Las Vegas Raiders - Integrated Public Relations Plan.

Executive Summary

 

This report evaluates the current communication strategies implemented by the Las Vegas Raiders as well as areas in which the organization has excelled. With an understanding of the areas of concern within the organization we have recommended some strategies in which we believe will help the organization foil any current media narrative of the organization. As well as the recommendations we have suggested a timeline in which we believe will help these recommendations excel in their effectiveness.

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

  1. History and Background of the organization………………3
  1. Las Vegas Raiders- The Success Stories.………………….4
  1. Areas of Concern………………………………………………….5
  1. Poor Communication Strategy – A Case Study…………………7
  1. Recommendations………………………………………………..9
    1. Objectives……………………………………………..9
  2. Social Media……………………………………………….10
  1. Developing a Crisis management plan…………………..13
  1. Focusing on Diversity and Inclusion…………………….15
  1. PR Solution – Raider’s Pathfinders Program………………….16
  1. Timeline………………………………………………………….17
  2. …………………………………………………………19

 

  1. Background/History of the organization

The Las Vegas Raiders are a professional American football team based in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The Raiders compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s American Football Conference (AFC) West division. The club plays its home games at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada, and is headquartered in Henderson, Nevada.

The Raiders were founded in Oakland, California in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL). The franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1982 before moving back to Oakland in 1995 where they played until their move to Las Vegas in 2020. The Raiders have won three Super Bowl championships (1977, 1981, and 1984), one AFL championship (1967), and four AFC titles. They are one of only four teams to have won a Super Bowl in both the AFL and NFL. The Raiders are also one of only two teams to have played in the Super Bowl four times in a five-year span (1976-1980).

The Raiders are known for their hard-nosed style of play and their passionate fan base. The team’s motto is “Just Win, Baby!”, which was coined by former owner Al Davis. The Raiders have one of the most recognizable logos in all of sports, which features a silver and black shield with the team’s initials in the middle.

The Raiders have a long and storied history, and they are one of the most popular teams in the NFL. The team’s move to Las Vegas in 2020 was a major coup for the city, and the Raiders are expected to be a major player in the NFL for years to come.

The Las Vegas Raiders are a proud franchise with a rich history. The team has won three Super Bowl championships and is one of the most popular teams in the NFL. The Raiders are known for their hard-nosed style of play and their passionate fan base. The team’s motto is “Just Win, Baby!”, which was coined by former owner Al Davis. The Raiders have one of the most recognizable logos in all of sports, which features a silver and black shield with the team’s initials in the middle.

The Raiders have a long and storied history, and they are one of the most popular teams in the NFL. The team’s move to Las Vegas in 2020 was a major coup for the city, and the Raiders are expected to be a major player in the NFL for years to come.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders – Success stories

The state-of-the-art stadium.

The Allegiant stadium first started construction back in 2017 and was completed in July 2020 before the Las Vegas Raiders first season in the city, despite having to play with an empty stadium due to ongoing global pandemic. The stadium was built adjacent to the iconic Las Vegas strip meaning that it was in one of the most iconic parts of the world. The $1.9 billion stadium is technologically advanced with 1,700 WIFI access points, as well as 2,200 Samsung screens and signs giving fans a unique experience. Due to the state-of-the-art facilities it has allowed this venue to produce a magnitude of events such as the PAC- 12 Championships, the 2024 Super Bowl, the upcoming CONCACAF championships as well as a variety of musical artists, making it one of the pinnacle locations within the Las Vegas community.

 

Iconic fan base.

The Las Vegas Raiders are often considered to have some of the best fans in the world.  A recent report conducted by the Sidelines Group suggests that the Raiders fans are considered the 6th best in the league, despite the relocation to Vegas the team has been able to maintain the fans they generated in Oakland, with many stating that they were excited to make the move to Las Vegas saying that Vegas was the perfect fit, and creating new fans in the Las Vegas area. Over the years the fans have been able to generate a unique set of fans who enjoy playing into the pageantry. The fans have really leaned into the idea of the pirate theme, this with the combination of the “Black Hole” section the fans have been able to create one of the most intimidating

environments in the NFL for away fans to attend. Throughout the 2022 season the team were able to average over 60,000 in attendance meaning that every game was virtually sold out highlighting the strength of the Las Vegas Raiders fan base.

