Issues Management:
SEMINOLE TRIBE UNVEILS CASINO EXPANSION PLANS TIED TO APPROVAL OF NEW GAMING COMPACT

Issues Management: SEMINOLE TRIBE UNVEILS CASINO EXPANSION PLANS TIED TO APPROVAL OF NEW GAMING COMPACT

CHALLENGE

The Seminole Tribe of Florida and its Seminole Gaming operating unit worked tirelessly to secure legislative approval of a new gaming compact with the State of Florida. Tribe leaders previously signed the proposed compact with Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Bitner Group was tasked with unveiling plans for major expansions of the Seminole Hard Rock Casino complexes in Tampa and Hollywood, Florida, while communicating the fact that the expansion must be tied to approval of the new gaming compact by the Florida Legislature.

As part of the unveiling, Bitner Group was tasked with communicating the economic impact and new jobs that would come with the expansions.

OBJECTIVES

Bitner Group sought maximum media coverage in Florida, especially among outlets that would impact Florida legislators in Tallahassee and major markets around Florida.

Seminole Gaming further sought news coverage in national media outlets, in order to positively impact its existing gaming operations, which are popular among visitors to Florida during the peak winter tourist season.

STRATEGY AND ACTION

The Seminole Tribe hosted an unveiling event at its Hollywood, Fla., headquarters. Due to a late commitment to attend from Gov. Scott, Bitner Goodman had only one business day to reach all media targets with information about the event.

A media alert was prepared and distributed and follow-up calls were made to all media targets. Because of the visual nature of the unveiling, including renderings of the proposed casino complex expansions, television news coverage was a primary focus for coverage.

In order to reach political news reporters who cover Florida government in the state capital of Tallahassee, Bitner Goodman set up live streaming of the unveiling event.

RESULTS

New coverage blanketed all Florida markets, with exceptionally strong broadcast coverage, including all network affiliates in South Florida, Tampa and many other markets around the state.

Political news coverage in Tallahassee was extensive as a result of the live streaming of the event. Stories included the connection between the expansion projects and required approval of the new gaming compact.

The news story was also fed to ABC affiliates around the country, with coverage resulting in New York City, Chicago and other major U.S. markets.

The gaming compact was not heard for a vote by the 2016 Florida Legislature, but continues to be a consideration for future legislative sessions.