Hooray for Hollywood Casino in Shreveport
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

Hooray for Hollywood Casino in Shreveport

BSMG Worldwide/Southwest was charged with the task of making a splash with local and regional media through a grand opening event never before seen in a market the size of Shreveport.

Paul Holmes

Hollywood Casino Shreveport, the newest casino in Louisiana, and the third in the Hollywood Casino family, was set to open its doors on December 20, 2000. BSMG Worldwide/Southwest was charged with the task of making a splash with local and regional media through a grand opening event never before seen in a market the size of Shreveport.
Competition is high among casinos, even in mid-sized gaming markets like Shreveport. BSMG determined that a successful strategy must involve highlighting Hollywood Casino’s uniqueness in the market – its size, luxuriousness and theme all are elements that were featured extensively throughout the event and related media coverage.

       Announce the opening of Hollywood Casino, the newest and grandest casino/hotel in Shreveport, La.

       Promote the casino and hotel to local and regional audiences, specifically to the Dallas/Fort Worth market.

       Create a memorable event that will be remembered fondly by those who attended, leaving them with a favorable impression of Hollywood Casino Shreveport.

       Plan and execute a grand opening event that would generate media coverage.

       Implement media relations campaign, targeting specific markets, to gain coverage of the opening.

       Seek out current event opportunities to compliment the media relations activities.
BSMG coordinated a grand opening event that brought the glamour of Hollywood to the banks of the Red River. The gala featured celebrity lookalikes – from John Wayne and James Dean to Austin Powers and Tom Cruise – who interacted with casino guests and assisted with the “film-cutting” ceremony that opened the casino to the public. A large fireworks show was launched just as the film was cut, and all local media were there to cover it.
Several dignitaries and VIPs were included in the ceremonies, including the mayor and former mayor of Shreveport, the city councilman from Hollywood Casino’s precinct, members of the Pratt family (owners of the casino), executives from Hollywood Casino Corp. and an extensive list of special guests of the casino.
The three Shreveport/Bossier City network affiliates sent anchors to cover the opening live for their noon, five, six and ten o’clock newscasts. BSMG coordinated all media relations on site, handling four local television stations, each of which broadcast live from the opening ceremonies and took extensive footage of the casino and hotel. In addition, several local, regional and trade publications were present to cover the event.
Prior to the event, BSMG developed press kit materials, including a grand opening press release, hotel fact sheet, Pratt family biography and executive team biographies. BSMG secured extensive pre-opening publicity in the Shreveport/Bossier Forum News, which included feature articles developed by BSMG on the casino, its restaurants, the hotel and the extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia it owns.
To date, the media coverage (excluding Associated Press stories) has resulted in more than 6.3 million media impressions.
Gained media coverage in the target areas, specifically Dallas/Fort Worth, with coverage in both the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Media Coverage Totals
Total Broadcast Audience:             1,092,852
Total Print Impressions:             5,236,228
Total Combined Audience:             6,328,810

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