Strong community programs.

The Las Vegas Raider have been able to develop multiple strong programs within the local community. They have an incredibly strong impact on youth football, from having camps and clinics, a variety of activities as well as other engagement experiences. They have been known to donate equipment to programs that may need it. There is also an importanceto ensure that they are promoting health and wellness through the Raiders Fit initiative. This initiative provides work out videos conducted by both the players and the Raiderettes and cooking videos from celebrity chefs. The organization also hosts the Small Business Showcase; this showcase gives small businesses in the Vegas area a 

chance to become a single season sponsorship agreement with the team, for the business that wins they will receive in stadium signage as well as digital promotion across the Raiders digital footprint.

 

  1. Areas of Concern

Lack of media coverage.

The Raiders are often overshadowed by other teams in the NFL, such as the Dallas Cowboys, the New England Patriots, and the Kansas City Chiefs. With limited success on the field since moving to Vegas only making the Wildcard round one time in which they lost has limited the media coverage they have received. Since moving to Vegas the organization has also been surrounded with different controversies therefore a lot of the media coverage they have received has been negative. This lack of media coverage can make it difficult for the Raiders to attract new fans and sponsors. Despite not being overly successful on the field in regards to playoffs the team needs to be aware of other ways to have a positive image in the media for example having players and staff attending more community and charity events.

Social media publicity.

          The Raiders’ social media accounts are not as active as they could be. The team needs to do more to engage with fans on social media. The team often posts very generic images and information to their platforms, often using a similar template for posts such as posts regarding a player’s birthday. There is a significant opportunity to utilize different features on social media to create more interesting content for example using Instagram highlights for each of the players, Instagram highlights is currently a feature they are yet to use which a lot of teams in the league currently use.

Brand communications

          The Raiders need to do a better job of communicating their brand to fans. The team’s website and social media accounts are not as informative as they could be. The team needs to do more to educate fans about the team’s history, values, and mission. Information such as team history can be quite hard to find on the website and you often have to go through different parts of the website to receive this information, and even when you find this information there is so much on the page it is often difficult to decipher what the important history of the organization is. This suggests that the website needs to be revamped to communicate information better to the general public.

Promoting social and gender equity.

          The Raiders have been criticized for not doing enough to promote diversity and inclusion. The team needs to do more to create a more inclusive environment for all fans, players, and employees. In 2022 there were reports that a former employee was suing the organization over claims of pay disparities, she was let go from her job in the organization for reporting this disparity to personnel.  The organization has often been described as a “boys club” due to the lack of diversity within the high level executives in the organization. This label of being a “boys club” highlights the importance of needing new hiring practices as well as ensuring the team speaks out regarding these issues if they arise again.

  1. Poor Communication Strategy – A Case Study

Inadequate in handling scandals and crises like mishandling of player misconduct allegations.

The Raiders have a history of mishandling scandals and crises. In 2011, the team was fined $5 million by the NFL for failing to cooperate with an investigation into the death of former player Darrent Williams. In 2018, the team was fined $100,000 by the NFL for failing to report a domestic violence incident involving former player Martavis Bryant. And in 2021, the team was fined $200,000 by the NFL for failing to report a COVID-19 outbreak among players. In 2022 the owner fired the team president Dan Ventrelle when it came to light that Ventrelle tried to reach out to the NFL regarding the working environment within the Raiders organization. The Raiders need to do a better job of handling scandals and crises. The team needs to be more transparent and accountable, and it needs to cooperate fully with investigations.

Failure to adequately address fan complaints.

