Man standing at a casino in front of slot machines and table games

Taking Southland from Underdog to Market Leader

Southland Casino faced an uphill battle to change consumer perceptions and gain market share. Archer Malmo developed a strategy that turned them into the market leader.

Client: Southland Casino & Racing

Challenge

Archer Malmo became AOR for Southland Casino in West Memphis, Arkansas, in 2009. At the time, Southland Casino was the challenger in a market where competitors had almost every advantage.

They faced a mountain of obstacles, including unfriendly local gaming regulations, inferior slot machines, multiple well-funded competitors operating nearby in a gaming-friendly state, and facilities that didn’t offer the expected amenities. Perhaps worst of all, they had an unflattering origin story — people knew them as the rundown, out-of-date greyhound racetrack.

We needed to challenge people’s perceptions of Southland and get them to reconsider visiting.

Solution

With limited options, we advised that Southland double down on the single advantage they had — proximity. They were closer to the area’s major population center than all of the other casinos. This became the cornerstone of our marketing strategy.

Developing a brand voice that was direct, humorous, and challenging, we turned the tables on competitors and called out their only shortcoming. Honing in on the fact they were farther away, we put them on the defensive. It worked. Slowly, we got people to give Southland a try and eventually changed their habits.

Thanks to their long-established location advantage — and a loosening of state regulations and upgrade in amenities — Southland has become the leader in the market. Today, Southland Casino outperforms all other gaming properties owned by their parent company Delaware North combined.

Results

2x increase in attendance YoY
1,000%+ growth over a decade
#1 Southland is now the undisputed gaming leader in the market

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