The Time is Now: An Oral History of ‘Support Las Vegas Dome’












By Jason Holte, Social Media Specialist

I’ve had the opportunity to have a lot of fun in my time working in social media, but nothing compares to the Support Las Vegas Dome project. From January 2016 through January of this year, a ton of great people at MassMedia came together to do something truly special. In light of today’s landmark announcement that the NFL has approved the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, here is my best attempt to highlight the amazing work from our team.

The Early Days: Building a Brand and a Following

The biggest journeys begin with a single step, and for Support Las Vegas Dome, that was certainly the case. Once we got the green light to begin work, our Creative team immediately started designing a logo and our Digital team began designing a website and securing social media handles. Our website needed to strike a fine balance between being visually striking and conveying a ton of vital information about the stadium project, while still being easy to navigate. The final design was above and beyond our initial vision, with easy access to all of the financial and community benefits associated with the stadium arrayed over a panoramic vista of the Las Vegas Strip. On social media, we knew we needed a rallying cry that would resonate and allow us to aggregate stadium conversations. Among numerous strong suggestions, we eventually settled on #DoTheDomeThing.

We needed all of our digital touchpoints to be up and running ahead of our first tentpole event: the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee (SNTIC) meeting on March 24. Everything came together exactly according to plan, and our team attended the meeting to provide coverage for our social media audience and canvass the crowd with branded cards displaying our website and social media handles. We were off and running.

Tech and Timing, or How Facebook Live Started a Movement

Without a doubt, our social media growth directly coincided with Facebook’s increased focus on Facebook Live. The first SNTIC meeting was definitely an “all hands on deck” approach as we deployed a two-person social media team to live Tweet key points from the meeting, with additional monitoring support back in our office. While we were largely satisfied with how the first meeting played out, we knew we needed to better utilize technology to connect our fans with the stadium process.

A funny thing happened when we live-streamed a six-hour government meeting to an audience of football fans: people watched, and engaged with, every second of our coverage. With a live feed of the actual stadium discussion taking place, we were free to engage one-on-one with our fans and detractors and create a dialogue that would continue over the next several months. It was a no-brainer to continue to leverage Facebook Live moving forward.

April 28, 2016 put Support Las Vegas Dome on the map. A star-studded panel including Raiders’ Owner Mark Davis and soccer legend David Beckham showed up armed with years of institutional knowledge of major sporting events and entertainment and a spectacular promotional video highlighting what a move by the team could mean for the state of Nevada, narrated by many prominent local figures. We were able to deploy that video on our channels immediately after it premiered on the screens in the meeting hall, and when our social accounts got embedded in national news stories about the meeting our growth was explosive. Overnight the nation was introduced to the stadium team’s message: For Las Vegas and the NFL, the time is now.

The Press Tour

The summer saw more committee meetings and monthly updates from the stadium team on everything from financial models to stadium locations to a magnificent 3D rendering of the proposed stadium, or course set to AC/DC’s “Back in Black.” Amid vocal opposition to the stadium proposal in certain circles, our Media Relations team organized a highly successful local press tour for Sands executive Andy Abboud to address any misconceptions about the project.

This effort culminated in another crucial event for our team and for the project, when we worked with a newly opened Raider bar in town to have Abboud interviewed on-location and meet local fans during a watch party for a Raider preseason game. Our team orchestrated the media coverage and collected well over 200 signatures on a petition demonstrating local support for the stadium. These football-hungry fans would soon be given an opportunity to put their personal stamps on the stadium process.

Mobilizing Our Fan Base

The stadium’s approval by the SNTIC in September, combined with the timeline necessary for the Raiders to secure NFL approval, put a lot of pressure on Governor Sandoval to convene a special legislative session to vote on the proposal. When he did just that, we set out to give our fans a voice in the proceedings. Implementing a user-friendly tool on our website to enable stadium supporters to contact their legislators, we set out to promote that tool to our email list and social media followers, and the results were overwhelming. With many of the legislators turning to social media to gauge public support for the bill, this outpouring of positive feedback proved instrumental in demonstrating where the people of Las Vegas stood.

Recognition and Thoughts on the Move

In the fall of 2016, we were honored with PRSA Pinnacle Awards for website design and social media. Our goal from the beginning was simple: Connecting local fans with the stadium process in a way that allowed their voices to be heard. At our peak, we were a trusted source for the latest developments and a place for stadium supporters to gather and share in the building excitement. To have the two main digital arms of this project recognized as some of the best work produced in the Valley in 2016 was a tremendous accomplishment.

Support Las Vegas Dome also earned a LVIMA Award for best email campaign for our work leading up to the legislative special session. Promoting the petition tool on our website to our email database resulted in over 2,500 letters of support for the stadium project being delivered to state representatives.  Of the 63 legislators who eventually voted on the stadium bill, 61 received a letter from our fans.