The Raiders have a history of failing to adequately address fan complaints. In 2019, the team was sued by a group of fans who claimed that the team had failed to provide adequate security at a game in which a fan was stabbed to death. In 2020, the team was sued by a group of fans who claimed that the team had failed to refund their tickets for a game that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Raiders need to do a better job of addressing fan complaints. The team needs to be more responsive to fan concerns, and it needs to take steps to resolve fan complaints in a timely and fair manner.

Lack of transparency in the team’s decision-making process.

The Raiders are a very secretive organization. The team rarely releases information about its decision-making process, and it is often difficult to get answers to questions from the media or from fans. The Raiders need to be more transparent in their decision-making process. The team needs to be more open with the media and with fans, and it needs to be more willing to explain its decisions. When the announcement was made that the team would be moving to Las Vegas in 2017 the team did not respond to requests from the media for comments regarding this move. This is not the first time they have refused to make comments to the media, when the team president was fired from the organization for threatening to take his concerns regarding the working environment, the team did not make any extra comments to the media regarding why he was let go from his role.

The team’s approach to crisis management with COVID-19 protocols, leading to accusations of defensiveness and non-accountability.

The Raiders have been criticized for their approach to crisis management with COVID-19 protocols. The franchise and individuals within the team received a combination of $565,000 in fines from the league. The team has been accused of being defensive and non-accountable, and it has been criticized for its handling of several COVID-19 outbreaks among players, a crisis in which 24 players and staff contracted the virus. The Raiders need to do a better job of managing crises. The team needs to be more transparent and accountable, and it needs to be more proactive in its approach to crisis management.

  1. Recommendations

Objectives.

 

  • Increase engagement and followers on social media platforms
  • Enhance the team’s online presence and visibility
  • Create a positive brand image through social media
  • Use social media to promote team events and initiatives
  • Develop a comprehensive crisis management plan that can be implemented in case of emergencies or issues
  • Ensure effective communication with stakeholders during a crisis
  • Protect the team’s reputation and image in the event of a crisis
  • Promote diversity and inclusion within the Las Vegas community
  • Create a more inclusive environment for fans, employees, and stakeholders
  • Increase brand reputation by being recognized as a team that values diversity and inclusion
  • Provide career guidance and mentorship to students of color in the Las Vegas region

Target Audiences.

 

Our target audience is focused on the Las Vegas area, and while we acknowledge the presence of several fans that are originally Oakland Raiders fans, our PR solution and recommendations are centered around the Las Vegas Community. The people & groups we are reaching out to include but are not limited to the following –

 

  • Existing and potential fans of the Las Vegas Raiders
  • Local and national media outlets
  • Sponsors Employees, stakeholders, and partners
  • Students of color in the Las Vegas region
  • Local community organizations and leaders

 

  1. Revamped Social Media Strategy

Create more engaging content.

The Raiders’ social media and content strategy should focus on creating more engaging content that will capture the attention of fans and potential fans. Currently especially on their instagram their posts come across as one tone with the over utilization of the same format when posting things such as a new signing or a birthday post for specific players. The team should also create more video content, it has been reported that videos generate 1200% more shares and viewers retain 95% of the message. This content should be informative, entertaining, and visually appealing. Some examples of engaging content include:

  1. Behind-the-scenes videos and photos, e.g. a day in life of the players.
  2. Player interviews, e.g. getting to know new signings like first round draft pick Tyree Wilson
  • Game highlights
  1. Memes and funny videos
  2. Content that is relevant to the local community, e.g. showing players engaging with the local community.

Use social media to connect with fans.

The Raiders should use social media to connect with fans on a personal level. This can be done by sharing behind-the-scenes content, interacting with fans, and responding to comments and questions. The team should also utilize social media to promote the work they do within the community, highlighting when events are taking place, as well as some stories that arise from the work they do. Some examples of how the Raiders can connect with fans on social media include:

  1. Hosting Q&A sessions with players and coaches, e.g. creating a series on social media where fans get to submit questions for players to answer giving a shout out to those who ask the question.
  2. Hosting meet-and-greets.
  • Responding to fan comments and questions in a timely manner.
  1. Highlight the community work they do, e.g. players being involved in different community events utilizing the star power of the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo to create engaging content surrounding the community programs.

