Lakers Playing Las Vegas Preseason Game At MGM Grand Garden To Bolster Both Brands
The Lakers today will play the Kings at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena instead of Thomas & Mack Center, a decision that is "about marketing two brands and about the city’s NBA future," according to Steve Carp of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. The team called Thomas & Mack Center "their Las Vegas home for years." Lakers Senior VP/Business Operations Tim Harris said, "From a marketing standpoint, we had a deal with the Mirage back in 2004 where we felt we were helping promote the Mirage’s brand in Southern California and the Mirage promoted the Lakers’ brand in Las Vegas. Now what we’ve done is taken that original concept and broadened it to include all of the MGM’s properties." MGM Grand President & COO Scott Sibella, who brokered the original Lakers-Mirage deal and put together the current package, said that "once the Grand Garden had the capability to host an NBA game that it was only natural for the MGM to pursue bringing the Lakers over." Harris said that the partnership is a "chance for the Lakers to grow, not just in Las Vegas but in Southern California as well by taking a page from the MGM’s loyalty rewards program -- MLife." Harris: "We’re talking to the MGM about how we can implement something similar to MLife with the Lakers where we can have our own loyalty rewards program. The technology is there. We just have to figure out the best way to use it." The Lakers for the game are bringing corporate sponsors to Las Vegas "for a couple of days to experience the city." The team also is "flying in 150 of its longtime season-ticket holders to enjoy the game" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 10/9).