Borgata puttin’ on blitz

Oct 7, 2003 1:13 AM

With the busy summer season over and its opening buzz wearing down, Borgata has unleashed a broad-based marketing campaign to build its customer database and justify the $1.1 billion it spent to build the place.

The blitz includes a mass-mailed coupon book good for 34 freebies and discounts, along with a multimillion-dollar television buy with 30- and 60-second versions of a scooter commercial airing on network affiliates and cable channels in the Philadelphia and New York markets.

The TV commercial is the biggest chunk of a $10 million opening media buy from Schadler Kramer Group, a casino-savvy Las Vegas firm that created the scooter ad. The commercials, which first aired during the Sept. 21 Emmy Awards show, will continue through October.

The 11 casinos in business last year have seen their revenue decline by a collective $33.5 million, or 4 percent, in the first two months since Borgata opened. Analysts said September’s results could be worse. Already, industry belt-tightening has cost nearly 400 employees their jobs in the past four weeks.

Casino bosses since January have been reassuring Wall Street analysts that they would not break the bank to fight Borgata. But as business slows toward winter and Borgata continues to steal market share, things could change.

The Press of Atlantic City