Mandalay Bay hold all the ‘aces’


Mandalay Bay with naming right deal Image: Mandalay Bay Resort

American brewing company Anheuser-Busch has scored naming rights to Mandalay Bay Events Center, the first company to do so in the 22-year history of the 12,000-capacity arena located in USA’s ‘Sin City’ – Las Vegas. The arena has also got its first naming rights partner.

Mandalay Bay Events Center, home of the Las Vegas Aces, an American women’s professional basketball team, has been renamed Michelob ULTRA Arena, after the brewing company’s popular beer brand, Michelob.

The Las Vegas Aces are an American professional basketball team based in Las Vegas metropolitan area. The Aces compete in the Western Conference of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and play their home games at the Michelob ULTRA Arena in Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is a professional basketball league in the United States. It is currently composed of 12 teams.

Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC is an American brewing company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (US). Since 2008, it has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev which also has its North American regional management headquarters in St. Louis.

Michelob Ultra Arena, formerly known as Mandalay Bay Events Center, is a 12,000-seat indoor arena at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, on the Las Vegas Strip, in Paradise, Nevada.

Mandalay Resorts Twitter handle reported recently that the multiyear deal between Anheuser-Busch and Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, was worked out by MGM Resorts International, a global hospitality and entertainment company.

Matt Davis, Head, US Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch, reaffirmed Las Vegas’ status as a foremost global sports and entertainment destination – “As the world returns to traveling and enjoying entertainment, we look forward to all of the events to come at the Michelob ULTRA Arena.”

“I do recall, somewhat foggily, the first show I saw at the events center was Sugar Ray (American rock band) just after the venue opened in 1999. A bar was set up onstage for Mark McGrath’s (American singer) enjoyment, and I’m betting a certain beer was served then, too,” he added.

Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Mandalay Bay President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Chuck Bowling said that the Anheuser-Busch brand overrode the fact that the product was not available for consumption for anyone under the age of 21.

“Just like MGM Resorts is an entertainment leader in the Entertainment Capital of the World, Anheuser-Busch is a leader in creating one-of-a-kind experiences,” Bowling added.

“We expect them to be great marketing partners. Though the terms of the contract are only described as ‘multiyear’, or more than a single year, we expect this to be a partnership for many years to come.”

The agreement’s integration will feature a variety of assets inside the Michelob ULTRA Arena and at select bars and lounges throughout the property.

Anheuser-Busch’s role is not just restricted to the naming rights of Mandalay. The deal has given the brewer the opportunity to sponsor various activations and exclusive on-property special events through the duration of the agreement.

The multipurpose Michelob ULTRA Arena has hosted professional and college basketball, major musicals and championship boxing as well as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events and the inaugural International Swimming League (ISL) World Finals in 2019, Latin Grammys telecast, NHL Awards, Latin Billboard Awards and the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.

The venue was repurposed in 2019 with major renovations including upgrades to the seating, concourse and in-arena signage, food and beverage options, locker rooms, technology and lighting system to elevate the spectator experience.

The rumors making the rounds that the Las Vegas Aces might leave Michelob ULTRA Arena after MGM Resorts sold the team to Mark Davis, owner of National Football League (NFL) team Las Vegas Raiders, last month, was put to rest when Bowling told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “The Aces will continue to play at Mandalay Bay, and continue to call it home.”

The top shot added, “It is one of the premier WNBA facilities in the country. Our focus is to deepen our relationship with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and attract an NBA team as an official partner, and we got the window to bring the WNBA here (in 2018),” he added.

“Mark has been front and center. There has been no bigger fan of the Aces and of Mandalay Bay Events Center. I think we’ll be around to see Mark Davis bring a WNBA championship to Michelob ULTRA Arena,” Bowling concluded.

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