Top casino marketers recognized for outstanding work in 2008 Romero Awards competition

Romero Awards are lined up for the July 24th presentation during the Casino Marketing Conference at Paris Las Vegas.


The leading marketers in the gaming industry were honored July 24 with The Romero Awards - Recognizing Excellence in Casino Marketing.

The winners, selected from a record field of entries, were presented with their awards on the final day of the Casino Marketing Conference at Paris Las Vegas by Raving Consulting Company and BNP Media Gaming Group.

Named after casino marketing pioneer and author John Romero, the Romero Awards honor those gaming operators who best fulfill the spirit of Romero’s 45-year crusade for effective, measurable and accountable casino marketing expenditures.

Each year, a panel of expert judges, chaired by John Romero, selects winners for their excellence in casino marketing, in a variety of important marketing categories.

The four casino marketing professionals serving as judges had more than 100 years combined experience in their fields. Judges were Jackie Brett, director of advertising and public relations for Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino; Don Kennedy, a career marketing executive and most recently director of marketing for Chinook Winds Casino Resort; Toby O’Brien, vice president, marketing and client services for Raving Consulting Company; and Jim Seagrave, vice president/advertising for Coast Casinos.

They chose from among 121 entries, a 30 percent increase over the 93 submitted in 2007.

The judging criteria include the marketing or promotion concept, strategic rationale and execution; casino revenue and any other measurable results; the competitive advantage provided to the casino; and the relationship of the promotion to the casino’s customers and employees and to the community.

Categories of nomination included six types of promotions: direct mail marketing (single or campaign), public relations campaign, casino floor promotion, VIP promotion, e-mail marketing and Web site marketing. Entries also were divided by casino size, to help ensure a fair playing field. Large casinos were defined as having 1,000 or more gaming positions, while small to mid-size casinos were to have less than 1,000 gaming positions.

Michael Broderick (right), director of marketing, Lake of the Torches Casino, stands with John Romero after the casino received the Diamond Award and several other awards.

Once again, Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino walked away with nine awards, including four Diamond Awards for its outstanding marketing efforts in e-mail marketing, casino floor promotion, VIP promotion and direct mail marketing. In a first-of-its-kind study by the internationally renowned J.D. Power and Associates, Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino ranked highest in customer satisfaction in the 2008 Southern California Indian Gaming Casino Satisfaction Study.

Other Diamond Award winners were Cliff Castle Casino, which earned two awards in the small to mid-size casino category for top PR campaign and casino floor promotion;

Lake of the Torches Resort Casino, which won the Diamond Award for direct mail marketing in the small/mid-size casino category; The Lucky Eagle Casino, which earned its Diamond Award for VIP promotion in the small/mid-size casino category; and Santa Ana Star Casino, which took home two Diamond Awards, one for Web site marketing and one for PR campaign, in the large casino category.

The prestige and value of the awards was summed up by Lake of the Torches Chief Executive Officer Bill Guelcher. “The Romero Award is such a high honor to receive from our peers in the global gaming industry,” he said in a statement. “Having this property named amongst some of the top casino operations in the nation and the world, including Las Vegas properties, assures us that Lake of the Torches continues to be an innovator in providing a superior experience for our guests.”

He singled out his marketing team led by Michael Broderick, director of marketing, but also noted that the awards reflect the efforts the entire staff and management of the property.

He also pledged that the casino would not rest on its laurels. “We are committed to remaining at the top of the game in terms of creativity and the energy we put into our marketing programs,” Guelcher said

A comprehensive list of winners follows:

Members of the marketing team at Santa Ana Star Casino celebrate their Diamond Award with John Romero, following the awards presentation.  

Direct Mail-Large Casino

Diamond Award: Club Barona Newsletter DM Campaign - Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, Lakeside, Calif.

Gold Award: Global Cash Access Summer 2007 Prospecting - Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, Lakeside, Calif.

Silver Award:  Easy Money Slot Rewards December 2007 DM Promotion - Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, Lakeside, Calif.

Honorable Mention:

• 7/7/07 and The Year of Luck  - Casino Arizona
• August Earn 2 Get - Oneida Casino
• Jackpot Day - Black Oak Casino
• Merry Mystery Direct Mail  - Creek Nation Casino   
• Your Rewards Begin Here -New Players Club Card
• Mailing - Creek Nation Casino
 
Direct Mail-Small To Mid-Size Casino

Diamond Award: Mystery Cash - Lake of the Torches Resort Casino, Lac du Flambeau, Wis.

Gold Award: Castle Club Monthly Promotions & Events Mailer Coupons - Cliff Castle Casino, Camp Verde, Ariz.

Silver Award (Tie): Civil War Race for Points - Chinook Winds Casino Resort, Lincoln City, Ore.
RV Park Mailer - The Mill Casino Hotel, North Bend, Ore.

Honorable Mention:

• Valentine’s 2-for-1 Dinner PLUS $5,000 Cash Giveaway - Oaklawn Racing and Gaming 
• Cabin Fever - The Mill Casino Hotel
• Gaming & Entertainment Guide - Diamond Jo Casino
• Prize Pies - Lake of the Torches Resort Casino


Cliff Castle Casino’s marketing team shows off its two Diamond Awards and another award as they pose with John Romero following the Romero Awards presentation.

Public Relations Campaign - Large Casino

Diamond Award: This is MY Casino - Santa Ana Star Casino, Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M.

Silver Award: Performances at the Passage - Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort, Suquamish, Wash.

