As We See It

Lyft wants to take Vegas nightlife for a delightfully irreverent ride

Since it started operating here in September, Lyft has made moves to weave its brand with the Vegas experience.

There were mustaches next to the vodka, plush ones in unmistakable pink. Lyft’s icon was all over Heart of Omnia—at VIP tables, dancing with hot girls, posing for selfies. It painted the brand a friend of Vegas beyond just being an on-demand ride for revelers.

That was a few weeks before the December 3 announcement that the ride-hailing company is teaming with concert promoter AEG Live as its Preferred Transportation Network, meaning Lyft will have marketing support and a presence at events at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Joint and the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, and opportunities to woo new passengers with special offers and prizes tied to ride receipts (think seat upgrades, backstage tours and artist meet-and-greets).

It’s a keen strategy in the entertainment capital, where services like Lyft and Uber have only been permitted since mid-September. “We’ve actually been working with Marquee Nightclub to have Lyft featured as a transportation option at several of their upcoming events,” says Lyft Communications Manager Paige Thelen. “We’ll look for partners in that same kind of vein, where we can continue to add value.”

While the brand's layers include serious missions, from effecting positive change in communities to evolving the greater transportation paradigm, Thelen says Lyft has always promoted memorable good times (just like Vegas), whether with zombie drivers, Justin Bieber ride-alongs or dynamic alliances. Commenting on the new partnership, AEG Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships Andrew Klein says Lyft’s work with Major League Baseball made an impression, as did its scale, reputation and impact with the “all-important millennial audience.”

In Las Vegas, millennials flock to hot spots, flock being the operative word. "When we’re looking for partners in a city like Vegas, we’re going to look to the areas where there’s most traffic, where there might be congestion, where it may be a little bit more stressful to get around, get a ride—where we can help solve those issues," Thelen says. So strong positioning in nightlife and entertainment circles is good for Lyft’s business and brand identity. “It’s fun, it’s irreverent, it’s lighthearted,” Thelen says. “I think especially in a market like Vegas ... the Lyft brand can really fit into that entire experience.”

The local fleet doesn’t have a strobe wagon like Salt Lake City’s or a karaoke van like San Diego’s yet, but that dashboard Glowstache looks ready to party.

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