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Volume 26 No. 209
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Allegiant Hopes To Grow Awareness With Las Vegas Stadium Deal

Execs at Allegiant Airlines "weren't thinking about acquiring naming rights" to the Raiders' new Las Vegas stadium a year ago, but the "chance to bring unprecedented awareness to the local travel company was too enticing to ignore," according to Bryan Horwath of the LAS VEGAS SUN. Allegiant Chair & CEO Maury Gallagher said, "This is all about brand, brand, brand and how do you get your name out there faster with one expenditure than what we’re doing with the Raiders? That's the strategic statement we're making here." Horwath notes the naming-rights deal is a "gigantic step for Allegiant, a budget airline that has only been around for a little more than two decades." Gallagher: "We don't distribute through traditional methods -- we don’t use Expedia or Priceline. For us, more than 90% of our tickets get sold through our website." Allegiant CMO Scott DeAngelo said, "Two-thirds of Allegiant customers -- and those who haven’t flown us yet, but live in the markets we serve -- are NFL fans. That's more than double the national average. The proportion of NFL fans is much greater in small towns and mid-sized cities." DeAngelo said that those mid-sized cities "represent Allegiant's sweet spot." Of the approximately 120 U.S. cities "serviced by Allegiant, many are small or mid-sized markets by airline standards." DeAngelo: "There are more Dallas Cowboys fans, as a proportion, in McAllen, Texas, than there are in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. Our customers and our prospective customers are consuming the NFL in droves" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 8/12).

ON THE HORIZON? In Las Vegas, Richard Velotta noted Hawaiian Airlines has the Raiders' "charter business contracted" for the '19 season. But Gallagher said that it "isn't beyond the realm of possibility that Allegiant could become a team charter operator in the future." Hawaiian Airlines has the "advantage of flying wide-bodied jets that are comfortable enough for 6-6, 275-pound linemen." However, Gallagher said that Allegiant "could explore reconfiguring one of its planes to make for a comfortable charter flight." In the meantime, Allegiant "could look at other charter flying opportunities for fans wanting to attend a game in Las Vegas" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/11).