LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Spectacular views of Las Vegas were on display Sunday night during NBC’s broadcast of the Raiders-Jets game at Allegiant Stadium.
It was the kind of publicity that makes people want to come to Vegas. The city’s biggest attractions got prime-time exposure on one of TV’s biggest stages. According to SportsMediaWatch.com, 15.6 million viewers tuned in for the game as the Raiders beat the New York Jets, 16-12.
The Strip, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, the Las Vegas Gateway Arches, The STRAT, the High Roller, Sphere, Bellagio, the New York-New York rollercoaster and Allegiant Stadium all got “glamour shots” during the broadcast.
Social media just extended the reach as Blake Shelton tweeted video from the game as a drone video played, floating out from behind the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas to reveal a stunning shot of the Bellagio fountains with the F1 grandstands in the foreground.
Announcers Mike Tirico and Chris Collinsworth talked about the Rod Stewart show at Caesars Palace, and a video of the Bacchanal buffet played.
Big plug for Capo’s
Publicity even went to a small business — Capo’s Italian Steakhouse & Speakeasy on West Sahara Avenue, which was featured in a short spot about the “authentic mafia-chic” restaurant and bar.
“Capo’s has been shockingly packed since that commercial ran,” according to “head capo” Nico Santucci. “The phones have not stopped ringing.” Santucci said he felt blessed to get the attention on the broadcast.
A woman at Capo’s who gave her name as “Auntie G” said she wasn’t ready to say how much the publicity was worth. “I don’t know the ROI just yet,” she said. But Auntie G makes a habit of asking people how they heard about Capo’s, and she’s pretty sure Sunday Night Football is going to come up from now on.
Parallels to F1 publicity?
When Politics Now host John Langeler interviewed Las Vegas Grand Prix CEO Renee Wilm last week, she said media exposure for Las Vegas becomes international when F1 is the subject. He asked Wilm what the race was going to look like.
“It is going to be a lighting spectacle like nothing that has been experienced in major sports,” Wilm said. She marveled at the transformation from “Sin City” to “Sports City.”
“Unlike other sports that come to Las Vegas and highlight a particular venue, we are highlighting this entire town in a way that’s never been done before, particularly on a global stage,” she said.
We asked the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) if they could estimate the value of Sunday Night Football’s broadcast to a city that relies on tourism. They responded that they couldn’t quantify it and they suggested reaching out to F1 for the dollar value of promotion around the race.
One possible answer can be found in the price LVCVA would have paid if they just bought an ad during the broadcast. An analysis by Ad Age published in October 2022, when Sunday Night Football was the top game on broadcast TV, said a 30-second ad cost an average of $828,501. We have contacted Ad Age for updated information, but we haven’t heard back yet.
The Heidi Game
The Raiders-Jets broadcast also paid a tongue-in-cheek homage to the infamous “Heidi Game.” It’s a part of Raiders lore that happened 45 years ago when a Raiders comeback over the Jets was abruptly switched to “Heidi,” a children’s movie, when the clock said the game should be over. People were mad, with NBC’s David Brinkley reporting 10,000 phone calls from inconsolable fans.
Jennifer Edwards, the child actor who starred in the movie all those years ago, assured fans the network would “get it right” and they would get to see the entire game this time.
“Though, if the ending isn’t happily-ever-after for your team, don’t blame me,” Edwards said.