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May 11, 2015: IMG Postpones Miami Swim Week, BMW Expands Event Marketing Programs, Military Tributes at N.F.L. Games Actually Paid Marketing

1. IMG POSTPONES MIAMI SWIM WEEK: This year’s Miami Swim Week is losing a key figure, as IMG Fashion announced it will not offer its Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim in 2015 but plans to return with a retooled event in 2016. The event was the main draw for the city’s swimwear fashion showcase, but other swim shows, parties, and trade events will still take place as scheduled in July. Miami Herald: “IMG’s decision not to participate this year was the result of several factors, beginning with the purchase of the company by William Morris Endeavor for $2.3 billion in 2013. Since the sale, IMG has been retooling the various Fashion Week events it hosts in cities around the world, including New York, following the loss of Mercedes-Benz as a sponsor. Contributing to the decision was the difficulty in relocating the tents where the IMG show took place, which were so large they required the closing of 18th street during the event. According to government officials, the City of Miami Beach had been working for the last two years to find a new spot, but their main choice – a stretch of beach behind the Raleigh Hotel – was denied by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission due to marine turtle nesting season.”

2. BMW EXPANDS EVENT MARKETING PROGRAMS: With a strong success rate—one in every four participants buys a car—BMW of North America has expanded two event marketing programs. Automotive News: “The Ultimate Driving Experience offers test drives -- ranging from 30-minute street circuits to high-speed race track instruction and teen driving classes -- and a culinary evening for customers of BMW's most expensive vehicles. Meanwhile, the Drive for Team USA will be held at 330 participating dealerships. Competitive vehicles are trucked in so potential customers can compare an Audi, Mercedes-Benz or Lexus with a similar BMW model. Both events are part of BMW's experiential marketing programs that represent about 30 percent of the brand's annual marketing outlay.”

3. MILITARY TRIBUTES AT N.F.L. GAMES ACTUALLY PAID MARKETING: What appear to many fans as tributes to the military during New York Jets football games actually are paid marketing segments paid for by taxpayers, according to a report. NJ Advance Media: The Department of Defense and the Jersey Guard paid the Jets a total of $377,000 from 2011 to 2014 for the salutes and other advertising, according to federal contracts. Overall, the Defense Department has paid 14 NFL teams $5.4 million during that time, of which $5.3 million was paid by the National Guard to 11 teams under similar contracts. … [U.S. Senator Jeff] Flake said there was nothing wrong with the Guard using football games to recruit soldiers. The problem, he said, was spending taxpayer money on a program that, on its face, appeared to be a generous gesture by a football team.”


BOSTON:  The Spirit of Boston, a luxury yacht, has undergone a $2.5 million renovation. The vessel has bars, dance floors, and DJ booths, and can hold 600 guests.

CHICAGO:  Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim will receive the 2015 Carl Sandburg Literary Award at the Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner on October 21.

LAS VEGAS:  Epicurean Charitable Foundation of Las Vegas will host its annual fund-raising event, M.E.N.U.S. (Mentoring and Educating Nevada’s Upcoming Students), on September 11 at the Beach at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

LOS ANGELES:  Los Angeles’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry is June 7 at Media Park in Culver City.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Hearts & Spades, a happy hour to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, will take place May 21 at Vibe Las Olas. Women are encouraged to wear red (for the Queen of Hearts) and men to wear black (for the King of Spades).

NEW YORK:  The New Museum’s Ideas City festival runs May 28-30. The festival announced its eclectic lineup as well as plans for public art projects that will turn the streetscape of the Bowery into “a temporary city of ideas” through concepts such as a hands-on bacteria-printing workshop and  a 100-foot-long table for discussions that stretches the length of Rivington Street.

Harlem RBI has retained M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment to manage PR and event and talent relations for its annual celebrity golf outing. The event will be held October 5 at the Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Omni Berkshire Place has hired Kristin Hankins as director of sales and marketing. She previously served as the vice president of sales for Sixty Hotels in New York.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  The Toronto Arts Foundation awards will be presented on May 28 at the Mayor’s Arts Lunch, which will be held at Arcadian Court.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Mayflower Hotel will become an independent property affiliated with Marriott’s Autograph Collection on July 1. The property, currently a Renaissance hotel, recently underwent a $20 million renovation. The hotel offers 38,820 square feet of meeting and event space.

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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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