Use social media to promote the team.

The Raiders should use social media to promote the team and its players. This can be done by sharing news and updates, highlighting player accomplishments, and promoting upcoming games and events. Some examples of how the Raiders can promote the team on social media include:

  1. Sharing news about the team’s upcoming schedule e.g. having players post videos hyping up the upcoming game. Each week a new player encourages fans to show their support for the team.
  2. Highlighting player accomplishments, e.g. when a player makes their first start.
  • Promoting upcoming games and events
  • Running contests and giveaways

Use social media to build relationships with the media.

The Raiders should use social media to build relationships with the media. This can be done by providing journalists with exclusive access to players and coaches, responding to media inquiries promptly, and providing accurate and timely information. Some examples of how the Raiders can build relationships with the media on social media include:

  1. Hosting press conferences on social media
  2. Providing journalists with access to behind-the-scenes content
  3. Responding to media inquiries promptly, establish a maximum length in the time it will take to respond to media inquiries.
  • Providing accurate and timely information, ensuring that all the information they post regarding the team is up to date and accurate.

Use social media to measure results.

The Raiders should use social media to measure the results of their social media and content strategy. This can be done by tracking metrics such as engagement, reach, and website traffic. Some examples of how the Raiders can measure the results of their social media strategy include:

  • Tracking the number of likes, comments, and shares on each post, allowing the team to establish which content is more engaging than others.
  • Tracking the number of new followers
  1. Tracking the number of website visits

Run social media contests and giveaways.

Social media contests and giveaways are a great way to engage fans and attract new fans. Some examples of social media contests and giveaways that the Raiders could run include:

  • A contest to win tickets to a game
  • A giveaway of a signed jersey
  • A contest to win a meet-and-greet with a player

 

  1. Developing a crisis management plan.

In order to solidify a response plan in the event of a crisis, we have come up with the following crisis management plan. This plan will be overseen by Mike Taylor, Director of Public affairs with support from the designated spokesperson, Will Kiss. The presence of Mr.Taylor is pivotal as the organization needs a respected and senior figure to make these tough decisions and to oversee a better flow of communication. While Mr Taylor has been around for a long time and has seen several controversies, we believe that the organization and its employees will be able to adapt better to these changes when implemented by a respected no-nonsense figure in senior management. The following are the key aspects of our crisis management plan –

 

  1. 1. Crisis Identification and Assessment:

The PR and communications team should establish a system for identifying and assessing potential crises. This includes monitoring social media, news outlets, and internal communications for any signs of brewing controversies or scandals.

 

  1. Crisis Response Team:

Assemble a dedicated crisis response team, including representatives from the PR and communications department, legal counsel, human resources, and senior management. This team will be responsible for coordinating the organization’s response to any crisis.

 

  1. Designated Spokesperson:

Appoint a designated spokesperson who will be responsible for communicating with the media, fans, and other stakeholders during a crisis. This person should be well-versed in the organization’s values and messaging and have experience handling high-pressure situations.

 

  1. Pre-drafted Statements and Messaging:

Prepare pre-drafted statements and messaging for various types of crises, such as personnel issues, legal matters, and health and safety concerns. These statements should be adaptable to specific situations and can be quickly updated and released as needed.

 

  1. Media Training:

Provide media training for key personnel, including the designated spokesperson and senior management, to ensure they are prepared to handle interviews and press conferences during a crisis.

 

  1. Internal Communication:

Establish a clear internal communication plan to keep employees informed during a crisis. This may include regular updates via email, intranet, or team meetings, as well as a designated point of contact for employees to ask questions or voice concerns.

 

  1. External Communication:

Develop a strategy for communicating with external stakeholders, such as fans, sponsors, and community partners. This may include press releases, social media updates, and direct outreach to key contacts.

 

  1. Transparency and Accountability:

Commit to transparency and accountability in addressing any crisis. This includes openly acknowledging the issue, taking responsibility for any mistakes or missteps, and outlining the steps being taken to address the situation and prevent future occurrences.

