August 7, 2014: Venue Quality Controversy at Women’s World Cup, Brands Use Graphic Novels as Marketing Tool, Trump Wants His Name Off Atlantic City Properties

By Beth Kormanik August 7, 2014, 8:04 AM EDT

1. VENUE QUALITY CONTROVERSY AT WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: Players in the 2015 Women’s World Cup are threatening to sue because of artificial turf at six venues in host country Canada. Fox Sports: “Artificial turf does alter the nature of the game of soccer—it is a harder and faster surface than grass—and is almost never used in international men's soccer. It has also been linked to increased risk of injury. … ‘The best players in the world deserve premier playing surfaces. Simply put, artificial turf is not a premier surface in the soccer world,’ the letter [from players] continued. ‘Singling out this women's tournament for substandard treatment is a mistake.’”

2. BRANDS USE GRAPHIC NOVELS AS MARKETING TOOL: As comic book movies dominate the box office and events like Comic-Con explode in popularity, brands are experimenting with graphic novels of their own. Bacardi recently released a digital illustrated novel about its own origin story. Mashable: “Bacardi is only the latest company to use graphic novels to reach young consumers. Unilever and Razorfish produced one for Axe body spray that fans collaboratively helped to write online. Soda brand Fanta and ad agency Ogilvy & Mather launched an animated, teen-targeted novel with interactive game elements. Nike, Honest Tea and design maven Salvatore Ferragamo have used the medium to tell stories, as has fellow liquor brand Absolut vodka. Peugeot, for its Hybrid4 model, debuted a digital, scrollable thriller from BETC Digital and Marvel illustrator Gerald Parel.”

3. TRUMP WANTS HIS NAME OFF ATLANTIC CITY PROPERTIES: Donald Trump is suing to have his name removed from two Atlantic City casino—the Trump Plaza and the Trump Taj Mahal—and plans to sell his 9.8 percent stake in the properties. The lawsuit says the properties are in disrepair, but the timing coincides with Trump’s bid to purchase the Buffalo Bills. New York Post: “The NFL would likely take a dim view of a bidder having an economic interest in a casino—or having his or her name plastered across its facade.”


BOSTON:  The Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival has announced its seminar lineup. Seminars will be offered each day of the festival and will touch on topics such as Italian foods and how to pair wines.

CHICAGO:  BCD M&I announced the acquisition of Universal Meeting Management Inc., which specializes in the pharmaceutical and high tech markets.

Catholic Charities will host its 13th annual Gala of the Arts on September 5 at the Navy Pier Ballroom. The evening includes an art show with work from local and national artists.

LAS VEGAS:  The Cosmopolitan hotel is being sued by Spiegelworld, the production company that managed its nightclub, Rose Rabbit Lie. New York Post:

LOS ANGELES:  The Viper Room club is marking its 21st anniversary with a week of events starting Monday.

The inaugural Hotel Week LA, a promotional effort from Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations, is November 29-December 14. The firm also announced the opening of its first West Coast office, located in Santa Monica.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY:  For the eighth year, Aggreko is providing large-scale power generation and temperature control for the 2014 P.G.A. Championship, which begins today at Valhalla Golf Club.

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Jungle Island has finished a $700,000 face-lift of its signature 14,000-square-foot Treetop Ballroom, arboretum, and adjacent function spaces. Ovations Food Services also has updated its catering menu.

Gay Nuptials, a new gay-friendly wedding expo, is August 17 at Hagen Park Community Center. Bobby Kyser, owner of event planning firm Panache Style, is organizing the event.

NEW YORK:  Dwell Media is expanding its Dwell on Design event from Los Angeles to New York. The event, October 9-11, will take place at 82Mercer and is expected to draw 5,000 attendees.

The New York Comedy Festival, taking place November 5-9, announced its lineup, which includes Bill Cosby, Bill Maher, Hannibal Buress, Maria Bamford, Carly Aquilino, Chris D’Elia, Tig Notaro, Amy Schumer, Marc Maron, Nick Offerman, and Jessimae Peluso.

The Gramercy Neighborhood Association’s second annual Taste of Gramercy Neighborhood is September 13 on Irving Place. Last year’s inaugural event had 20 participating restaurants and sold nearly 500 tickets.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  The Amway Center will host Cirque du Soleil's newest arena show, Varekai, September 17-21.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Event technology company Social Tables announced it had secured $8 million in Series A funding. The company marked the milestone with a press conference that included Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and BizBash C.E.O. and founder David Adler.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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