Las Vegas' biggest names in motorsports came together at South Point this morning to announce that the hotel has bought the title sponsorship to Las Vegas Motor Speedway's second NASCAR event in Sept. 2018. It will be the South Point 400.

South Point, LV Motor Speedway Tie Title Sponsorship Knot with South Point 400 NASCAR Race in September

By ALAN SNEL

 

At first, Las Vegas motorsports dealmaker Michael Gaughan rejected Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s proposal for a South Point 400 title sponsorship deal for NASCAR’s second race at the Speedway in Sept. 2018.

 

But the Speedway didn’t give up. The venue’s president, Chris Powell, and his staff kept on chatting with South Point marketing officials, including Gaughan’s daughter, Sally, and Ryan Growney, South Point’s sports-loving general manager. After all, it seemed like a logical title sponsorship marriage given that the elder Gaughan, who owns South Point and developed a few other casino-hotels in his career, is Mr. Motorsports (and Rodeo) in Las Vegas.

 

And eventually, the title sponsorship deal was consummated. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sept. 16, 2018 will be known as the South Point 400 under a three-year title sponsorship deal. It will mark the debut of NASCAR’s second annual event at the Speedway and serve as the first race in the 2018 Cup playoffs.

 

South Point GM Ryan Growney made the title sponsorship announcement this morning and noted the website is ready to take hotel reservations for the South Point 400 weekend in September 2018.

 

“They gave me a good package,” Michael Gaughan told LVSportsBiz.com this morning. He noted that initially he was not excited about the title sponsorship deal.

 

There’s Las Vegas motorsports dealmaker Michael Gaughan, owner of South Point hotel-casino, in the center. He first said no deal to South Point 400 title sponsorship, but then he came around. Marcus Smith, Speedway Motorsports president and COO, is right and Las Vegas Motor Speedway President Chris Powell is left.

 

Gaughan has deep roots at the Speedway, which hosts an array of racing events from drag racing to summer events for locals. Gaughan noted he bought the first boxes at the Speedway, which is undergoing seating, terrace and fan improvements to enhance the fan experience.

 

LVSportsBiz.com talked with Growney about the value of the title sponsorship to South Point.

 

Gaughan, now in his 70s, is known for his off-road racing exploits, and has sponsored races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway since 1998 while also financially backing race teams led by son, Brendan Gaughan, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series through the years.

 

The Speedway’s parent company, Charlotte, NC-based Speedway Motorsports, Inc., welcomed the title sponsorship deal. Marcus Smith, Speedway Motorsports president and COO, said South Point should get a boost from that race being the first in the Cup playoffs in 2018.

 

“Having South Point as title sponsor is a really good move,” Smith told LVSportsBiz.com at an announcement event at South Point this morning.

 

South Point has always enjoyed a close business relationship with NASCAR.

 

With Las Vegas Motor Speedway inaugurating a second NASCAR tripleheader at its spacious venue site north of Las Vegas, four of Speedway Motorsports’ eight NASCAR tracks now host two NASCAR events a year, Smith said. They are Charlotte, Texas, Bristol and Las Vegas, he said.

 

LVSportsBiz.com talked with Las Vegas Motor Speedway President Chris Powell to get the lowdown on how the three-year deal went down with South Point and Gaughan.

Growney said the financial incentive for South Point is that the September weekend of the NASCAR event at the Speedway is “historically a slow weekend.” So, Growney is counting on NASCAR fans to book rooms at South Point, which has carved out a sports niche of also hosting major rodeo, equestrian and bowling events.

 

For example, South Point hosted a national bowling event from February to July that attracted 52,000 bowlers, while another 390 bowlers from 42 countries have descended on South Point’s world-class bowling facility for a world event, Growney said.

 

And next month, the National Finals Rodeo and a giant team roping competition come to Las Vegas, meaning the cowboys and horses will be filling up the South Point site.

 

But today, South Point celebrated its title sponsorship at the Speedway and Brendan Gaughan, Michael’s son, enjoyed the announcement.

 

Brendan Gaughan enjoyed the title sponsorship announcement event.

 

Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com

Alan Snel

Alan Snel brings decades of sports-business reporting experience to LVSportsBiz.com.

Snel covered the business side of sports for the South Florida (Fort Lauderdale) Sun-Sentinel, the Tampa Tribune and Las Vegas Review-Journal. As a city hall beat reporter, Snel also covered stadium deals in Denver and Seattle.

In 2000, Snel launched a sport-business website for FoxSports.com called FoxSportsBiz.com.

After reporting sports-business for the RJ, Snel wrote hard-hitting stories on the Raiders stadium for the Desert Companion magazine in Las Vegas and The Nevada Independent.

Snel is also one of the top bicycle advocates in the country.

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