RICHMOND: The Virginia Lottery has tentatively awarded PadillaCRT a contract for its PR business, according to an intent-to-award document.
In April, the Virginia Lottery issued an RFP seeking multiple marketing, communications, and digital agency partners, leaving behind the more traditional single AOR model.
The agencies expected to win contracts, according to the notice, include PadillaCRT for PR; Barber Martin for loyal player marketing; StoryWerks for new player marketing; LMO Advertising for consumer engagement and social media; and Celerity, ICF Interactive, and CO+LAB for digital.
PadillaCRT's three Virginia offices, which include Richmond, Alexandria, and Norfolk, will manage the account, said Mike Mulvihill, EVP at the firm.
The year-long contract began on October 1 and has a budget of about $391,000, said Jill Vaughan, director of communications at Virginia Lottery.
Vaughan said PadillaCRT's "proactive" PR ideas impressed officials because the firm showed it was able to help increase sales while also sharing the message that the Lottery's money goes to public schools. The agency also stood out for its issues management capabilities, she said.
The VA Lottery, which also runs the We’re Game for Education sub-brand, requested in April that agencies submitting for the business create yearly PR plans for different consumer segments, as well as offer marketing campaign support and strategic direction for the sub-brand. The organization also requested that firms participating in the review have the ability to serve as a "Lottery external PR counsel" in a crisis.
The VA Lottery reported a record $1.7 billion in ticket sales for fiscal year 2013 in its financial report.
Richmond-based firm Big River worked with the VA Lottery for four years and had an annual contract worth $1.7 million, with the PR account worth an additional $300,000 per year, a Lottery communications official told PRWeek in May.