MRA International

MRA International is a development consultancy specializing in the conceptualization, strategic programming and execution of Destination Developments and Place Branding for major projects across the globe. The firm’s work focuses on:

  • Urban, Waterfront and Mixed Use Destinations
  • Sports Anchored Destinations
  • Casino and Resort Destinations
  • Public Place and Cultural Destinations
  • Entertainment Destinations and Attractions

In the sports sector MRA has advised the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants, NFL Properties and the NFL League Office; the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers, LA Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies; the NHL League Office; NHL Dallas Stars; New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Edmonton Oilers; the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trailblazers;  the PGA and the U.S.T.A.

In the entertainment sector MRA has advised the Walt Disney World Company, Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Studios, MGM Studios, Paramount Studios & Parks, Lotte World Entertainment, Blockbuster Entertainment, SFX Entertainment, CNN, Time Warner Entertainment, IMAX Corporation, AMC Theaters, SONY Corporation/ SONY Development, Gaylord Entertainment, Simon Brand Ventures and a wide variety of independent entities.

In the Casino sector MRA has advised MGM (MGM/Mirage), Foxwoods, Harrahs, Aztar Corporation, Caesars, Hyatt and Hilton; major projects include MGM’s City of Entertainment in Las Vegas; the Quarter at Tropicana in Atlantic City, and the Mohegan Sun Casino.

MRA’s recent projects include the opening of the Environmental Media Experience at LAX International Airport, the largest interactive media environment built in a public environment; National Harbor, a 4 million sf, $2.5 billion mixed use waterfront development on the Potomac River anchored by a 2,000 room Gaylord Convention Hotel; ongoing work in new product development with Walt Disney Corporation, Disney World and Walt Disney Imagineering; development of a new downtown center point project in Santiago, Chile; programing and the execution of  MGM’s Arena and Urban Park in Las Vegas.

MRA has been described as the “thought leader” in urban and public place destinations, with over 20 national and international awards from the Urban Land Institute, Planning Executive Institute (PEI), HUD, AIA, APA and other organizations.

Michael S. Rubin, Ph.D.

President & Founder

Michael Rubin has been involved in the conceptualization and execution of destination developments and place branding for over 30 years Mike’s experience ranges from sports destinations to theme parks, and from international cities to international resorts; and in the creation and execution of destination places ranging in scale from venues to cities.

Projects, in which he played a major role, include Victory Park, a $2 billion sports anchored, mixed use development in Dallas; National Harbor, a $2.5 billion event anchored waterfront destination in Washington D.C.; the $1.6 billion Dallas Cowboy’s (ATST) stadium; and the $300 million Quarter at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, and the $60 million environmental media program at LAX International. His clients include 8 NFL teams, 4 MLB teams, 2 NBA franchises, 3 NHL organizations, all 4 league organizations, MGM, Aztar Corporation, Hyatt International, Foxwoods Casino, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Mandalay Entertainment, Oliver McMillan, Simon Properties Group, Hillwood Development, Hicks Holdings, Steiner Associates, Sony Development and over fifty other public and private entities.

A key focus of Mikes’s work is place branding of destination projects, and the development of auxiliary revenues through sponsorship, advertising, brand immersion and events programming.

Mike has worked closely with the Urban Land Institute, the nation’s premier development association, since 1990 to diffuse information and create forums for understanding destination development and brand strategy, serving as Chair of its Entertainment Development Council (1996-2008) Mike co-authored two ULI books on developing Urban Entertainment Centers (1998) and Retail Entertainment Destinations (2001); helped to create and chaired ULI’s Entertainment Development Council (2000-2003); and worked closely with ULI staff to launch the highly successful conference series on Destination Development (1993-2008).

In addition to his work in brand strategy and destination development Mike is a prolific writer, authoring articles on brand engagement, destination development, leisure trends and branding strategies in real estate development. Mike taught at the Fels Center and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and has lectured at Harvard Graduate School of Design, the University of Michigan, Princeton, Rutgers, the University of the Arts, Vanderbilt University and The University of Texas at Austin. His professional awards include the Progressive Architecture First Award, the ULI Apgar Award and national recognition awards from the AIA, HUD, APA and PEI.

Mike earned his Master of Architecture and Master of Science degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from the Wharton School.