Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. and Hasbro Consumer Products joined forces in April 2002 to create one of corporate America's most innovative joint promotions, the Total Rewards GAME OF LIFE $1 Million Giveaway.
The alliance between the two companies brought one of the world's most popular board games to casino floors in the form of a new slot machine and turned a Florida senior citizen into a sweepstakes millionaire.
The success of the alliance led Hasbro Consumer Products to honor Harrah's — along with Sigma Game, Inc., the developer of THE GAME OF LIFE slot machine — for its marketing efforts during the year 2002. The award was among several bestowed at the Hasbro Consumer Products 2002 Awards held in Newport, Rhode Island.
"Working with Hasbro Consumer Products and Sigma allowed us to provide our players with a truly unique gaming experience while executing a highly successful marketing promotion," said David Norton, Harrah's senior vice president of relationship marketing. "Nearly 400,000 customers participated in THE GAME OF LIFE $1 Million Giveaway. Winning this award only makes the experience even better."
The Total Rewards GAME OF LIFE $1 Million Giveaway spanned all properties under the Harrah's, Showboat, Harveys and Rio casino brands and was marketed to millions of customers in the Harrah's database. Total Rewards is the gaming industry's first national, multi-brand customer-loyalty program that recognizes players with cash, comps and tiered status.
"Harrah's embraced THE GAME OF LIFE concept and saw not only its potential as a slot machine at their properties throughout the United States, but also saw the potential for a major promotional event that could bring the excitement of the GAME OF LIFE to the Harrah's customer," said Pat Schmidt, vice president of licensing & promotions for Hasbro Consumer Products North America.
The Total Rewards GAME OF LIFE $1 Million Giveaway launched in the spring at 25 Harrah's-operated casinos. The promotion's final event took place on Sept. 22 when players at each of the participating casinos watched via satellite simulcast from Las Vegas as nearly $1.75 million in cash and prizes was awarded to hundreds of Harrah's customers nationwide.
Contestants earned entries into the promotion by playing slots using their Total Rewards card at participating casinos nationwide, or by obtaining free entries, since no play or purchase was required to enter the promotion. One individual won a luxury cruise, another won a Cadillac and a third — a 74- year-old woman from Venice, Fla. — walked away with the $1 million grand prize.
The GAME OF LIFE slot machines were introduced at 25 Harrah's properties in conjunction with the promotion and continue to be among the highest earning branded slots on our floors. "This has been a unique opportunity to bring together a great brand, a great slot and a great promotion. More versions of the game are already under development and will hit the floors next year," said Bruce Rowe, Harrah's corporate vice president of slot operations and research and development.
Founded 65 years ago, Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. operates 26 casinos in the United States, primarily under the Harrah's brand name. Harrah's Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its target customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership.