SBD/February 2, 2011/Events and Attractions

Star Search: Super Bowl Parties Back In Full Force In North Texas

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After several "recession-deflating years, the Super Bowl party and corporate hospitality scene is back, some say to pre-recession levels," according to Terry Lefton in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Some sources "counted parties, official and unofficial, at more than a hundred." NFL agent Leigh Steinberg is hosting the "granddaddy of Super Bowl parties." What is "being billed as Steinberg’s 25th and final party is slated for Saturday" from 1:00pm-1:00am in downtown Dallas. Over those 12 hours, AllPlayers.com Dir of Business Development Mary McKay, who is producing the party, is "expecting 3,500 to 4,000 people." But one of the "biggest signs of the economic recovery in and around the Super Bowl is the return of the Sports Illustrated party." After being on the sideline for two years, SI is "back in the game, sponsoring a Friday night gig" from 9:00pm-3:00am with Super Bowl halftime show performers the Black Eyed Peas along with celebrity DJ David Guetta and swimsuit models. Sponsors include Under Armour, Bacardi, Nivea and BlackBerry. Time Inc. Sports Group President Mark Ford said that SI "makes money on the party." Tickets are $3,500 each and "around 3,000 people are expected to attend." ESPN is hosting its seventh ESPN The Magazine Next party at The River Ranch in Ft. Worth. Plans call for a "private event for 2,000 on Friday, featuring a performance by Kid Rock, and a public event on Saturday with more than 5,000 expected." The events are sponsored by Absolut, AT&T, Bing, Bud Light, Dodge and Gillette. DirecTV also "hosts both public and private functions." The DirecTV Celebrity Beach Bowl, now in its seventh year, "started as a passing thought." Now it attracts a "load of celebrities to participate, along with 10,000 or so who will watch the competition this year on a faux beach." DirecTV Senior VP/Advertising & Communications Jon Gieselman: "Sponsor money is really back. We have a lot of clients to entertain and we can bring in enough sponsor money where it’s almost break even, so it’s kind of a no-brainer.” Lefton notes in addition to the DirecTV and ESPN affairs, Maxim and Playboy "have long been the most sought-after tickets." Maxim this year is hosting for the 11th year in a row but for the "first time will have a presenting sponsor: Motorola Xoom" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/31 issue). 

PLAY ON, PLAYERS: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Liz Mullen reports the NFLPA, which has "traditionally held two parties Super Bowl week," this year "will hold events across five days, with sponsors secured for activities on each day." NFL Players President Keith Gordon said that the sponsorships, including deals with Nike, Reebok and EA Sports, "aim to not only cover the cost of the events, but also bring in revenue for the union." Gordon: “Despite the labor uncertainty, the NFLPA business unit sees strong success. This year, a lot of the events we are doing are brand new. The events were specifically designed to provide access and value to select partners and fans while generating revenue for the players themselves” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/31 issue).

GETTING IT KICK STARTED: "Fox NFL Sunday" host Curt Menefee last night was scheduled to host a celebrity fundraiser benefiting St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital at Teddy's Room in Dallas. Tickets cost $200, and several former NFLers were expected to attend (DFW.com, 2/1)....Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware and C Andre Gurode tonight will host Center of Attention, a party at the Grey Goose Lounge in the Dallas Arts District. Tickets range from $100-5,000 (DFW.com. 2/1)....Moves Magazine will host its Super Bowl party tonight at Zouk Nightclub in Dallas...The NFL Charities Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling event will take place tonight at 300 Dallas....Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will host Super Bowl Soiree at Dallas' Hotel Zaza....Gene Simmons, Shannon Tweed and Five for Fighting are scheduled to appear at the Aces and Angels party at Centennial Hall in Dallas....The Jordin Sparks Experience Super Bowl Party will kick off tonight at the Sheraton Arlington....The NFL and Univision are teaming to present Tazon Latino V, a flag football game featuring current and former NFLers and Latino celebrities. The event, taking place tonight at Clinic Field at the NFL Experience, will air on Univision on Saturday (THE DAILY).    
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