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December 3, 2013: Athlete Booking Soars Before Super Bowl, Apps for Holiday Party Planning, Hosts Now Charging Birthday Party Guests

1. ATHLETE BOOKING SOARS BEFORE SUPER BOWL: Tiki Barber thought his rent-an-athlete company Thuzio would be a fun way for consumers to connect with their heroes for a reasonable fee. But he found a more eager audience in marketers and meeting planners who want to book talent for golf outings, conventions, and corporate speaking engagements. And business is picking up as the Super Bowl nears. Advertising Age: “Some of our more unique Super Bowl related bookings include; a brunch with Phil Simms at an executive's home on Super Bowl Sunday before they head to the game, a private roundtable discussion at a popular New York steakhouse with Brian Billick and Super Bowl 'Game Watches' at a private home or a rented venue where a current or former pro athlete watches the game with you and your guests.”

2. LATEST TREND: CHARGING BIRTHDAY PARTY GUESTS A COVER: New York Post: “Forget party hats and a glass of champagne—more altruistic New Yorkers are insisting on throwing birthday bashes with mandatory charity donations. … the trend isn’t limited to celebrities, socialites and their deep-pocketed friends. Workaday New Yorkers are now expected to shell out to celebrate—or risk being branded a Scrooge.”

3. APPS FOR HOLIDAY PARTY PLANNING: Many office holiday party planners are getting some digital help through apps. Reuters looks at three apps—for music, cocktails, and general logistics–for corporate get-togethers:


CHICAGO:  Little Goat Bread now offers catering. Menu items include sandwiches, chips, salads, and the soon-to-debut “Sloppy Goat,” made with goat meat and tangy rosemary slaw.

LAS VEGAS:  Nascar is taking over Las Vegas this week for Champions Week. NBC Sports:

LONDON:  The season-three premiere of the BBC show Sherlock is titled “The Empty Hearse,” so the network fittingly announced its air date by driving an empty hearse around London. PRNewser: “The car, bearing the #SherlockLives tag and the date 01/01/14, drove around town to gawk at some ‘shooting locations’ while tracked by the channel’s Twitter account.”

LOS ANGELES:  March of Dimes announced this year’s honorees for the eighth annual “Celebration of Babies: a Hollywood Luncheon,” and Jennifer Lopez is among the group. The event is December 6 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Erik Estrada, Laura McKenzie, Dean Cain, and Montel Williams hosted the 82nd annual Hollywood Christmas Parade, billed as the largest Christmas celebration in America, presented by Associated Television International on December 1. Buzz Aldrin served as grand marshal.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  A white truffle dinner and silent auction Sunday at Trevini Ristorante will kick off Palm Beach Wine Auction. The evening will feature dishes such as poached quail egg with truffle shavings, beef tenderloin carpaccio alongside a truffle burrata, and truffle honey with the truffle-infused cheese course.

Live Ultimate will host its Ultimate Run Series December 13-15 in South Beach. The events are sponsored by T-Mobile with the support of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority.

TORONTO:  BazaarBazaarBazaar, a holiday market showcasing established and emerging artists, will take place at the Art Gallery of Ontario on December 14.

WASHINGTON:  Ford Motor Company chief operating officer Mark Fields will deliver the keynote address at the Washington Auto Show January 22.

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us:

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Lauren Matthews, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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