Three top brands, Nextel, Paramount and the Hansen Beverage Co., have signed on to sponsor individual trains in a Las Vegas monorail system that opens to the public today.
Nine trains, each with four cars, were up for grabs for marketers to dress up with branding materials and other eye-catching gizmos. The concept transforms the public transportation system into a moving entertainment venue, the Las Vegas Monorail said.
In addition to decking out one train, which consists of four cars, with branding ads, Nextel has funded the construction costs for the 15,000-square foot Las Vegas Convention Center Station, built 60 feet in the air with expansive views of the Las Vegas strip.
That funding gives Nextel the right to transform the station into its own branding and marketing haven, which will include a retail store, a 6,500-square-foot product demonstration facility, a welcome center, concierge desk and wireless and VIP lounges.
“This is a unique project,” said Miguel Lecuona, general manager for Nextel Central, the name for the project. “A sales and marketing project like no other.”
In addition, two rooms are being built for entertainment and special events. For example, when the Nextel NASCAR race comes around in March, Nextel will have a place for visitors to watch races, hold autograph sessions with drivers and throw NASCAR parties. The venues will hold up to 150 guests with one room designed with an open-air balcony.
“Since we’re in Vegas, you’ve got to do something really special,” Lecuona said.
He said the pavilion, right in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center, is a great setting for entertaining its corporate and government accounts and high-level businesses as well as the typical train passenger looking for the latest technology. The monorail’s four-mile route makes stops at the casino resorts, making it easy to set up meetings with clients at the pavilion, which supports a staff 12 to 25 Nextel employees. The pavilion is expected to be completed in September.
The first corporate advertiser to sign on was Hansen Beverage Co. for its Monster Energy drink. The exterior and interior of one of the monorail trains has been emblazoned with imagery to promote the drink. And once passengers step off at one of the monorail stations, futuristic-looking vending machines will offer up a taste of the beverage. Hansen is spending $1 million per year for the next ten years for the rights to image the exterior and interior of the train.
Officials at Paramount could not be reached. Other brands are expected to announce their participation in the coming weeks.
“To make people understand that this is no ordinary train and no ordinary public transportation experience, we needed to transform the monorail into an attraction,” Patrick Pharris, president and CEO of Promethean Partners, the company with exclusive rights to sell advertising on the system, said in a statement.
The monorail system connects the casino resorts of the Las Vegas Strip to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Monorail stations are located at the MGM Grand Hotel, Paris/Bally’s hotels, the Flamingo Hotel, the Imperial Palace/Harrah’s hotels, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Las Vegas Hilton and the Sahara Hotel. Plans are also underway for extensions of the system to the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas and McCarran International Airport.