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Vegas 5.0 and Super Bowl LVIII: Repositioning Vegas & Temu’s Offense

Thomas Paulson
Feb 16, 2024
Vegas 5.0 and Super Bowl LVIII: Repositioning Vegas & Temu’s Offense

Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium had about 61K attendees per official records, and our data indicates 76.7K total visitors (with more than a 150-minute stay), including players, team staff, halftime show and other supporting staff, concessions. The blow-out event caps a very successful year for Vegas in recasting itself the past few years as "all things entertainment & hospitality"--something we've dubbed “Vegas 5.0" --with new restaurants, The Sphere, a Formula-1 race, and several professional sports franchises (and more potentially on the way). This recasting is not coming at the expense of Vegas’ historic gaming & lodging business. The Strip’s gambling revenue for 2023 totaled $8.9B, up 7.6% from 2022.

During MGM Resorts' earnings call this week, CEO Bill Hornbuckle said, “The strength and resiliency of Las Vegas market has been particularly impressive. Strategically, you've heard me talk a lot last year about the evolution of Las Vegas as the new sports and entertainment capital of the world. You saw that fact proven out again Sunday as the city proudly hosted Super Bowl LVIII right in our own backyard. The game was another strong hotel and casino event for us, with average daily rates (ADRs) near $1,000 and posting 3 of the top 5 room revenue days ever recorded, and near-record event gaming volumes. The game weekend is typically a strong event for MGM Resorts, but having the game in town amplified those results dramatically. The game on Sunday followed our inaugural Formula-1 race in November, which was also an incredible success as the largest city event in our history. Additionally, we gleaned valuable insights from the event and specifically on how to better price and program all of our resorts and streamline the preparation work for future years. With both F1 and Super Bowl, our brand was on full display. Our proximity to the Legion Stadium, the F1 track and, of course, T-Mobile Arena afford us the opportunity to expand our reach during these citywide events.”

Interestingly, visitation to The Strip for the Wednesday-Sunday period during Super Bowl weekend was relatively flat year-on-year (below).

However, the mix of that audience changed appreciably as one would expect. 2024 featured a high-income, elite crowd. The average household income of the crowd increased by 18% year-over-year and the Power Elite segment (using Experian Mosaic customer segments) represented 17% of total visitor, up from 11% in the equivalent period in 2023.


Where did The Strip visitors come from? In terms of Southern California, they came from San Diego, Huntington Beach, and yes, Calabasas. As such, there seems to be a Kardashian element to Super Bowl LVIII and its fans (i.e., beyond just the Swifties).


Unsurprisingly, Super Bowl LVIII was the most watched TV program ever at 123.4M people. However, it was the prominence of Temu's advertising: six Super Bowl ads from pre- to post-game. At $7M per ad spot, that adds up to a $42M investment to broaden awareness of the brand and service. Readers will recall our previous analysis about Temu disrupting Halloween retail visitation trends. Should the service get more traction in early 2024, it could prove disruptive to competitor brands and show up prominently in visits and comparable-store sales. Retailer results over the next couple of months will reveal what type of player that Temu is. The level of near-term interest a Super Bowl ad creates is shown in the Google Trends chart below.


Source: Google Trends

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Thomas Paulson

Director of Research and Business Development,

Thomas Paulson spent 20 years as a Wall Street analyst and a member of asset management teams at AllianceBernstein and Cornerstone Capital, representing top-50 ownership positions including Target, Home Depot, Nike, Amazon, Google, and many more. He brings consumer related expertise and knowledge of enterprises in retail, CPG, financial services, telecom, and entertainment.

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