 

  1. Post-Crisis Evaluation:

After the crisis has been resolved, conduct a thorough evaluation of the organization’s response. Identify areas for improvement and update the crisis management plan accordingly.

 

  1. Ongoing Reputation Management:

Monitor the organization’s reputation and public perception on an ongoing basis. Address any lingering concerns or negative sentiment through proactive communication and community engagement efforts.

 

  1. Focusing on Diversity & Inclusion

The Las Vegas Raiders need to promote diversity within the community. As we have mentioned they do a lot already but need to increase focus on diversity and inclusion. Las Vegas has a predominantly white community (42.9%) but reportedly has the largest hispanic fan base in the NFL. The Raiders workforce has often been referred to as the “boys club” therefore we feel that promoting diversity and inclusion will help to foil this narrative we have seen.  This is a league wide issue with the NFL receiving C for racial hiring practices and a C- for gender hiring practices according to the “Racial and Gender report card”.  Despite this grading the league has seen an increase in people of color in executive positions, increasing from 17.3% to 19.8% at the beginning of 2022. Therefore the Raiders are in a position where they can become at the forefront of encouraging and promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as promoting those within the current staff who may be a part of this category.

 

  1. PR Solution – Raider’s Pathfinders Program

    In order to solidify a response plan in the event of a crisis, we have come up with the following crisis management plan. This plan will be overseen by Mike Taylor, Director of Public affairs with support from the designated spokesperson, Will Kiss. The presence of Mr.Taylor is pivotal as the organization needs a respected and senior figure to make these tough decisions and to oversee a better flow of communication. While Mr Taylor has been around for a long time and has seen several controversies, we believe that the organization and its employees will be able to adapt better to these changes when implemented by a respected no-nonsense figure in senior management. The following are the key aspects of our crisis management plan –

     

    1. 1. Crisis Identification and Assessment:

    The PR and communications team should establish a system for identifying and assessing potential crises. This includes monitoring social media, news outlets, and internal communications for any signs of brewing controversies or scandals.

     

    1. Crisis Response Team:

    Assemble a dedicated crisis response team, including representatives from the PR and communications department, legal counsel, human resources, and senior management. This team will be responsible for coordinating the organization’s response to any crisis.

     

    1. Designated Spokesperson:

    Appoint a designated spokesperson who will be responsible for communicating with the media, fans, and other stakeholders during a crisis. This person should be well-versed in the organization’s values and messaging and have experience handling high-pressure situations.

     

    1. Pre-drafted Statements and Messaging:

    Prepare pre-drafted statements and messaging for various types of crises, such as personnel issues, legal matters, and health and safety concerns. These statements should be adaptable to specific situations and can be quickly updated and released as needed.

     

    1. Media Training:

    Provide media training for key personnel, including the designated spokesperson and senior management, to ensure they are prepared to handle interviews and press conferences during a crisis.

     

    1. Internal Communication:

    Establish a clear internal communication plan to keep employees informed during a crisis. This may include regular updates via email, intranet, or team meetings, as well as a designated point of contact for employees to ask questions or voice concerns.

     

    1. External Communication:

    Develop a strategy for communicating with external stakeholders, such as fans, sponsors, and community partners. This may include press releases, social media updates, and direct outreach to key contacts.

     

    1. Transparency and Accountability:

    Commit to transparency and accountability in addressing any crisis. This includes openly acknowledging the issue, taking responsibility for any mistakes or missteps, and outlining the steps being taken to address the situation and prevent future occurrences.

     

    1. Post-Crisis Evaluation:

    After the crisis has been resolved, conduct a thorough evaluation of the organization’s response. Identify areas for improvement and update the crisis management plan accordingly.

     

    1. Ongoing Reputation Management:

    Monitor the organization’s reputation and public perception on an ongoing basis. Address any lingering concerns or negative sentiment through proactive communication and community engagement efforts.

