MGM Resorts International, which is in the heated competition for one of the expected three integrated resort licenses in Japan, just got to first base. The Las Vegas-based casino giant has a marketing deal with Major League Baseball. When the league holds its opening series in Japan this month, players for the Oakland A’s will wear patches on their uniforms to promote MGM Resorts. It’s all about optics. The A’s will play the Seattle Mariners March 20-21 at the Tokyo Dome and MGM is seeking any opportunity to raise the company’s Japanese profile. “It
will be highly competitive,” MGM Chairman Jim Murren said on last month’s quarterly earnings conference call. “But I think the cards are stacked in the favor of those who are prepared, who have been working hard, who will have the best program, best strategy, (and) the best understanding of the country.” MGM is focused on Osaka for its casino location. The city is believed to want an integrated resort to open by 2025, in time for the World Expo. A couple of Major League Baseball games in Tokyo may not move the needle, but it will help with MGM’s presence. The company will have its marks on the official logo for the series and will play a prominent role in the fan festival surrounding the games.