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Paramount to Sponsor 'Star Trek' Train8 March 2004
By Richard N. Velotta, Las Vegas Sun
Paramount Parks will extend its "Star Trek" franchise beyond the confines of the Las Vegas Hilton in the spring. Officials disclosed today that Paramount has agreed to sponsor a Las Vegas Monorail Co. train and the Hilton monorail station.
Paramount officials said that the company would capitalize on its "Borg Invasion 4D" attraction that opens to the public at the Hilton March 18 in its themed train and station.
Terms of the sponsorship agreement were not disclosed. However, Promethean Partners, Las Vegas, the company that has been contracted by Las Vegas Monorail to develop sponsorships of trains and stations, said it got its asking price and the company has asked for $1 million a year to sponsor a train and $2 million a year for a station in past deals.
In addition to finalizing the deal with Paramount Parks, Promethean has signed new train sponsorships with International Game Technology, Reno; BankWest of Nevada, Las Vegas; and Paramount Pictures, Hollywood, and CBS Television, both subsidiaries of New York-based Viacom Inc.
Terms of those deals also were not disclosed.
IGT is the world's largest manufacturer of slot machines and the company's sponsored train will have illustrations of many of IGT's themed slots on a bright orange exterior.
The two Viacom companies are expected to promote their current television shows and movies in on-board monorail presentations.
The Paramount Parks theme plan includes the most elaborate design of the newest sponsorships.
Brett Petit, senior vice president of marketing for Paramount Parks, Viacom's theme-park subsidiary, said his company signed a multiyear deal on both the station and the train, which will be painted this week in Las Vegas.
"The 'Star Trek' franchise is a huge franchise for the studio," Petit said. "The fact that we are spending millions of dollars reinvigorating the enterprise shows that we are not abandoning it."
Petit said "Star Trek" fans -- known as "Trekkers" -- are "merciless in expecting things to be authentic" and that the train and station sponsored by Paramount Parks "will be light years ahead" in design and delivery of a satisfying product.
The monorail train will be painted to resemble a space ship in the midst of assimilation. "It's always difficult to stand out in Vegas because it's such a cluttered advertising environment," Petit said. "But we'll be working with a billboard the size of a football field and we intend to make it an attraction in itself.
"We plan to make it so compelling on the inside that even if they (riders) don't know about the Borg or about 'Star Trek' that they'll want to see the attraction once they get off the train."
The Paramount-wrapped train is expected to be ready when the monorail system begins passenger service. The company has not identified a starting date.
The station interior design, which will be built by Las Vegas-based YESCO, is expected to be completed by May.
Paramount's station is the second sponsorship contracted by Promethean Partners President and Chief Executive Patrick Pharris. In November, Nextel Communications Inc. bolstered a growing commitment to Las Vegas by agreeing to sponsor the high-profile monorail station at the Las Vegas Convention Center. With the five new sponsored trains under contract, the system now has eight themed monorail vehicles. Monster Beverage Co., a subsidiary of Corona, Calif.-based Hansen Natural Corp., the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and Nextel also have themed trains.
Other companies that have been approached about sponsoring trains and stations include Coca-Cola Co.; Pepsico Inc., makers of Pepsi Cola; Microsoft Corp.; Motorola Inc.; and Bacardi.
Copyright © Las Vegas Sun. Inc. Republished with permission.