Mark Davis is radiant in his pristine white clothing. But his heart is silver and black to the core. When Mark was growing up, his father Al Davis, was coaching and managing the Raiders before owning a piece of the team.
Mark’s first job with the Raiders was in their retail department. We have Mark to thank for the fierce and fun style the Raider fans are known for. As years passed, he discovered the NFL’s hand-warmer muffs and created the Raider Image stores.
Mark inherited a 47% ownership of the team jointly with his mother, Carol Davis, when Al Davis passed at age 81. At the time of his death he had been wanting to find a new home for the team after years of unsuccessful negotiations with the City of Oakland. Many possibilities were investigated.
With the lease expiration in sight at the Oakland Coliseum, it became a priority. Plans were actually drawn with the San Diego Chargers for a shared stadium in Carson, CA that eventually fell through. Mark and Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Venetian Hotel and the Sands Corporation had a meeting.
The Secret Meeting In Vegas
A big reason why Las Vegas has not had a professional sports team was concerns about sports betting. Finally, in 2015 there was a secret meeting that Mark Davis was invited. It was to discuss professional athletes and sports betting. Afterwards he explored the city and saw a possible site at the south end of The Strip.
After the Carson, CA project fell through, within a week of some fateful talks with Sheldon Adelson, Governor Sandoval took less than a week to pledge the support of Nevada. The NFL took 4 times as long to give their approval for the Nevada move. The rest is history.
Three years and two billion dollars later Allegiant Stadium now stands with pride in Las Vegas. The best headquarters and practice facility in the NFL is fully occupied and Spring Training is being held there. The future of the Raiders and the Las Vegas Valley have been redefined. Welcome!
Did You Know?
Just to make it clear, they don’t really call his car the Mark-Mobile. But it a good description isn’t it! For years the managing owner of the Raiders has driven a minivan. Since it looks unusual, it probably isn’t the run-of-the-mill minivan and he isn’t the run-of-the-mill rich guy.
Mark Davis Style
Mark knows what people say about him. He knows people focus and comment on his hair, but he just laughs at it. He loves being unique. His sense of style is not exactly convenient, he travels 400 miles for a haircut. He says that it’s about being unconventional, and making it easy for people to remember him. No need for the car or haircut in Las Vegas Mark, no one is going to forget you!
In January 2021, Mark Davis attended a WNBA Aces game with MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle. As a joke, Bill Hornbuckle suggested that Mark Davis buy the team. A week later, he called saying he was serious, and the rest is history. After giving all of the organization raises, he built a new headquarters and team training facility. And then started marketing.
The ladies win! They attend Raiders games, and Mark Davis and Raiders players go to the lady’s games. Every news station in Las Vegas carries frequent Aces news stories. My first game was the Ace’s first Las Vegas sold-out game and the Raiderettes were the half-time entertainment. It was a blast, and I don’t do basketball! All I kept thinking was about what a great marketer Mark Davis is.