By D. Channing Muller Posted February 8, 2010, 2:20 PM EST
Two of the most exclusive Super Bowl parties returned to form with highly publicized events on Saturday night, just blocks apart in South Beach. After Playboy cancelled its party in Tampa last year and Maxim scaled back, both brands came back full force.
Playboy kicked off at 9 p.m. with 2,000 people flooding into the Sagamore for the invite-only affair. Sale Stojanovic, president of 3B Productions, worked with the magazine's production team to compile footage from Playboy parties through the years to showcase on flat-screen TVs that lined the main hallway of the hotel, the walls of the private cabanas in the garden, and decorated the stage at the far end of the pool.
In addition to roaming Playboy bunnies, playmates, and scantily clad dancers, performers dressed as mermaids from Zhantra Entertainment swam in the pool and posed for pictures. Following their concert at the American Airlines Arena earlier that night, the Black Eyed Peas took the stage around 2 a.m. for an impromptu performance, after which Fergie sang a few more songs while bandmates Will.i.am and Apl.de.ap played DJ.
Just one block north, Maxim hosted a vintage Miami-style party at the Raleigh for 2,000 celebrities, athletes, clients, and executives, starting at 10 p.m. Despite the overlap in the magazines' demographic, Maxim corporate event director Amanda Civitello claimed she didn’t worry about competition from Playboy. “When you’re on South Beach and Collins Avenue, [having parties the same night] is a bit of a draw actually because a lot of people party hop and get to experience a lot of different events in such a close area,” she said.
Civitello worked with Tracy Kessler of TK New York Inc. to conceptualize the 1950s beach club look for the event, which took place on the hotel’s pool deck and private beach area. The team used primarily black and white decor and furniture near the pool to recreate a scene from the hotel’s heyday during the 1940s. The sand resembled a beach club with drink menus on surfboards, models in vintage bathing suits, and complimentary branded flip-flops from sportswear and equipment company BSN.
Armani Code, Volkswagen, Samsung, and the Patrón Spirits Company were among the nine sponsors with on-site activations.