SBJ/Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2011/Events and Attractions

NFLPA party plans go on despite labor uncertainty

The NFL Players Association has traditionally held two parties Super Bowl week: one for the players and one VIP sponsor party.

The union last year combined those two parties into one in order to save money, said Keith Gordon, president of NFL Players, the union’s marketing and licensing arm. This year in Dallas, however, the NFLPA will hold events across five days, with sponsors secured for activities on each day. 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 said.

“Despite the labor uncertainty, the NFLPA business unit sees strong success,” Gordon said. “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.”

A community service day, sponsored by Nike on Wednesday, calls in part for players to visit schools in Fort Worth and Dallas, providing information about healthy living. On Thursday, the NFLPA will hold its awards show, which it usually holds in the spring in Washington, D.C., where the union is based. Players will receive both fans’ and players-choice awards.

On Friday, the NFLPA will hold its party for players and sponsors. Saturday features a flag football game with former players and celebrities at the NFL Experience, and on Sunday, the union will host an NFL legends brunch before the game.

“We will have more players [current and former] coming to these events during Super Bowl week than we have ever had before,” Gordon said.
�8;— Liz Mullen
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