Vegas Visions, China Dreams

SK+G expands into Hong Kong on strength of Vegas work

SK+G Advertising, the Las Vegas-based firm that won AMC’s The Pitch in 2012, is expanding, but not locally. Hong Kong is the agency’s next stop, but SK+G—started in 1999 by John Schadler and Jerry Kramer—has Las Vegas to thank for its budding global profile.

“People still look to Vegas as a phenomenon. It’s still kind of the center of the universe when it comes to consumerism,” Schadler says. SK+G’s work in the belly of the Vegas beast helped draw the attention of international luxury and leisure giants, and the firm now has accounts with Baha Mar in The Bahamas, Solaire Manila in the Philippines and Galaxy Macau.

When the recession hit, SK+G looked to the global market to apply its expertise. The new office, SK+G Asia Pacific, is a partnership with the Tank, a Hong Kong agency led by industry veteran James Zi, who has worked with the Hong Kong Jockey Club and golf mega-site Mission Hills China.

“Luxury was really kind of a nasty word in the U.S. for a while,” Schadler says. “Diversification of our business was really inevitable.”

Gaming’s insane decade-plus international expansion pushed matters along even more quickly for SK+G. “Vegas will always be a strong presence for us,” Schadler says. “But I also think that this [expansion] is just like big gaming companies that may have found their roots here, but then branched out and went after other licenses when they became available.”


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