The Oakland Raiders have been stagnant in Oakland, with their primary complaint being that the Mayor, Libby Schaaf, has failed to supply the Raiders with the stadium that they need and deserve. The owner of the Raiders, Mark Davis, is now prepared to relocate the Raiders to Las Vegas. Gov. Brian Sandoval has approved and offered a huge amount of money to build a stadium for the Raiders: $750 million. Now, the City of Oakland, even if they wanted to take any action to preserve their home team, cannot afford to compete with Las Vegas’ unheard-of offer. The marketing strategy for the Raiders must now consider a strategic SWOT analysis based on tactfulness when relocating their brand (because there will be a wake of bereft Oakland fans and a new ocean of mixed support in Las Vegas).
The potential for the Raiders to succeed in Las Vegas is a hugely positive one. The economic burden might be outweighed by the boost in Las Vegas’ improved identity: “…the psychological uplift that the Raiders would bring to Las Vegas is rationale enough; this is a town…that hasn’t had a sports team to rally around since…U.N.L.V. basketball teams of the 1980s and early 1990s.” (Nocera). Las Vegas is a town that has an identity that has been built around mostly gambling and stripping. The residents of Las Vegas are eager to dispel this reputation, and hosting a major-league NFL team may be the appropriate new reputation that Las Vegas residents need. It also makes sense that the money is going to be generated from increased hotel taxes to the tune of $4 million, (Trotter). The stadium needs to be big, just like all the buildings in Las Vegas; therefore, I perceive that the market climate for the Raiders NFL team is prime in Las Vegas.
Although it may seem that the deal is excellent for all, it is actually questionable who supports this stadium both locally and from afar. The Raiders must consider how the entire NFL is affected by the relocation. In fact, in order for the deal to go through, it does not matter how sweet the $750 million sounds, nearly all of the NFL owners must consent to the relocation in a vote: “Any relocation needs approval from three-fourths of the 32 NFL owners.” (Trotter). Moreover, there are challenges for the relocation based upon the way that it will affect fan loyalty because the Raiders must negotiate how their local fans in Oakland, and their distance fans, will react to their relocation. It is known that in sports, often the loyalty to any particular team is based upon geographical location. The challenges to market this team are going to be balancing the creation of new team loyalty in Las Vegas, and the creation of a new image that distance fans, and the bereft Oakland fans will accept.
The likelihood that the deal will go through is high, and the prospects are positive given the SWOT analysis between Oakland and Las Vegas. Oakland mayor, Libby Schaaf reports that Nevada may win the Raiders because she is not willing to use public funds as exorbitantly as Las Vegas: “ While I’m committed to keeping the Raiders, I will not enter into a bidding war with Nevada using public funds.” (Sessler). The remaining marketing strategy is going to have to take in account the transition of loyalties that is connected to geography. The Raiders will have to develop a new image to market, and this image must strike a balance between respect for its past and renovations for their future.
- Nocera, Joe. “N.F.L. Stadium in Las Vegas May Be an Ego Boost, but Not an Economic One”. New York Times, 21 Oct. 2016. Accessed 22 Oct. 2016.
- Sessler, Marc. “Goodell speaks on possible Raiders move to Las Vegas”. NFL.com, 19 Oct. 2016. Accessed 21 Oct. 2016.
- Trotter, Jim. “Mark Davis Tells Owners He Will File for Raiders’ Move to Vegas”. 19 Oct. 2016. Accessed 21 Oct. 2016.