NEW YORK The responsibility of planning one of the biggest parties of Super Bowl weekend is not lost on Karen Feller, Maxim’s associate director of creative services. “You tell people you work at Maxim and the first thing they say is, ‘Oh, my God, you have the Super Bowl party,’” she said. “Each year we try to outdo what we’ve done before.”
This year, Feller and Tracy Kessler, executive producer at TK New York, came up with the concept of a luxury hotel on the French Riviera with an elite, high-energy, and exclusive mood. On Friday night, Maxim remade the Sagamore as “Hotel de Maxim,” a celebration of 1960’s-era St. Tropez glamour.
As in past years, Feller and Kessler worked with a long list of sponsors. “Maxim really has become experienced in learning how to integrate sponsors naturally into an event so consumers don’t feel bombarded by [them],” Kessler said. “It’s a huge part of the planning. … What a sponsor is doing on-site will be in keeping with the brand.” The planners took the approach one step further this year by doing away with individual vignettes dedicated to specific brands, opting instead to weave marketing messages into the decor and talent.
Evidence of a luxury resort abounded at the bash, from the Cadillac chocolates presented to arriving guests (a nod to treats found on hotel pillows) to Hotel de Maxim-logoed cabanas, bathrobes, lounge furniture, and towels out by the pool. Guests could try their luck at two Borgata casinos, and for added 60’s flair, models dressed as Brigitte Bardot during her St. Tropez days circulated throughout the crowd. The party’s other leading lady was Fergie, who performed two songs in a surprise appearance.
Keeping with the St. Tropez theme, Maxim served French-inspired food such as crepes, white chocolate fondue (a crowd favorite), and deviled eggs with caviar from the Sagamore and Social Miami. As an alternative to traditional gift bags, Maxim gave out scratch-off tickets, which could be redeemed for such prizes as Sirius radios, Borgata packages, Blu-ray DVD players, and tickets to events.
While there was word of heavy crowds outside, Keller reported that those who were supposed to get in had little trouble doing so. Three separate entrances at the front door helped manage crowd flow, as did 12 uniformed police officers at the front and back of the venue. “If you were credentialed and followed the procedure we set up, it was really very smooth,” she said.
When all was said and done (at about 2 AM), as many as 1,700 revelers had passed through Hotel de Maxim's doors.
Photos: Theo Wargo/Wireimage.com (Hotel de Maxim staff, pool, rug, cabana, Absolut fountain), Kevin Mazur/Wireimage.com (DJ)
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