By D. Channing Muller Posted January 29, 2010, 9:00 AM EST
The Super Bowl returns to Miami for the 10th time next Sunday, February 7, and after a lackluster 2009 in Tampa, the game's notorious hooplah is back. Brands such as Maxim, ESPN the Magazine, and Bud Light will be touting themselves at events held throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties, as will Playboy, after skipping last year’s game in Tampa to save money.
The marketing stunts kick off today with the opening of the Bud Light Hotel in South Beach, where Anheuser-Busch gave the Doubletree Surfcomber Hotel on Collins Avenue a head-to-toe rebranding. The venue will be home to a week’s worth of events, with the likes of GQ, Ultimate Fighting Championship, Jamie Foxx, and Usher hosting parties through next Saturday, the day before the game.
Further north on the beach, the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach will first host the Jordin Sparks Super Bowl Experience on Wednesday, after which it will be transformed into Hotel 944, helmed by 944 magazine. Produced by Relevent's Tony Berger (who produced Audi's Super Bowl event in Phoenix and NetJet's party in Tampa), the four-day all-day ticketed event will mix hosts like NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, Nick Lachey, and Russel Simmons with a roster of talent that includes Common, Drake, Snoop Dog, Wyclef Jean, Kid Sister, and Mario.
Next door, ESPN the Magazine will host its sixth annual Next Big Weekend party at the Fontainebleau on Friday night. The brand forwent its traditional two days of events this year and refocused efforts on this invite-only party staged in a 25,000-square-foot tent on the property’s back lawn. Los Angeles-based Event Eleven is producing the bash, which will have performances by Ne-Yo and Keri Hilson.
The next day, DirecTV returns with its annual Celebrity Beach Bowl (after incarnations in 2008 and 2009), this year taking place on the sand behind the Gansevoort Hotel. The satellite TV service is once again creating a 5,000-person stadium on the sand where celebrities and athletes will play a jovial game of flag football, followed by an after-party in the same space that night.
Also on Saturday night, lad mags take center stage, with Maxim hosting a 1950s-style beach party at the Raleigh, Playboy setting up shop at the Sagamore Hotel—the future site of the Playboy Club—and Penthouse throwing a burlesque-infused party at Passion Nightclub at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood.
Phoenix-based M Group Scenic and Party Planners West from Los Angeles are once again producing the N.F.L. On Location and N.F.L. Tailgate events, respectively, at the newly-named Sun Life Stadium (formerly Landshark Stadium).
Other brands hosting parties during the weekend include Coors Light at Mansion; talent agency CAA at the W South Beach; Dewars at a private residence; Bon Appetit, Mario Batali, and Emiril Lagasse at the Viceroy; and CBS behind the Loews Miami Beach hotel.