In Pitch for MGM Resorts, McCann and PHD Come Up Winners

Spending could double to more than $70 million next year

Following a competitive pitch, Interpublic's McCann and Omnicom's PHD are in the chips with MGM Resorts International, taking on lead creative and media duties, respectively, for the brand.

Beginning next year, the agencies will support MGM's corporate brand as well as properties such as Bellagio, ARIA, Vdara, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Delano Las Vegas, The Mirage, New York-New York, Monte Carlo, Luxor, Excalibur and Circus Circus.

The client spends about $35 million annually in domestic media. One source close to the process said that number could double in 2016 as MGM expands.

"With our company investing hundreds of millions of dollars into new projects next year and Las Vegas expected to welcome 42 million ever-evolving customers, now is the perfect time to consolidate our marketing efforts," said Lilian Tomovich, MGM's chief experience officer, in a statement. She praised McCann and PHD's "proven strategic and integrated marketing expertise," adding that the shops are tasked with building "a strong communications platform of innovative work, allowing us to stand apart in the marketplace."

McCann was already on MGM's roster, having picked up the MGM Grand Detroit in April. PHD, however, had not been working for the brand. Various agencies have handled portions of MGM's business of late, though some properties had no assigned creative shops, and their marketing was done in-house.

R&R Partners, famous for its "What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas" tourism campaigns, had been MGM's primary media partner. That agency remains on MGM's roster, working on the client's East Coast properties as well as other key projects. This summer, R&R added marketing duties for MGM's National Harbor Casino, which opens in Maryland next year. R&R also will work with MGM Resorts on the company's corporate social responsibility programs.