October 11, 2017: American Express and TNT Form New N.B.A. Sponsorship Deal, How Austin City Limits Handled Festival Anxiety After Vegas Attack, Twitter Debuts New Feature That Curates Tweets About Live Events

By Ian Zelaya October 11, 2017, 8:29 AM EDT

1. AMERICAN EXPRESS AND TNT FORM NEW N.B.A. SPONSORSHIP DEAL: Just ahead of the 2017-18 N.B.A. season, TNT has formed a new multiyear marketing deal with American Express that will involve the financial services company sponsoring traveling activations. Advertising Age: “Amex is returning as the halftime sponsor for each matchup in TNT's expanded 67-game regular-season NBA coverage, marking the third year the financial services company will back up Turner's pro hoops showcase. As it has since 2015, Amex will also continue to sponsor the halftime shows in TNT's telecast of the NBA All-Star Game and each of its playoff games. In a new wrinkle, Amex will serve as the presenting sponsor of the NBA on TNT Road Show, a series of on-site events that includes interactive fan experiences, food trucks, pop-up stores and a musical performance by Snoop Dogg. The first TNT Road Show lifts off in San Francisco on Tuesday, Oct. 17, as the defending champs Golden State Warriors host the Houston Rockets on opening night. But in what is perhaps most the most significant development, the various facets of casting talent, developing creative and placing the resulting executions will be centralized under the recently-formed Turner Sports Ignite marketing unit.”

2. HOW AUSTIN CITY LIMITS HANDLED FESTIVAL ANXIETY AFTER VEGAS ATTACK: This year's Austin City Limits festival kicked off this past weekend, just a little more than a week after a gunman opened fire on attendees at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. The annual Austin, Texas, music event has taken a number of safety measures, gave the option of attendee refunds, and offered hope in the form of live music. Billboard: “Across the board, people expressed a sense of safety in the liberal hub of Austin and especially at the festival, which is removed from the sightlines of any buildings tall enough to harbor an active shooter. Additionally, ACL underwent stringent safety checks in light of the events in Vegas, according to a statement issued by Austin Police Chief Brian Manley on Oct. 2. 'There will be large number of officers in a concentrated area at this festival,' he said. 'Actually, from that perspective, it’s going to be the safest part of the city to be in during both weekends just because of the sheer numbers of officers that will be present.' Despite those assurances, ACL Fest offered an unprecedented no-questions-asked refund option to ticketholders in the event of any reservations about attending. Organizers informed Billboard on Sunday that refunds were minimal and, in fact, were exceeded by week-of ticket sales. ... Several performing musicians likewise spoke candidly about defying such fears by upholding live music as a cornerstone of human empathy; JAY-Z reminded fans Friday night that 'love will always conquer hate'; Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea referred to it during the band’s Saturday headlining set as 'a big fucking bubble of love that protects us all the time'; Vegas group the Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers encouraged people to '[never] let any motherfucker get in the way of what you wanna do'; and rapper Ice Cube took the most head-on tone with his Saturday evening statement: 'I'm so happy to be here showing the world that we aren't scared of that bullshit in Las Vegas. I'm glad y'all came … because it's nothing but love here.'"

3. TWITTER DEBUTS NEW FEATURE THAT CURATES TWEETS ABOUT LIVE EVENTS: Twitter has launched “Happening Now,” a new feature designed to showcase tweets about events. TechCrunch: “Moments, too, offers a way to learn more about a given timely topic across a number of categories, like Sports, News and Entertainment. But Twitter Moments are a curated selection of tweets that tell a story, while Happening Now will take users to a dedicated timeline of tweets related to the event at hand. Moments are also often more visual, featuring images and videos, which is why they’ve been likened to Twitter’s version of Snapchat or Instagram’s ‘Stories.’ n a demo of the new feature posted to the official @Twitter account, there are Happening Now events for MLB, NBA, and NFL games shown at the top of the Twitter timeline. You can swipe horizontally through these events, each depicted with a title (e.g. ‘NFL Giants vs. Buccaneers’) and an image. When you tap into a game to see more, the current score appears at the top of a customized timeline containing real-time tweets about the event. Twitter, of course, already offers ways to tune into live events via its network, including via its live video streams of an event, as well as by following an event’s hashtag – like #wwdc for Apple’s Developer conference, for instance. Happening Now, though, builds on top of Twitter’s understanding of how to sort tweets associated with an event, like live video. The tweets will display algorithmically in these new custom Happening Now timelines.”


The International Live Events Association has announced Minneapolis as the location of its flagship annual event, ILEA Live, in 2019. The event will take place August 8-10, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. 

Global brand experience provider Freeman has introduced Fuzion by Freeman, an open technology platform that acts as a foundation between digital solutions and establishes a common language that allows them to communicate. Fuzion aims to increase attendee experience and satisfaction, provide flexibility and enable event technology adoption, and save time and resources by simplifying technology integration. 


COAST TO COAST:  Hot 99.5's annual Hot 99.5 Jingle Ball will take place December 11 at the Capital One Arena in Washington. The seasonal event is part of the national iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour presented by Capital One—meant to capture the holiday spirit of the iHeartRadio app—which travels to Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa, and Miami. Performers will include Fall Out Boy, Kesha, Logic, Halsey, and Zedd. The official charity of the event is the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, which is dedicated to inspiring children through entertainment and education-focused initiatives.

Wyndham Hotel Group has added more than 370,000 square feet of meeting space in 2017, with the openings of new properties including Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach, Wye River, a Dolce Conference Center, and Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Springs, a Dolce Resort. The company also plans to open the Summit, a Dolce Hotel, in Cincinnati in 2018, which will offer 22,000 square feet of meeting space. 

BOSTON:  Eventide Fenway, Big Tree Hospitality’s fourth restaurant and first Boston location, is now open on Boylston Street. The restaurant offers a seafood-driven menu from chefs/owners Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley. 

CHICAGO:  The Advertising Research Foundation will host a half-day conference, Shopper Insights Part 2: Grocery Isn’t Dead, It’s at Your Doorstep, on Thursday at Google Chicago. 

The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art’s next Expo Chicago will take place September 27-30, 2018, at Navy Pier. 

LOS ANGELES:  The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic will take place Saturday at Will Rogers State Historic Park. 

The Open Hearts Foundation will hold its 2017 Open Hearts Gala in Beverly Hills on October 21.

AdoptTogether will hold its seventh annual Baby Ball Gala in celebration of World Adoption Day on October 21. The benefit, which will feature a silent auction, a DJ, and carnival-like games, will take place at NeueHouse Hollywood.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Christiana Menassa has been appointed executive chef of the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village.

NEW YORK:  Estiatorio Milos, a Mediterranean-inspired seafood restaurant from chef/owner Costas Spiliadis, has won the 2017 Concierge Choice Awards’s International Cuisine category. 

Exhibit and event marketing company MC2 has appointed Aaron Miller executive creative director.

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  The Creative City Project's annual arts event has been renamed Immerse and will take place October 21 in the streets and public spaces of downtown Orlando. The event will include 1,000 performers and interactive installations and expects to attract more than 25,000 attendees. 

Lowe & Behold, which specializes in floral and design work for the social event market, has acquired Max King Events, which provides themed entertainment staging and scenery for the corporate market. 

TORONTO:  This year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair will take place November 3-12 at Exhibition Place. The annual equestrian competition will feature horse shows, culinary events, and more than 300 vendors. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Graham Georgetown will join the Tapestry Collection by Hilton in early 2018. The seven-story hotel has 57 guest rooms. 

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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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