Odds Heavily Favor R&R Partners Again Winning Las Vegas Marketing Contract

Posted on: February 17, 2020, 10:15h. 

Last updated on: February 17, 2020, 12:07h.

R&R Partners has held the marketing contract with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) for decades. But that could change in 2020.

R&R Partners Las Vegas slogan
Las Vegas’ new hashtag is #OnlyVegas, and there’s a good chance R&R Partners will remain the city’s only contracted marketing firm. (Image: LVCVA)

The agency tasked with bringing visitors and conventions to Southern Nevada is fielding bids from marketing firms for the next three years. But the odds presumably favor R&R once again winning the contract. The Las Vegas-based ad firm has been working with the LVCVA for 30 years, and was the brains behind the now iconic “What Happens Here, Stays Here” motto that debuted in 2003.

The LVCVA’s coveted marketing contract was last renewed with R&R in 2010. It was extended in 2014, then-CEO Rossi Ralenkotter saying at the time the deal was valued at more than $93 million.

2020 is another bidding year, and R&R would be the betting favorite for the contract if oddsmakers were taking wagers on the outcome. Founded in 1973 by Sig Rogich, today R&R has offices in eight US cities, plus Mexico.

The LVCVA has hired an outside consultant who will help decide which advertising firm receives the new contract.

Easy Money?

Las Vegas needs no introduction. It’s a city that’s nearly universally known around the world. But while some believe Sin City is capable of marketing itself, R&R Partners Principal Billy Vassiliadis says it’s not as easy as it might look.

Vassiliadis said recently that extensive research is conducted for each decision the firm suggests for the LVCVA. The biggest change came just this month, when the “What Happens Here, Stays Here” tagline was amended to “What Happens Here, Only Happens Here.”

We do ongoing, constant research into what resonates with our visitors, and test taglines all the time. We have wanted to move away from ‘What Happens Here, Stays Here’ before, but the research showed people still responded to it,” R&R told US Campaign.

The LVCVA’s advertising budget for last year was $101.5 million. Eighty-three percent was generated by hotel room taxes. Fifteen percent came from facility use fees, and two percent from “other” hospitality charges.

Casino win totaled over $10.35 billion in Clark County last year, a one percent year-over-year gain.

Super Hype

R&R Partners and the LVCVA wanted to debut the “What Happens Here, Stays Here” campaign during the January 2003 Super Bowl. However, because of Las Vegas’ widespread sports betting, the NFL rejected the commercial.

The news of the league banning Las Vegas from advertising during the big game provided the LVCVA with free publicity. The spot was eventually unveiled, and immediately embraced.

Fast-forward to 2020, and the NFL’s strong opposition to gambling has been much reduced because of the Supreme Court’s May 2018 decision to repeal the federal ban on sports betting.

The first time a commercial promoting Las Vegas aired around a Super Bowl occurred this month when the NFL allowed the LVCVA to be included. The “What Happens Here, Only Happens Here” commercial ran during the pregame broadcast.