August 29, 2017: Showtime Faces Lawsuits After Mayweather-McGregor Live Stream Issues, Netflix Hosted a Weed Pop-Up to Promote New Series, Tastemade Partners With Smorgasburg to Expand Live Events Portfolio

By Ian Zelaya August 29, 2017, 8:18 AM EDT

1. SHOWTIME FACES LAWSUITS AFTER MAYWEATHER-MCGREGOR LIVE STREAM ISSUES: Showtime is facing at least two lawsuits after customers experienced issues with the network's live stream of the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight on Saturday. New York Post: “In a pair of suits that seek $5 million each, customers gripe that their $99.95 subscription to live-stream the highly anticipated fight was disrupted because of pay-per-view issues. Queens resident Victor Mallh filed the suit on behalf of all consumers who purchased access to the Aug. 26 fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor. 'As a result of server failure or other technical failures on [Showtime’s] part,' Mallh and other subscribers 'were unable to view substantial portions of the event, and some class members were unable to view the entire event,' according to a Manhattan federal suit filed Monday. Over the weekend, a similar suit was filed in federal court in Oregon over the botched video stream of the fight, which attracted 50 million viewers. 'Instead of being a ‘witness to history’ as defendant had promised, the only thing plaintiff witnessed was grainy video, error screens, buffer events, and stalls,' according to the Oregon suit."

2. NETFLIX HOSTED A WEED POP-UP TO PROMOTE NEW SERIES: Over the weekend, Netflix partnered with a pop-up dispensary in West Hollywood to promote its new series Disjointed. The network offered 12 different strains of weed inspired by its original shows. Adweek: “The streaming giant partnered with a dispensary, Alternative Herbal Health Services, or AHHS, to distribute 12 strains of marijuana based on 10 of its shows: Disjointed, Lady Dynamite, BoJack Horseman, Orange Is the New Black, Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, Mystery Science 3000: The Return, Arrested Development, Grace and Frankie, Chelsea and Santa Clarita Diet. It’s important to note that Netflix didn’t technically sell weed, according to Jonathan Santoro, executive creative director of Carrot, the creative shop behind the activation. Santoro noted that Netflix partnered with the dispensary and had its lawyers work with the state of California and the city of West Hollywood to sort out how it could distribute weed. Though, the dispensary did sell 27 pounds (over 430 ounces) of the Netflix marijuana over the weekend. About six months ago, Carrot began working with the dispensary to curate the weed strains, giving them descriptions of feelings for certain shows and working from there to pair each show with a corresponding strain, picking indica strains to pair with lighter shows and sativa strains for more aggressive-feeling shows. Carrot also worked to redesign the layout and feel of the dispensary to make it look more like the one featured on Disjointed as well as the packing and branding of each of the weed strains."

3. TASTEMADE PARTNERS WITH SMORGASBURG TO EXPAND LIVE EVENTS PORTFOLIO: Social food video media company Tastemade is expanding its foray into live events through a partnership with popular New York- and Los Angeles-based outdoor foodie market Smorgasburg. Digiday: “Tastemade will sell sponsorships to events at Smorgasburg locations in New York and Los Angeles, such as concerts, food festivals and other events. Tastemade will also sell sponsorships of services at Smorgasburg, where advertisers can sponsor everything from the Wi-Fi to the free filtered water that Smorgasburg offers visitors. Tastemade is already talking to a number of advertisers on Smorgasburg-related deals, said Tastemade co-founder Larry Fitzgibbon. The companies will share revenue from any deals sold. … Fitzgibbon said Tastemade has already done more than 100 live events, including some with advertising clients such as Airbnb and Nike. When Airbnb arrived in L.A., Tastemade turned its Santa Monica-based studio into a mini food market with 30 vendors from around the city. More recently, Tastemade held a dinner on behalf of Nike, which brought together Nike execs, athletes and social influencers. More than half of the events Tastemade has done have been paid for by brands, the company said.”


ATLANTA:  Sports, entertainment, and culinary marketing firm Melt has announced three new hires: Susan Gout as controller; Blake Spires as event manager; and Ellis Baxter as account associate. 

BOSTON:  The 10th anniversary of Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival will take place October 19-22. 

CHICAGO:  The inaugural En Noir: A Casino Royale Masquerade will take place October 21 at Hilton Oak Brook Hills Resort. The James Bond-theme fund-raiser will benefit Imerman Angels, a one-on-one cancer-support community. 

LAS VEGAS:  Production and design firm the Activity has appointed Kristine Smith executive producer. 

LOS ANGELES:  On September 3, Talib Kweli and Doug E. Fresh will headline the first annual West Adams Block Party, a free, all-ages community event featuring jazz, funk, soul, and hip-hop artists and DJs. Held at Delicious Pizza in West Adams, the event is a collaboration between Delicious Vinyl and EmbraceLA. 

Grey Goose is teaming up with Trois Mec and S.Pellegrino to present the second “2 Chefs, a Dialogue with Food,” a special dinner series that will bring some of the country's most celebrated chefs to Los Angeles to cook with chef Ludo Lefebvre. The series, which kicks off September 16 with Houston chef Hugo Ortega, will run through December. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science will host its second annual A Celebration of Science, the museum’s largest fund-raiser of the year, on May 5, 2018. Proceeds from A Celebration of Science will support the museum’s exhibitions and programs.

NASHVILLE:  Castlerock Asset Management has named Hugh Templeman general manager of the 456-room Westin Nashville. 

NEW YORK:  Chef Tony Mantuano has brought his Chicago-based Italian restaurant Café Spiagga to the U.S. Open. The pop-up restaurant will be open daily at the U.S.T.A. Billie Jean King National Tennis Center through September 11. 

Fast-casual Latin American concept Areppas will open its flagship restaurant in Midtown East in September. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  This year’s Small World Music Festival will take place September 14-17 at the Small World Music Centre. The event will showcase Canadian artists performing music from countries including Mali, Cuba, Ethiopia, Spain, and Estonia. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, Rayna Katz, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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