Two of the most famous tourist attractions in southeastern Connecticut have entered a unique partnership that will help raise awareness—and, it is hoped, the number of visitors—to each facility and to the area.
Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Mystic Aquarium announced in a press release Nov. 22 that they have entered an innovative sponsorship agreement, The agreement will focus on marketing, co-branding and “mutually beneficial cross-promotion,” the release says.
The agreement will give Foxwoods prominent branding and signage at the aquarium, with Foxwoods gaining naming rights to the Mystic Aquarium’s 1,200-seat Marine Theater. The Mystic Aquarium will also feature Foxwoods in its marketing, advertising and media outreach initiatives.
Foxwoods, owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, is North America’s largest casino. It is located on the nation’s reservation in the rolling hills of southeastern Connecticut.
The Mystic Aquarium, just over eight miles south of Foxwoods, is a division of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization, and is counted among the nation’s leading aquariums with more than 300 species and an extensive collection of marine mammals, including New England’s only beluga whales, according to the aquarium’s website.
“Foxwoods Resort Casino is proud to align itself with such a nationally-renowned institution,” Foxwoods President & CEO Scott Butera said. “At Foxwoods, we are committed to supporting local and regional organizations that contribute to the growth of Connecticut’s tourism and we look forward to working with the Mystic Aquarium to explore collaborative opportunities to enrich our state.”
With each venue attracting large and diverse audiences, cross marketing programs between Foxwoods and Mystic Aquarium are expected to enhance both organizations and boost tourism throughout the Southeastern Connecticut region.
Speaking at the New England Gaming Summit recently, Butera talked about the need for constant “reinvention” in the gaming industry in response to the poor economy and the coming expansion of gaming in nearby states. The adversity created opportunities, “because they set an expectation for change that free managers to re-engineer their businesses so they compete effectively,” he said.
Sea Research President & CEO Dr. Stephen M. Coan said that the Mystic Aquarium has a longstanding relationship with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Foxwoods Resort Casino. “This collaboration between two of Connecticut’s leading tourism drivers aligns with the state’s renewed marketing plan and is certain to increase traffic to both Foxwoods and the aquarium.”
Coan is also chairman of the Greater Mystic Visitors Bureau and a director of the Chamber of Commerce of Southeastern Connecticut, according to the aquarium’s website.
As part of the new sponsorship, Foxwoods Dream Rewards Card members will receive discounted admission to the aquarium and plans are underway to incorporate the award-winning Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center into the Mystic Pass Card, a combined ticket to Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport offering discounts at local hotels, restaurants and shops. The Mystic Pass Card generated a record-breaking 19,500 sales in 2011, according to the press release.