SBD/Issue 52/Events & Attractions

Party Crashers: Some Super Bowl Galas Canceled Due To Economy

Playboy's Plans For Super Bowl
Party Are "Up In The Air"
With the nation's economy "headed toward recession," Super Bowl XLII gala parties in Tampa, "such as Sports Illustrated's annual bash, and smaller, private parties like those hosted by talent agencies CAA and Octagon, have been canceled," according to Weiner & Mullen of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. SI VP/Communications Scott Novak: "In this challenging economy, we decided hosting a party wasn't the right thing to do." Although the "official stance for Playboy, which usually holds a lavish gathering, was that its plans are 'up in the air,' the magazine seemed poised to throw in the party towel." ESPN The Magazine said that its party is "on, but that it isn't ready to announce sponsors." Meanwhile, three parties over three nights called "The Good Life Experience" in St. Petersburg are set to feature boxer Winky Wright and musician P. Diddy with tickets going for $200-800 a night. Agent Leigh Steinberg, "one of the pioneers of big Super Bowl parties, is planning his third, environment-themed green party." Steinberg: "We are absolutely going to hold ours" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 11/24 issue). Novak said, "Every year you kind of evaluate whether to host certain events, and as the year transpired, it became apparent that hosting a Super Bowl party, which is something we look forward to doing every year, was not the right thing to do this year." In St. Petersburg, Jay Cridlin reported the Super Bowl party "may not be SI's last cut, either." Novak said that SI was "still deciding whether to throw a release party for its annual swimsuit issue." Meanwhile, Cridlin noted, "Tampa isn't Miami," and well before the economy "turned south, CAA had discussed skipping this year's game and picking it back up when the game returns to Miami in 2010." The "dearth of sponsorship dollars" also affects the game in other ways. Cadillac typically awards a new car to the Super Bowl's MVP, but this year GM is "scaling back," and both Cadillac and NFL reps said that it was "still up in the air whether Cadillac would continue in the MVP ceremony" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/24).

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