Project Description

MGM Grand Detroit: Detroit’s Premier Entertainment Destination

MGM Grand Detroit is Detroit’s premier entertainment and hospitality destination.  It features the only Forbes Four-Star hotel in the City of Detroit and Forbes Four-Star spa in Michigan, a AAA Four Diamond Award-winning hotel, top-notch gaming, excellent cuisine, high-end nightlife and more than 30,000-square-feet of meeting space – all under one-roof.

Since it was established in 1999, with its permanent location opening in 2007, MGM Grand Detroit has welcomed the industry’s top talent, millions of guests and hundreds of businesses and organizations who host events and conferences on property annually.

While at MGM Grand Detroit, many flock to its restaurants, which include: TAP at MGM Grand Detroit, Detroit’s newest old sports pub; Palette Dining Studio, an all-you-care-to eat gallery; Breeze Dining Court; and Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina and Wolfgang Puck Steak, which both opened in 2012 and marked the world-renowned chef’s return to the property.

Our plan was to position MGM Grand Detroit as metropolitan Detroit’s premier entertainment destination.  While there is little media that covers gaming directly, our focus was to draw increased awareness to the property’s unparalleled amenities and leading position in the market.
Our team’s strategy was to garner “buzz” surrounding all of MGM Grand Detroit’s hospitality offerings ranging from nightlife and dining to spa and banquet facilities by elevating the MGM Grand experience above all other properties in the Midwest.  This would be accomplished through securing an ongoing cascade of prominent media coverage in feature, business and trade media and on social media.

While the other casinos have excessive advertising campaigns, no other property launched as extensive as a media relations campaign as we did for MGM Grand Detroit.

Our team used a mixture of media relations, events and social media to publicize the wide range of amenities at MGM Grand Detroit to its target audience.

Media Relations

To assist in our media outreach, our team developed an annual media calendar for each department that served as an outline for media pitch ideas.  Included in this calendar were holidays and seasonal trends, annual events including Detroit Restaurant Week and the Plymouth Chili Festival, themed days such as National Pickle Day and a list of upcoming features in local and trade publications.

Our team also coordinated one-on-one tours and opportunities with existing and newly assigned reporters covering MGM Grand Detroit to position the property on the forefront of the media’s minds, as well as team members as experts in their given fields.


To further publicize the property’s amenities, we coordinated events to make MGM Grand Detroit top-of-mind for both the media and current and potential guests:

  • When Chef Wolfgang Puck visited the property in 2012, 2013 and 2014, we coordinated one-on-one telephone interviews with local radio stations, sit-down interviews with print and online media and cooking segments with television news stations.  In 2014, we also coordinated a late afternoon on-property book signing for his new cookbook to entice fans to stay on property for dinner and entertainment.
  • In 2012, when Chef Michael Mina was in town visiting his restaurants, we created and executed a healthy cooking class with local firefighters and invited local media.
  • Our team also coordinated media attendance for grand opening events at the property including for the opening of TAP at MGM Grand Detroit in 2012.

Social Media

The team posted photographs, video and status updates on Marx Layne’s Facebook and Twitter pages for events including Merry Merry Monday and Monday’s with Bernie.  We also drafted updates for the social media accounts of Bernie Smilovitz and guest DJs at V Nightclub to make their audiences aware of the upcoming events at MGM Grand Detroit.

Since becoming the agency-of-record for MGM Grand Detroit, we have garnered an ongoing cascade of meaningful coverage in outlets including:

  • Locally: WJBK-TV, WDIV-TV, WXYZ-TV, WJR-AM, WWJ-AM, WKQI-FM, The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Crain’s Detroit Business,, HOUR Detroit, dBusiness Magazine, Ambassador Magazine Michigan Chronicle, BLAC Magazine, The Oakland Press, Michigan Meetings & Events, Visit Detroit and Metro Times
  • Nationally and Internationally: Us Weekly, Associated Press, USA Today,,, New York Post, Travel Weekly,, Prevue Magazine, Canadian Destinations, Crossings, Toledo Blade, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Casino Enterprise Management, Nation’s Restaurant News, Gaming & Casino Executive Briefing, Hotel Business, Successful Meetings, Black Meetings and Tourism and

In our first year with MGM Grand Detroit, we secured 115 media opportunities, crossing all departments at MGM Grand Detroit.  The total included 63 print articles and eight television segments.  In 2014, we ended the year having secured nearly 100 more placements including 93 print articles and 14 television segments.