A gaming smartphone app add great new twists to the cowboy’s favorite sport.
Fresh marketing ideas for a sport born of time-honored cowboy traditions are rare. Given a choice between preserving authenticity or going with whatever it takes to increase revenue, authenticity wins.
Chris Gibase, chief marketing officer for Boyd Gaming, is the innovator whose vision, the CINCH Boyd Gaming Chute Out rodeo, has come to life this weekend, December 10 – 12, at the Orleans Arena. That vision brings exciting new energy and fan interactive opportunities, not just keeping the competitions exciting and pure, but taking it to a new level.
“The idea for this event actually came about back in 2013. I originally thought we could launch last December,” Gibase said. “As we started getting into it, the details that we believe make this event special started to take shape. We pushed it back a year because making this production a shining jewel in the Las Vegas rodeo’s crown is important to Boyd Gaming and our corporate partners.”
What has Boyd Gaming done?
First, check out the Boyd Gaming Chute Out smartphone app. It’s a fully interactive day sheet that lets users make their winning picks in each event. Different wagering game pay offs range from a free bucket of beer to $50,000 for a long odds Pick 7.
“Right now, you can go to the Orleans Sports Book and bet any contestant in this event,” said Gibase. “For instance, this morning, Joe Beaver was at 15-1. Now, me? I get odds like that on a guy who’s won as many world championships as Joe Beaver, I’m betting him.”
“That rodeo down the street is the greatest show on Earth, said Chute Out production director Rorey Lemmel, “We’re not here to compete. We’re here to add a fresh, fun concept for Las Vegas rodeo fans, give the contestants who finished the year in the 16th through the 20th spots another chance to come to Vegas to make money and invite four of the legends in each event back into high-level competition. Most of all, we’re here to have fun.”
Three state of the art HD video screens in multiplex dimensions for both arena action and personal interviews with each contestant give audiences in the 9,500-seat house an opportunity to connect on a personal level.
The contestants are riding and roping for $300,000 in prize money over the three-day run of matinee performances in a sudden-death format. In the first two performances, all eight contestants in each event compete. For the third, the two low-scoring contestants are eliminated. At the end of the regular performance, the two high-scoring contestants come back for a one-on-one championship round.
“Las Vegas truly is a cowboy town. Over the last 30 years, our Vegas residents have become rabid fans,” Gibase said. “The very affordable ticket gives us all a hot, accessible event we can be proud to call our own.”