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'A life-changing investment': Aces players get $100K sponsorship from Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Callie Lawson-Freeman, Las Vegas Review-Journal on

Published in Basketball

LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will sponsor Las Vegas Aces players this season, paying each of the 12 on the roster $100,000.

Team members were told of the sponsorship in their locker room Friday by LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill. A video of the announcement was posted on X.

“We would like to offer each of you individually a sponsorship this year in the amount of $100,000,” Hill told team members.

Hill told the Las Vegas Review-Journal shortly after the announcement that the news was a total surprise to the players.

“It all came together really quickly,” Hill said. “We had folks on our marketing team bring it up, maybe for the first time late last week.”

The news comes a week after the two-time defending champions were recognized at the White House in honor of their 2023 WNBA Finals win over the New York Liberty. During the visit, President Joe Biden called on the country to support women’s sports. Hill said while he agrees with Biden, the idea was birthed independently.

 

Emphasis on sports

The LVCVA worked directly with players’ agents to reach the agreements. They are similar to a name, image and likeness (NIL) deal between a third party and an NCAA student-athlete. It’s a first-of-its-kind partnership, according to Hill, and had to be negotiated without knowledge of the team because of WNBA rules.

The deal utilizes the LVCVA’s revenue from room taxes imposed on motel and hotel rooms and from space rental for booths at conventions and trade shows at the Las Vegas Convention Center. While the $1.2 million pledge is a lot of money, it’s not a new idea for the authority.

“We have 100-plus influencers that we pay on a regular basis,” said Hill, noting a recent campaign with former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson to promote the city during Super Bowl 58.

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