Wind Creek Hospitality knows how to make an entrance.
The company announced this week it signed a sponsorship deal with the Chicago Bulls, a move that comes in advance of the company opening a Chicago-area casino. Wind Creek COO Brent Pinkston said in a statement that signing the Bulls deal now was important for credibility.
“As a new brand coming to the Chicagoland market, we believed it was important to establish a name for ourselves and a level of credibility with the local market as quickly as possible,” Pinkston said.
Wind Creek Chicago Southland is slated to open in 2023. Wind Creek Hospitality is the gaming/hospitality entity of Alabama-based Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Sponsorships will give Wind Creek Chicago Southland visibility
The deal between Wind Creek and the Bulls will increase the brand’s exposure to Chicago-area residents.
According to a company statement, Wind Creek’s branding will appear on signage in the Bulls’ United Center. Additionally, the company will kick in multiple “fan engagement elements” in the next few weeks.
On game days, Wind Creek will run fan promotions with the Bulls. It’s likely those promotions will include perks related to the new property including hotel stays and casino bonuses.
“We are excited to partner with Wind Creek over the next few seasons to bring fans new in-arena competitions, social content and sweepstakes,” Bulls VP of Business Development Mark Levitt said. “This new partnership will support our ongoing efforts to further elevate the gameday experience for Bulls fans at the United Center and across our social platforms.”
New casino will bring 800 jobs to Chicago area
Wind Creek’s new casino will be located in East Hazel Creek, about 30 minutes outside of downtown Chicago.
The new property will have:
- A 70,000-square-foot gaming floor
- 1,350 slot machines
- 56 table games
- Multiple restaurants and entertainment venues
- A 252-room luxury hotel
Additionally, the new casino will create 800 permanent jobs.
Wind Creek will have to fight for customers
Will Bulls fans make the drive when they see Wind Creek branding at Bulls games? That’s the burning question. There are five casinos within a 30-minute drive of where the new casino will be.
The advantage Wind Creek Southland has over its competitors is its proximity to Interstate 57. I-57 is the main corridor bringing traffic from the eastern side of the state to Chicago.
Another advantage the casino has is novelty. It will be the newest casino in Illinois and with its prominent branding at Bulls games, it should be able to leverage its debut well.
However, that novelty will have to compete with the loyal customer bases of casinos to the north, west, and east, all of which have been open for at least a decade:
- Harrah’s Casino & Hotel Joliet: 1993
- Horseshoe Hammond (Indiana): 1996
- Ameristar East Chicago (Indiana): 1997
- Hollywood Casino Joliet: 2009
- Rivers Casino Des Plaines: 2011
As for revenue, there’s plenty of it for Wind Creek to grab. In October, Harrah’s Joliet, Hollywood Joliet, and Rivers Des Plaines generated more than $60 million in gross revenue.