Allegiant Stadium naming deal celebrated at carrier’s Las Vegas office

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While some people enjoyed the food off the grill and ice cold refreshments, others played cornhole on a football field-themed floor mat while music played loudly in the background. It appeared to be a typical tailgate party, but was much more.

The festivities were for Allegiant Air employees to celebrate the Las Vegas-based carrier’s deal with the Raiders to name the under-construction stadium in Las Vegas after the airline.

Team members enjoyed other activities lined up for the day, including taking photos with the Raiderettes in front of a backdrop featuring the $1.9 billion stadium, getting their hands on the first Allegiant Stadium T-shirts and drink holders, specially printed by the Raiders for the event.

Executives of both Allegiant and the Raiders also mingled with the crowd of a couple hundred at the airline’s Summerlin corporate office.

Raiders owner Mark Davis addressed the crowd, nodding to the classic movie Casablanca and possibly hinting to the term of the contract between the two companies, which hasn’t been publicly revealed.

“The Raider family is very tight and we’re just excited for you to join ours,” Davis said. “Maury (Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallagher) I think we’re in the middle of a great relationship. I look forward to learning a lot more about the Allegiant brand. We’ve got 30 years ahead of us, so let’s make the best of it.”

Raiders President Marc Badain was complimentary of the airline, saying both he and the Raiders organization followed the company closely since the talks for the naming rights deal began nine months ago.

With the nearly 20-year-old company — which began as WestJet Express in 1997 before changing to Allegiant in 1998 — continuously gaining ground on its competitors in the air space, entering the naming rights deal will help take Allegiant to the next level, Badain said.

“What you’ve built here is very, very impressive and we’re really excited to see how you all grow and grow with us,” he said. “Obviously the stadium project will raise your brand and raise awareness (of the brand).”

Allegiant Chief Marketing Officer Scott DeAngelo agreed with Badain, saying the partnership will increase the attractiveness of the airline and aid in the transportation needs of the fans who will help fill up the 65,000-seat domed stadium.

“I know for 18 and ½ years, people who were here a lot longer than I was, built one hell of an airline and travel company,” DeAngelo said. “Mark Davis said ‘You’re the happiest guy here.’ Yeah, I’m happy because the Allegiant brand is finally getting the recognition it deserves nationwide and globally.

“We did a lot of research and Allegiant fans are NFL fans,” he added. “We’re here to make Allegiant Stadium and Raiders games more accessible to the customers and fans we all serve.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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