says the request for proposal period will restart later this year, and a longer advertising contract will be awarded sometime in 2021.

New ‘Abnormal’

COVID-19 brought travel in the US to a near standstill in recent months. For Las Vegas, a town that greatly relies on tourism and convention business, the impact has been devastating.

R&R Partners and the LVCVA has a tall task ahead in luring visitors back sooner than later. In the city’s latest 30-second spot, called “The Light,” a man is seen at the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign turning on an industrial power level that brings the Strip back to life.

While many Americans are adjusting to a new normal, as states across the country begin to allow businesses to reopen under certain restrictions, R&R Partners CEO Billy Vassiliadis says he isn’t willing to accept a new Sin City.

“Everybody calls this the ‘new normal.’ I can’t get to that place. I just don’t want to accept that this is the new normal. So, for now, this is the new abnormal,” Vassiliadis told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Part of the one-year contract extension for R&R includes $65 million in media buys, production fees, commissions, and other advertising costs, subject to LVCVA board approval.

LVCVA Strip Down

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is primarily funded through hotel occupancy stays. With bookings plunging during the pandemic, the LVCVA will see its revenue greatly decrease.

In April, the LVCVA announced it was cutting its operating budget by $79 million. Some 80 employees have been let go, and capital improvement projects have been put on hold.

The Las Vegas Sun editorial team says now is not the time to allow the LVCVA to reduce its workforce. The media outlet says Orlando winning the resumption of the NBA season (the Florida city will host all regular season games and the playoffs) was a major blow to Las Vegas.

It’s crucial that we respond by giving the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority the resources it needs to beat back Orlando and other cities that are working 24/7/365 to lure away our conventions and beat us out of events,” the Sun editorial opined.

“It must be funded to the most complete extent possible, for the good of not only Southern Nevada, but the entire state. As Las Vegas goes, so goes Nevada,” the piece concluded.