Byravee Iyer
Dec 6, 2013

Las Vegas Sands sets sights on Asia, partners with David Beckham

ASIA-PACIFIC – The Las Vegas Sands group, which owns the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and The Venetian in Macau, has partnered with David Beckham as part of an effort to expand its presence in other Asian markets.

Las Vegas Sands has partnered with David Beckham to promote its business in Asia
Las Vegas Sands has partnered with David Beckham to promote its business in Asia

“We are very excited about the partnership and we fully expect it to grow in the years to come, especially as we'll aggressively explore opportunities to further expand our presence in Asia,” said Mike Levan, the company’s COO. Levan is referring to opportunities in Japan, Korea and certain other Asian countries, a spokesperson for the company told Campaign Asia-Pacific.

Expanding into Asia is a strategic move. At present, Asia contributes 95 per cent of LVS’ revenue. The liberalisation of local licensing laws in Macau led to explosive growth. Between 2008 and 2012 Macau’s gambling revenues grew 29 per cent year-on-year, according to the Economist. In 2012, Macau’s casinos generated $1,354 per user, versus $156 in Las Vegas. Singapore makes $446 per user, while Australia gets $736. South Korea and Philippines make $404 and $189, respectively.

What’s more, PwC estimates that the Asia-Pacific region will become the biggest gambling market by revenue, surpassing the US, which currently makes up half of global gambling revenue. Singapore’s two casinos have emerged among the most successful in the world. There are several casino projects cropping up in Japan, the Philippines and Australia.

Philippines is turning out to be particularly lucrative for casino operators.The Solaire Resort & Casino recently launched in Manila and three other joint ventures with foreign partners are expected to opened in the country. Malaysian hospitality chain Genting is also launching an ambitious Philippines casino.

The LVS Group selected Beckham because of his understanding of the growing importance and influence of the Asian market, said Dave Horton, the company's chief marketing officer. “We share a focus on continuing to build respected and sustainable brands in this key strategic region.”

LVS is working with Beckham to develop a range of new business focused on leisure and retail opportunities. Horton did not give out details on the specific projects but insists the partnership is all about Asia, the biggest market for both parties. “This is an authentic partnership, which we intend to build over time,” Horton stressed. “This not a one-off appearance of just an endorsement deal but really the start of a business-building process."

Beckham made an appearance at the Venetian Macau last week.

LVS is counting on its integrated resort concept, which includes convention events, retail, dining and leisure, to help it stand out in the increasingly competitive space. LVS will roll out its business plans in 2015.

Horton’s marketing plan includes direct sales, both online and offline advertising, loyalty programmes, community outreach, special events, concerts and cultural events.


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