Las Vegas will enter the world stage next year as it welcomes the most-watched and most-hyped football game of the year. Not long ago, it would have seemed impossible that the world's premier sporting event would be hosted in a town known more for casinos, gambling, and conventions. Thankfully, times - and perceptions - change.
Bob Cerminaro joined Bank of Nevada in the Fall of 2022 and is division CEO. Cerminaro is thrilled about the opportunities The Big Game will bring to Nevada, its citizens and business owners. Cerminaro's 30 years in the industry include senior executive-level banking roles and considerable experience in the sports, media and entertainment sectors, having managed banking relationships with all the major sports leagues, several individual sports franchises and many regional sports networks.
Could the business image of Las Vegas benefit from hosting The Big Game?
It certainly can. According to the NFL, approximately 200 million people watched the game last year, or about 60 percent of everyone in the United States. That's a moment Las Vegas rarely gets. But there is an opportunity beyond sports to promote our state alongside the game. Among the excitement and energy brought to our city as hosts of the game, we also have the chance to showcase the favorable business environment in Nevada. Nevada has so many pro-business benefits. With no franchise tax, capital stock tax, corporate income tax and no personal income tax, Nevada has a lot to offer businesses considering a move. Many companies have already expanded or relocated to Nevada based on the lower cost of doing business, affordable housing and access to non-work amenities, including several professional sports teams. I also applaud the Host Committee's efforts to engage CEOs looking to relocate their businesses to Nevada and inviting them to the game.
What should business owners be doing to capitalize on this opportunity fully?
Most important is to be aware, engaged and ahead of the many potential opportunities that might be available as the competition for these opportunities are going to be significant. Business owners should look for game-related opportunities to highlight their products or services and differentiate themselves from competitors. There will be a tremendous increase in traffic into Las Vegas, so planning ahead as to how best to capture and convert this traffic into business opportunities should be a priority. Consideration of any out-of-the-box or differentiating ideas your team may suggest is crucial. If you are a member of a local chamber, business organization or association, take advantage of any networking opportunities related to the game. For qualifying businesses, the NFL operates a program connecting local companies to products or services needed for the event.
Business owners should begin by getting a solid handle on their company's financial footing and capacity. How would your business handle an increase in inventory and operational costs? What level of additional costs could your business absorb and justify from a potential return standpoint? Your local banking partner can assist you in creating this analysis and provide the additional capital that might be needed.
Do you anticipate purchasing equipment, expanding product lines, or increasing inventory to capture game-related business? Now is the time to plan for those additional costs and create a timeline for implementing those changes. Another consideration is what sort of staffing will be required to handle a potential increase in business. Many employers need help finding workers with the necessary skills, meaning labor costs could increase.
As a banker, I understand that many small and medium-sized businesses are somewhat debt adverse given the current elevated rate environment and prefer to use excess cash flow if available to finance any potential increase in equipment or inventory requirements. However, having access to working capital and a “back-up” line of credit can help your company quickly adapt to a sudden increase in business. A discussion with your banker will help you anticipate additional interest expense as part of a thorough analysis.
Staffing and Cash Management Needs
The labor market continues to experience a considerable amount of stress. Many companies struggle to find and keep new employees and have dealt with this issue for several years. One suggestion is to engage with your local staffing company to assess your business for potential temporary staffing needs. Some business owners have looked into automation to increase the efficiency of their current employees while also reducing some costs. From a cash management standpoint, several tools can streamline accounting and billing practices, allowing your employees to concentrate on more crucial tasks. Your banker can explain the automated financial processing options available to your specific business, which may help you save on labor costs.
As a business owner with a limited advertising budget, suggestions on drawing attention to what we offer?
Hosting The Big Game in Las Vegas brings worldwide attention more than any other event our city has hosted. Despite the perception that you need millions in your marketing budget to capture the opportunities that the game can offer is not the case. Beyond high-cost advertising options, the Big Game provides several networking opportunities for small and large companies, government officials, business owners and industry experts come February 2024. Said another way, Las Vegas has the ball and it's our turn to run with it.
Leveraging social media to gain the most significant exposure to your business can be powerful and less expensive than most other options. The game is expected to generate 7 billion media impressions. Now is the time to work with your marketing team to develop a social media plan that helps align your company and products with the excitement surrounding the most-watched football game of the year. Social media posts combined with targeted email or text campaigns are an affordable and efficient way to potentially attract new customers, drive additional business volume and engage existing customers.