To paraphrase Mark Davis from the April 28 SNTIC meeting, the Raiders set out to make the NFL an offer they couldn’t refuse for why they should make the Silver State the Silver-and-Black State. That the NFL has now voted to approve relocation, and any part we may have played in helping show the league that Las Vegas is ready for an NFL franchise, is extraordinary. Although we would have loved to have been there for the final push towards league approval, we are all tremendously proud of the work that we put into this project. We can’t wait to welcome the Las Vegas Raiders to town in a few short years.

MassMedia Names Georgeann Pizzi Partner












MassMedia Corporate Communications, a full-service provider of public relations, advertising and marketing communications, announced that it has named Georgeann Pizzi as partner. Pizzi, who has been with MassMedia for more than seven years, serves as a Senior Vice President where she plans and executes strategic communications campaigns that include media buying, public relations, social media and special events for many of the firm’s top clients. She also manages and trains members of the account team, assisting in the career development of the agency’s staff.

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Communication – Not Selling – Key to Marketing Medicare Advantage

Kassi Belz Headshot

Studies continue to show that Medicare participants tend to keep the same plan year after year. And it’s not because older Americans are set in their ways or closed to change. Insurance carriers too often fail to answer seniors’ questions in a language they can understand. They present plans, options, and benefits with so many variables that Medicare-eligible patients find it easier to do nothing rather than examining them all to find the Medicare Advantage program that best suits their needs.

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Healthcare Marketing in the Digital Space: A Prescription for Success


Digital advertising by U.S. healthcare firms will approach $2 billion in 2016, a 15.4 percent increase over last year, according to a presentation developed by Patricia Orsini, market analyst at eMarketer. This trend shows no signs of slowing; mobile and social advertising spends are expected to show double-digit percentage increases for at least the rest of the decade. Today’s healthcare organizations must supercharge their online presence or risk being left behind.

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MassMedia @ SXSW Final Day 5


On the final day of the interactive portion at SXSW we begin to notice the conferences lighten up and the digital geeks starting to fade. The festival is in transition and preparing for the launch of the music portion. Guitar cases, speakers and audio wiring litter the areas where we saw designers and web developers huddled around charging stations during the days prior. It’s the cool kids’ turn and they know it. Skinny jeans, giant beards, and sunglasses… oh my.  We had a couple spots that we wanted to poke our head in to see if there was any additional information that we could sponge before heading off to the airport at noon. The remaining conferences were not incredibly relevant to our day-to-day but they were pretty impressive. Robotics, smart watch developments, and self-driving cars were way over our head but fascinating nonetheless. There was a robotic samurai that had facial recognition software and placed us into a memory database. To be honest, we’re not certain that was a good or a bad thing. If we’re ever in the same place at the same time and the robots do decide to rise up and take out the humans, we can only hope we made a good first impression on this Samurai at the 2016 SXSW. Continue reading

MassMedia @SXSW – Day 4

ferris wheel
The early bird gets the worm… or in our case at SXSW, we at least get a seat. About 30 minutes prior to each conference, the lines extend beyond a couple hundred feet down the halls from the entrance. Once they scan your badge, the race for prime seating is on. End of aisle seats are the most sought after. Luckily, we landed prime seating at the 9:30, “Designing Behavior Change at Scale.”  There has been a rise in design to incite the consumer to remain engaged and drive behavioral change. “Mint” for finance, “Nest” for energy use and temperature control and even “Weight Watchers” for dietary monitoring are examples of these apps. The other side of this is to invoke philanthropic involvement and the desire to be part of a cause. The question to be answered is: how do we design with that intention of creating behavior as the value proposition? The recommendation is to begin with research. Ask the question of what are people thinking and what are they currently doing on the topic. Build that database of analysis on the current environment and competitive landscape. Next comes the strategy; what can we do to gain momentum for that cause? Develop empathy and understanding with your insights to make a movement. Once you determine the outcome, behavior and interactions, you can concept and move on to paint the picture for design. We are actually supporting a movement for a client and it’s encouraging to hear the needed steps taken to design to provoke action. Stay tuned on whether our designs will make a movement happen. We advanced to the next line to wait out another conference. Continue reading

MassMedia @SXSW – Day 3


It was an early start and felt even earlier (thanks, day light savings time). First on the docket; “Analytics for Social Media.” We truly expected this one to a be a more intimate affair since all the social folks likely were running late after a fun Saturday night at SXSW and would fail to remember DST. Well we could not have been more wrong. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, this room was packed #SocialSardines. The host was Amber Armstrong, Social Marketing Leader for IBM. She shared some valuable opinions on social analysis, listening strategies, and advertising approach in the social space. There were some standout comments that are truthful when looking at the analysis. “Even the best sentiment monitors are still flawed. Until these monitors can sense sarcasm they are fundamentally flawed.” Never really thought about sarcasm being such an issue in the analysis but she is correct. That will never be exact. On the subject of social listening, she pointed that brands are not listening to their competition. Social needs to be able to pivot to the competition and then engage on the same subject matter with their own voice. This point was not a profound strategy from our perspective but it does point out the lack of execution from lagging brands who are still running against a traditional plug and play content calendar. Continue reading