Allegiant Air Took a Prepandemic Bet, and It’s Already Paying Off

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Allegiant Air Took a Prepandemic Bet, and It's Already Paying Off

Although it carries fewer passengers per day than the stadium that bears its name, Allegiant Air is a nationally recognized brand.

Allegiant, a recreational airline that mostly serves smaller markets, made a big marketing bet before the pandemic and secured the naming rights for the Las Vegas Raider Stadium. It pays off a year later when the Raiders kick off their inaugural season at the inky black Allegiant stadium.

While ratings for Sunday’s game between the Raiders and Buffalo Bills are not yet known, the stadium’s first national broadcast – a Monday night game against the New Orleans Saints – reached an average of 15.59 million viewers on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. The airline said the stadium has had 40.6 billion impressions since the contract was signed, 8 billion of which came from the Game of the Saints.

In January, Allegiant added flights to Boston, Houston and Chicago. And after Monday night’s game, Allegiant’s site traffic in those three markets increased by 60% to 80%.

“It gives us flexibility for the future,” said Scott Deangelo, CMO of the airline. “We are allowed to reduce ours [spend] by 50% including the stadium and only then rebuilt when the demand becomes noticeable. “

However, offers like Allegiant’s are not undisputed. The Bills had run out of sponsors since July when clothing company New Era asked to be fired from their contract. And the Saints are currently without a partner for the 2021 season after Mercedes-Benz decided to part ways in May after 10 seasons.

It is unclear whether these withdrawals are a direct result of empty arenas or general financial troubles caused by the pandemic. But even before the pandemic, there were cases like Enron Field, where the energy company named the stadium when it went bankrupt and then collapsed.

Still, Allegiant is happy with the deal.

“The stadium is a very efficient way to raise awareness,” said DeAngelo. “Either way you slice it, it exceeded our expectations.”

Unlike SoFi, which placed great emphasis on the stadium’s real estate and the ability to host non-football events, the decision to partner with the Raiders was about tracking the opponents’ audience. While DeAngelo described the investment as a “sizeable part” of his marketing budget, he said it was well worth it.

“When [an opponent’s] The team is coming to play in Vegas. These millions of fans will be watching and we want to be up to date for them, ”said DeAngelo.

DeAngelo admitted that naming rights are not perfect. While the brand is guaranteed guaranteed footage while a game is being broadcast, it is not that the airline can promote any particular message beyond its own name. Curiosity needs to bring the audience to the website. However, it’s easier than going from market to market, buying local spots for each team and tracking them with digital campaigns.

It was “precise” yet cumbersome for the brand and media buying agencies. Now the airline can get as many impressions at once. And these impressions are vital as the aviation industry has been devastated by the pandemic.

Allegiant reported a year-over-year revenue decline of nearly 73% and a halving of planning capacity. DeAngelo assumes, however, that the airline will be in a “positive earnings position” early next year.

Like Southwest – its biggest competitor in that they both serve the recreational market and don’t rely on international flights – Allegiant is focused on attracting new travelers by converting those who previously flew with American and Delta.

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