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TOURNAMENT CHAMPION: Linda Trinh

Marketing and Promotions Manager, Multimedia Games

TOURNAMENT CHAMPION: Linda Trinh

Linda Trinh is someone who excels in multiple disciplines. When she was hired by slot manufacturer Multimedia Games five years ago, it was because they needed the business development skills she had employed at her previous position in online marketing.

Soon, Multimedia would tap Trinh’s many other skills—she was a technical product manager, she managed systems development, and she was a product manager in mechanical-reel games.

But Trinh’s primary background in marketing and advertising promotion would match up perfectly with what was to become her most important charge at Multimedia—to turn the company’s TournEvent slot-tournament-on-demand system into the ultimate promotion.

TournEvent is a video slot package with an instant tournament controller that creates a contest like no other found in the casino business. On this system, tournaments are something between a sporting event and a game show—cameras in every machine beam live video of contestants to a large LCD screen as they advance in the scoring. Mini-games pop up on the touch-screen monitors of the slots for extra points. An animated announcer or a live master of ceremonies shouts out the leaders as the contest proceeds.

In July 2011, Multimedia executives came to Trinh with an idea to make TournEvent into a multi-casino event. It would be called the “TournEvent of Champions.”

Trinh’s new title was marketing and promotions manager, and TournEvent was her first project. “My very first task was to build up the program,” Trinh recalls. She began contacting TournEvent customers and asking them if they’d be interested in participating in a multi-casino contest. Satellite events would be held at each casino, and finalists would go to a statewide event to be crowned the state’s top tournament slot player.

Operators loved the idea. The first TournEvent of Champions was held in 2012 in California, with regionals at 11 casinos culminating in a final event held on a cruise ship. Operators reported revenue spikes surrounding satellite and final events—a fact that made the second statewide TournEvent of Champions, last year in the state of Washington, an easy sell. The finals for that one were held in Las Vegas the week of Global Gaming Expo 2012, in the arena-style Lagasse’s Stadium sports bar at the Venetian.

A third state event was planned, but executives decided it was time to go national. At press time, more than 70 casinos had committed to participating in the first National TournEvent of Champions.

“We’re replicating what we did in California and Washington on a national scale,” Trinh says. “The big success we found in this campaign came from how we supported the casinos. The casinos were able to wrap their in-casino promotions around TournEvent of Champions, which really helped their floor.”

For the national event, U.S. TournEvent customers are split into six regions. “In those regions, we’re going to hop on our National TournEvent of Champions tour bus and visit every single one of those casinos for their in-casino finals.”

The locale of the national finals—the week of G2E 2013 in Las Vegas—has yet to be determined. It will have to be larger than Lagasse’s. That’s the next thing on Trinh’s list.

While TournEvent has become Trinh’s full-time job, her success at turning a tournament controller into what has been the perfect promotion for participating casinos will now be applied to other Multimedia product groups. “We want to support the array of other products we have,” she says.

But for now, it’s TournEvent time. “We’re putting in blood, sweat and tears,” says Trinh, “to make sure 2013 is as successful as it can be for that campaign, because that’s going to lay out the future in how we build out TournEvent of Champions.”

Let the tournament begin.

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.  

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