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Gaming Guru

Chris Jones
 

Marketers Plan Rose Parade Float

16 September 2004

After it successfully crashed last year's Super Bowl, Academy Awards telecast and at least one first family conversation at the White House, Las Vegas' celebrated marketing campaign will kick off 2005 at yet another high-profile celebration of American culture.

On New Year's Day, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will for the first time enter a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.

The 116th annual event will again precede the Rose Bowl.

Local tourism leaders said their one-time Rose Parade entry is intended to build awareness of Las Vegas' Centennial celebration, a year-long series of special events marking the 100th anniversary of the city's formation on May 15, 1905.

The convention authority will spend $200,000 to create its float, plus an additional $3,700 parade entry fee. In return, it hopes to gain exposure at an event that last year attracted 27.9 million television viewers plus an estimated 1 million spectators along the parade route.

"The type of viewership they get for the Rose Bowl Parade is a great way to introduce our whole program for the year on its first day," Terry Jicinsky, the convention authority's senior vice president of marketing, said Tuesday after his board of directors unanimously approved plans to participate in the parade.

The upcoming parade's theme is "Celebrate Family," a marketing tack Las Vegas quickly abandoned after a brief flirtation in the early 1990s. Rather than showcase a "Bring the kids to our casinos" message, Jicinsky said Las Vegas' float will honor the familial bonds shared among members of the local resort community.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, a convention authority board member, joked he would only support the float if it was created in his likeness. Laughter erupted when fellow board member Don Snyder quipped the cost of duplicating Goodman's notable nose "would be prohibitive."