     

     

    1. Focusing on Diversity & Inclusion

    The Las Vegas Raiders need to promote diversity within the community. As we have mentioned they do a lot already but need to increase focus on diversity and inclusion. Las Vegas has a predominantly white community (42.9%) but reportedly has the largest hispanic fan base in the NFL. The Raiders workforce has often been referred to as the “boys club” therefore we feel that promoting diversity and inclusion will help to foil this narrative we have seen.  This is a league wide issue with the NFL receiving C for racial hiring practices and a C- for gender hiring practices according to the “Racial and Gender report card”.  Despite this grading the league has seen an increase in people of color in executive positions, increasing from 17.3% to 19.8% at the beginning of 2022. Therefore the Raiders are in a position where they can become at the forefront of encouraging and promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as promoting those within the current staff who may be a part of this category.

     

    1. PR Solution – Raider’s Pathfinders Program

    We recommend that Las Vegas Raiders should implement a program for the community. This program will be a mentoring style program. It will be targeted at those aged 17-18 years of age within the Las Vegas community.  In order to promote diversity and inclusion we believe that this program should be for those students of color, despite the area having a 42% white population there is also 27% of the Las Vegas community are of hispanic heritage and 11.7% are of African American heritage. Therefore we want to ensure that those communities are targeted and reached. In terms of who qualifies as eligible it will be for students who are either going to college and those who may not be, it was reported that in Nevada 48.2% of the 2019 class enrolled in college the Fall after they graduated, highlighting the importance of ensuring that this program is available to all who wishes to apply. The idea is to give career advice for those who may want it and utilize the current employees at the Raiders to help with this. We want to provide opportunities and resources for those who may not have access to the necessary resources to help develop their chosen career.  This program should help those to navigate a career in sport, specifically the NFL, and allow staff to share their experiences and stories to the next generation of employees.  This will help promote the idea that the Las Vegas Raiders are promoting diversity within the industry as well as giving back to those within the Vegas community who may not benefit from what the 

     

     

organization currently do, for example they have grown out of the youth football clinics.. There is the opportunity to highlight some of the staff involved on social media to promote their story to the fans, helping to foil the idea that the organization doesn’t utilize social media in the most effective way as well as the transparency of the organization in particular hiring practices. .

  1. Timeline

Month 1- April

          During the first month of this when the process for developing the crisis communication plan will begin. During this time will be when the team will be assembled as well as ensuring that all members of the organization involved will have a detailed understanding of this plan to make sure it will be implemented at full strength and will be the most effective. This will also be when the media kit for the mentorship program (Raiders Pathfinders program) will be created. This is when the information will be gathered as well as the creating the pitch list of media personnel that used to help get the message out about the program.

Month 2- May

The next step will be to launch the mentorship program by sending the media kit to the media outlets as well as getting members of the organization in front of the media to promote the program. During this time we post about the program to our social media platforms as well ensure the logo we have created reaches as much of the Las Vegas area as we possibly can. By the end of the month the application process will have closed.

Month 3- June

          Month 3 will see the introduction of some of the new social media strategies that should be implemented. For example hosting Q&A sessions with players across different platforms. Throughout this time we will begin to increase the number of community events within the local area specifically for the fans to help to keep them engaged during the off season.

Month 4- July

          This will be when those who have been accepted into the mentorship program will be announced. They will be sent emails to inform them that they have been accepted onto the program then encouraged to share this information to their social media accounts which then can be shared on our own to highlight those who have been accepted and their backgrounds. With the training camp occurring around this time we will have fan appreciation events where we will invite fans to come and witness some of the training camps and get them to document their experiences on social media outlets.

Month 5- August

          August will be when the mentorship program will begin and this will carry on throughout the rest of the NFL season. During this month will also be when content creation begins to increase to get fans excited for the upcoming season, more behind the scenes looks at training as well as getting to know those who make the final roster. This time of the calendar will also be when content creation regarding upcoming community relations programs happening throughout the season will be created and pushed out onto social media.

 

 

  1. Sources.
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