Honorable Mention:

• Community Breakfast  - Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino
• Guest Service Standards Talk Show  - Black Oak Casino
• Balboa Park December Nights  - Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, Lakeside, Calif.
• 2nd Annual Native Fall Music Fest - Creek Nation Casino
• Full Moon Run Sponsorship - Creek Nation Casino

Public Relations Campaign - Small To Mid-Size Casino

Diamond Award: Thunder Valley Rally - Cliff Castle Casino, Camp Verde, Ariz.

Gold Award (Tie): Fundraiser Program - Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel,   Morton, Minn.
and Boulevard 500 - Boulevard Casino, Coquitlam, B.C.

Silver Award: Gathering of the Guides - Lake of the Torches Resort Casino, Lac du Flambeau, Wis.

Honorable Mention:

• World’s Friendliest Business Alliance - Angel of the   Winds Casino
• Orme Dam Victory Days Celebration -   Fort McDowell Casino         

Casino Floor Promotion-Large Casino

Diamond Award:  $2 Million Dollar Mercedes-Benz Giveaway - Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, Lakeside, Calif.

Gold Award: Chinese New Year 2008 - Starlight Casino, New Westminster, B.C.

Silver Award (Tie):  Paradise Jackpots - Agua Caliente Casino, Rancho   Mirage, Calif.; $1,000-A-Day Holiday Slot Tournament - Barona Valley   Ranch Resort & Casino, Lakeside, Calif.; and Richest Pastry Shop in Town - Creek Nation Casino,    Tulsa, Okla.

Honorable Mention:

• Senior’s Day Promotion - Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel
• Cash It or Pass It - Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel
• Power Payout Casino-wide Progressive - Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino
• 7/7/07 and The Year of Luck - Casino Arizona
• Player’s Prerogative, Sept. 10-22, 2007 - Oneida Casino 
• Lucky 7, July 7, 2007 (7a-2p)- Oneida Casino
• The Great Black Oak Caper - Black Oak Casino
• Veteran’s Day Promotion- Black Oak Casino – Veteran’s Day Promotion
• Mega Thursdays - Casino de Montreal
• 7-7-7 The Luckiest Day of Your Life - Creek Nation Casino
• Merry Mystery - Creek Nation Casino
• Car-A-Day in May - Santa Ana Star Casino

Casino Floor Promotion-Small To Mid-Size Casino

Diamond Award: My Big Fat Super Tuesday - Cliff Castle Casino, Camp Verde, Ariz.

Gold Award: Winning Mood - Lake of the Torches Resort Casino, Lac du Flambeau, Wis.

Silver Award: Lucky Eleven Anniversary Event - Painted Hand Casino, Yorkton, Sask.

Honorable Mention:

• Time is Money - The Mill Casino Hotel
• 1000 Points Concert Tickets - Circus Circus
• Christmas Wish List - Casino Regina & Moose Jaw
• From the Tables to the Track A-List Nascar Promotion - Casino Regina & Moose Jaw 
• We Love Our Locals - Lake of the Torches Resort Casino, Lac du Flambeau, Wis.

John Romero poses with members of the marketing team at Lucky Eagle Casino following the Romero Awards presentation.

VIP Promotion-Large Casino

Diamond Award: $125,000 Slot Tournament - Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, Lakeside, Calif.

Gold Award: 7/7/07 VIP Promotion - Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, Lakeside, Calif.

Silver Award: Road to Riches - Black Oak Casino, Tuolumne, Calif.

Honorable Mention:

• Vickie’s Spring Fling - Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino
• VIP Player Recognition Program - Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort
• April 2008 VIP Cruise Party - Creek Nation Casino
• February 2008 VIP Exclusive Gaming Preview - Creek Nation Casino
• Noon Year’s and New Year’s Eve Luaus - Santa Ana Star Casino

VIP Promotion-Small To Mid-Size Casino

Diamond Award: Birthday Blowout! VIP Party - The Lucky Eagle Casino, Rochester, Wash.

Gold Award: Gold Club, Gold Cup Slot Tournament - The Mill Casino Hotel, North Bend, Ore.

Silver Award: Murder at Capone’s Place: Mystery Dinner Theater - The Mill Casino Hotel, North Bend, Ore.

Honorable Mention

• A Medieval Night – Loyalty Based - Lake of the Torches Resort Casino, Lac du Flambeau, Wis.
• VIP Appreciation Day – Revenue and Loyalty - Lake of the Torches Resort, Lac du Flambeau, Wis. 

John Romero hams it up with members of the marketing team at Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino following the Romero Awards presentation.

E-Mail Marketing Campaign-Large Casinos

Diamond Award: Barona’s $2 Million Mercedes-Benz Giveaway Casino Floor Promotion Support E-mail Campaign - Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, Lakeside, Calif.

Gold Award: Take It or Leave It Casino Floor Promotion Support Email Campaign - Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, Lakeside, Calif.

Silver Award: Star Rewards Real-time Welcomes and Prize Notifications - Santa Ana Star Casino, Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M.

Web Marketing Campaign-Large Casinos

Diamond Award: Star @ Home - Santa Ana Star Casino, Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M.

Gold Award: YOUR Say YOUR Way - Santa Ana Star Casino, Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M.

Silver Award: Virtual Drawings - Santa Ana Star Casino, Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M.

Honorable Mention: $1,000 Online Giveaway - Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel

Web Marketing Campaign-Small To Mid-Size Casinos

Silver Award: Fun at Flambeau Online Gaming - Lake of the Torches Resort Casino, Lac du Flambeau, Wis.