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Bright blue tents, thousands of excited children, video gamers, and the Pikachu balloon from Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade filled Bryant Park for the national championship finals of the Pokémon video game. The big public event (an estimated 25,000 people attended) included activities, freebies, and an awards ceremony hosted by former WWE wrestler and reality TV presence Hulk Hogan. It also celebrated the Japanese company's 10th anniversary. Pokémon USA public relations director Amy Wexler worked with Alloy Media & Marketing's Boston-based AMP Agency and Eventage to produce, manage, and execute the event. AMP also managed the regional tournaments of the championship, a 24-city national mall tour that kicked off in February.
Tented stations—spread across the west and south ends of the park—held activities such as trading card competitions, arts and crafts, spin-the-wheel carnival-style games, and a place for guests to download a Pokémon character to their GameBoy Advance handhelds. The 64 finalists competed in a separate tournament area. The fight for the championship titles (one for kids 12 and under and another for those 13 and older) and the award presentation took place on a stage behind the New York Public Library.
Photo: Associated Press (Hulk Hogan)
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