July 25, 2018: Trump Delivers Politically-Charged Speech at Half-Empty V.F.W. Convention, Why the Academy Behind the Grammys Launched its First Brand Campaign, Tour de France Was Briefly Halted After Police Accidentally Sprayed Cyclists During Protest

By Ian Zelaya July 25, 2018, 9:24 AM EDT

1. TRUMP DELIVERS POLITICALLY-CHARGED SPEECH AT HALF-EMPTY V.F.W. CONVENTION: In a half-empty venue, President Donald Trump praised veterans and the active military in a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City, Missouri, on Tuesday, while also promoting himself. During the event, members of the V.F.W. booed the press, which the organization later apologized for. Los Angeles Times: “Though the convention center was half-empty, Trump clearly relished the applause from a friendly crowd estimated at about 4,000 veterans and spouses. And though it was ostensibly a nonpolitical event, right from the start he began hitting many of the applause lines familiar from his campaign speeches. Within minutes the president brought up to the stage the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Missouri, calling him 'hopefully your new senator-to-be.' He urged the audience to elect other Republican 'reinforcements' to Congress, slammed Democratic Reps. Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader from San Francisco, and Maxine Waters of Los Angeles, and charged that Democrats generally support crime and open borders. Trump has turned other nonpolitical appearances into partisan ones, but few so overtly as the speech before the V.F.W. convention—a stop that presidents often make, with their focus on veterans’ service. Taxpayers pay for presidents’ travel to official events; a president’s party is supposed to cover costs for political ones. ... After the event, the V.F.W.'s communications manager, Randi Law, issued a statement expressing regret. 'We were disappointed to have some of our members boo the press,' Law said, adding that the reporters present 'were our invited guests and we rely on them to help spread the V.F.W.'s message.'"

2. WHY THE ACADEMY BEHIND THE GRAMMYS LAUNCHED ITS FIRST BRAND CAMPAIGN: The Recording Academy, the music industry organization behind the Grammys, launched its first-ever brand campaign, highlighting performers and producers who are Academy members. The Academy launched the campaign to celebrate the creative process that goes into creating songs and records. Adweek: “While the Recording Academy (formerly the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, founded in 1957) regularly advertises the annual Grammys telecast, the new campaign represents a different kind of marketing push—aimed at promoting the organization and its constituent members more broadly. It also follows a logo redesign launched early this year. ‘Several years ago, we undertook a research project to gain deeper insight into our core constituency: music creators,’ explained Evan Greene, chief marketing officer for the Recording Academy. ‘This clearly showed that the Recording Academy, and the work we do on behalf of music creators, did not enjoy the same level of awareness or understanding as our marquee GRAMMY brand. Music creators who told us what they wanted from us and what they expected from us, both practically in terms of advocacy and community support, and philosophically in terms of tone and communications.’ The campaign also comes at a time when the Grammys are facing ongoing criticism for what many see as a history of snubbing hip-hop artists and black music more generally, a perception that’s led some to call the awards show irrelevant. In 2017, hip-hop and R&B combined became the most consumed genre in the U.S., driven by streaming and surpassing rock for the first time, and its influence on contemporary music is readily apparent in genres ranging from pop to country. Notably, all of the creators featured in the campaign are significant figures in hip-hop and R&B—in addition to H.E.R. and super producer Swizz Beatz, Chad Hugo is a longtime collaborator of Pharrell Williams, Ann Mincieli has worked for decades with Alicia Keys (to whom Beatz is married), and Rickey Minor spent 10 years as Whitney Houston’s music director (among other high-profile roles).”

