Sigmund “Sig” Rogich is an Icelandic/American businessman and was a senior media consultant to leading Republican candidates for office, including Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He was senior campaign consultant for former Nevada governors Kenny Guinn and Jim Gibbons, and has worked on over 600 local and national elections in his career.
Rogich is president of The Rogich Communications Group, a national and international business facilitator, public relations, and crisis management firm. He also founded Las Vegas based R&R Advertising, now R&R Partners, Nevada’s largest advertising and marketing firm, and has been closely involved with Las Vegas marketing for more than 30 years. His entertainment and business relationships have included Frank Sinatra, Donald Trump, Mike Tyson, Steve Wynn, Kirk Kerkorian and Sheldon Adelson among others.
Born in Iceland, he started "dirt poor," as his mother, Ranny, told the New York Times in 1989, when the family lived in public housing and his father worked in a metals factory outside Las Vegas. His father went on to be a foreman at a company that made neon casino signs, and his sister was a dancer in a review that toured with Sammy Davis Jr. Sig Rogich worked odd jobs from the time he was small, and as he got older toiled as a busboy at casinos in Las Vegas, a bellboy in Lake Tahoe hotels and a folk singer in San Francisco bistros. He graduated from Las Vegas High School and studied journalism at the University of Nevada at Reno. By the time he turned 30, he was a multimillionaire, and quietly sent money to children in need of operations when he read about them in newspapers.
Rogich is a longtime close associate and adviser to Paul Laxalt, United States Senator from Nevada and three time chairman of the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan. In 1984, Rogich was co-director of the "Tuesday Team," an advertising agency created specifically to produce campaign ads for the re-election campaign of President Reagan (a.k.a. Reagan-Bush '84). His title was National Advertising Director.
In 1987 and 1988, Rogich, working under chief media adviser Roger Ailes as Director of Advertising, personally directed the shooting of most of the television ads for the George H.W. Bush primary campaign (Bush for President) and general-election campaign (Bush-Quayle '88), as well as others for the Republican National Committee.
These included the famous "Revolving Door" spot for Bush-Quayle '88 (shot with prisoners at a Utah penitentiary), which highlighted the crime record of Democratic nominee, Gov. Michael Dukakis. Rogich is also credited with devising the Bush ads that prominently featured Michael Dukakis cruising in a tank at a General Dynamics plant in Michigan (though he did not shoot the footage personally).
Another Rogich spot, "I Remember You," aired by the RNC in July and August 1988, used the 1940s song of the same name as background to a video collage of the Carter years, depicting oil sheiks, gas lines and malaise. Dukakis's lead over Bush—17 points at the end of the Democratic Convention in July—evaporated by the end of the GOP Convention in August.
According to Rogich, he and Ailes got along famously. "We had a special relationship, a friendship that we've maintained throughout the years," Rogich recalled. Although he supervised the making of many of Mr. Bush's negative commercials, Rogich insisted he preferred the softer advertisements, like the one of Mr. Bush's granddaughter running into his arms.
When he began working in the West Wing of the White House as an Assistant to the President for the first President Bush in 1989, he said: "I know it sounds corny for someone to tell you that they're patriotic and that they feel honored to do something like this . . . but I believe deeply in this President because he's all of that and more. It's just an honor to serve here." His title from 1989-92 was special assistant to the President for activities and initiatives. In 1992, at the request of the President, Rogich accompanied former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev on his nationwide tour of the U.S..
In 1992, Rogich was named United States Ambassador to his native country of Iceland by President Bush. Within months, he voluntarily gave up his appointive post to assist in the latter months of Bush Sr.'s re-election campaign (Bush-Quayle '92) at the request of the President and his Chief of Staff, Jim Baker.
Rogich was National Finance Co-Chairman for The Republican Governors' Association and has served in the same capacity in Nevada for President George W. Bush. He was a Bush Pioneer and an early supporter of longtime friend John McCain in the 2008 presidential contest.
Before his time in Washington, Rogich founded R&R Advertising in 1973 and built it into the largest advertising agency in Nevada. Through his creative endeavors with R&R, he has been integrally involved in the reinvention of Las Vegas' image over the past twenty years.
After returning to Nevada, Rogich founded the Rogich Communications Group in 1995. His company has worked with clients both nationally and globally and has been involved with most of the major gaming companies in Las Vegas. Ex-heavyweight champ Mike Tyson also hired this former Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman and state boxing commissioner to burnish his image after biting Evander Holyfield’s ear in a match. Rogich continues to be involved in fighting as the CEO of WSOF.
Rogich, who collects first-edition books, papers and photographs involving his two heroes, Winston Churchill and Theodore Roosevelt, has said "I try to look at things from an historical point of view because I think that gives greater impact to the message. It's important to look for the unusual setting. The Camp David accords might not have been as memorable if they were simply the Washington accords."
Rogich has a school named after him, Sig Rogich Middle School, which is located in Summerlin, NV, congruent to Palo Verde High School. Rogich also currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Public Education Foundation in Clark County, is an Advisory Board member for the Reynolds School of Journalism, and serves on the Board of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts.
Rogich is a member of the Board of Directors for Opportunity Village,a non-profit organization in Las Vegas that serves people with intellectual disabilities, as well as Keep Memory Alive, a philanthropy organization which raises awareness about brain disorders and Alzheimer's.
- Rogich Communications Group
- Barnes, Fred (1989) "The moment-maker" The New Republic (11 December 1989): pp. 11-12
- "Vegas on a Roll," Alan Prendergast, L.A. Times, Dec. 17, 1989
- "Sig Rogich Enthralled by Interactions with Muhammad Ali," Las Vegas Sun, Feb 16, 2012
- "An Image Polisher Leaves Nevada Neon to Sharpen a 'Beige' White House," Maureen Dowd, New York Times, October 3, 1989
- My Father, My President
- Rogich Communications Group
- "Nevada Passes Rules to Make Boxing Safer," USA Today, July 13, 2006
- "New Local Mixed Martial Arts Promotion Has Support," Las Vegas Sun, Sep 7,2012