3. TOUR DE FRANCE WAS BRIEFLY HALTED AFTER POLICE ACCIDENTALLY SPRAYED CYCLISTS DURING PROTEST: The Tour de France was briefly stopped on Tuesday after police accidentally sprayed cyclists with tear gas during a farmers’ protest. Washington Post: “Tour leaders Geraint Thomas and four-time champion Chris Froome required medical attention after police went to the tear gas when farmers began driving tractors and throwing bales of hay onto the peloton’s path about 18 miles into the roughly 135-mile 16th stage from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon. TV images showed riders pulling over as the race was delayed for about 15 minutes. World champion Peter Sagan also was affected by the spray and poured water over his face. Froome was treated with eye drops and, once it became clear that riders were not being attacked, the race resumed. Farmers often use the visibility offered by the race to protest, and one Tuesday carried a sign that read ‘for the Piege region to live.’ This time, farmers from the Ariege department in southwestern France were protesting the reduction of European Union funding, according to French media. This Tour has been marked by incidents involving Team Sky’s Froome, who is second in the general classification, 1 minute 39 seconds behind teammate Thomas. Froome has been spat at and jostled by spectators protesting his participation in the race. Froome was cleared to ride just before the Tour, upon the completion of an investigation into his alleged use of an asthma drug when he won the Spanish Vuelta.”


COAST TO COAST:  Experiential marketing agency LeadDog Marketing Group has merged with sports and entertainment agency CSM Brands to form CSM LeadDog. CSM LeadDog will remain headquartered in New York, and CSM will have hub offices in Charlotte, Indianapolis, and San Francisco. 

FRANKFURT, GERMANY:  Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants will launch Kimpton Frankfurt, the brand’s first hotel in Germany. The 155-room hotel is slated to open in 2023 and will feature a sky-bar and restaurant on the roof terrace and a 1950s-theme lobby. 

LOS ANGELES:  Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa has unveiled a full renovation featuring new Mediterranean-inspired guestrooms, six cabanas and a revamped main pool, and group activities, including stand-up paddleboard instructions and sandcastle-building. 

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The 33rd International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami is featuring groups from Latin American, Spain, and the U.S. at various venues in Miami-Dade County through July 29. The festival is presented by Teatro Avante, Adrienne Arsht Center, and Miami-Dade County Auditorium. 

NEW YORK:  The 23rd annual Harvest in the Square wine and tasting event will take place September 20 in Union Square Park. The festival will feature chefs from the Union Square restaurants and provide guests with unlimited tastings.

The fourth annual WatchTime New York, a luxury watch event, will take place October 26-27 at Gotham Hall.

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has appointed LeAnn Davis director of sales.

PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE:  Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and ESPN announcer Dick Vitale will be the keynote speaker at the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association’s Mid-Year Conference, which will take place September 26-28 at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa.

SAN FRANCISCO:  Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival will launch its first-ever Grass Lands, a curated cannabis experience that will have educational sessions, product showcases, and a delivery service booth. This year's festival takes place August 10-12. Billboard:

Anthony Dias Blue, the founder and executive director of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and San Francisco International Wine Competition, has formed parent company the Tasting Alliance. The company has also acquired the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition. 

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay has appointed Alain Zhang chef of the Conservatory, the property’s restaurant that serves California cuisine. 

TORONTO:  Brooklyn’s Fuzz Productions and CN Tower have released the CN Tower Viewfinder app, which offers a virtual-reality experience at the observation level of the tower. The app calibrates a user’s location and allows them to scan the skyline and discover more than 90 landmarks and points of interest.

VAIL, COLORADO:  Vail Marriott Mountain Resort is undergoing a $25 million renovation. The first phase of the renovation, which is slated to complete in September, includes a new design inspired by Swiss Chalet architecture and small European towns; complete revamps of the resort’s 350 guest rooms; and reimagined ballrooms and a foyer that are part of its 25,000 square feet of meeting space. The resort will also debut a new outdoor veranda. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  A virtual-reality experience of the Renwick Gallery’s “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” exhibit is available via Sansar through a partnership between Intel and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The partnership is making historic works of art more accessible and aims to expand the reach of the Smithsonian’s arts and exhibits. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Ian Zelaya, and Kristine Liao in New York.

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