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December 16, 2015: Taylor Swift Heads List of Top Concerts of 2015, Mall Gives Santa a Fashionable Makeover, Butterfinger Uses Skydiving Stunt to Announce Super Bowl Campaign

1. TAYLOR SWIFT HEADS LIST OF TOP CONCERTS OF 2015: According to StubHub, Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour was the top-selling concert of the year, followed by Garth Brooks, Billy Joel, and U2. The Wall Street Journal: “Although there are many variables that can go into looking at top tours—such as number of shows played, number of seats available, and face value for tickets—the rankings below were determined by total sales in dollars throughout the year on StubHub. The company declined to release the specific dollar amounts. StubHub did, however, release a few isolated numbers that yield interesting data about the year’s top concerts. The Grateful Dead were able to make it into the Top 10 with just five shows and commanded the highest average ticket price at $360. Swift and Joel averaged the most tickets listed daily, at 67,000 and 48,000 per day, respectively.”

2. MALL GIVES SANTA A FASHIONABLE MAKEOVER: A mall has reinvented Santa Claus, dropping the bowl full of jelly and traditional red and white suit in favor of a svelte, fashion-forward look (the bushy white beard has stayed). So-called “Fashion Santa,” created by Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, poses for pictures just like regular Santa, but he also has a charitable component. Quartz: “As part of its Fashion Santa holiday campaign, the Yorkdale mall will donate $1 to the SickKids Foundation for every selfie posted using the hashtag #YorkdaleFashionSanta, up to a total of $10,000. So far, it seems to be off to a good start.”

3. BUTTERFINGER USES SKYDIVING STUNT TO ANNOUNCE SUPER BOWL CAMPAIGN: Butterfinger could have sent out a press release or had a press conference to announce its return to Super Bowl advertising. Instead, the candy bar brand staged a stunt in which a professional skydiver jumped 12,000 feet to deliver the news, with the footage streamed live on Periscope. Adweek: "We thought long and hard about the best way to broadcast this fun-filled announcement, and we wanted to go as bold as possible, which led us to a live broadcast via Periscope," said Butterfinger marketing manager Kristen Mandel. "We wanted to get everyone's attention and get them thinking about what makes eating a Butterfinger bold and unlike any other eating experience."


Microsoft's Bing Pulse has rebranded as Microsoft Pulse. The self-service online voting and audience engagement tool has added features for event and conference users including easier integration of Pulse into personal event websites, the ability to use Pulse with as many as 10,000 users, and simple data downloading into Excel or PowerBI to analyze results.


BOSTON:  Boston Ballet will host a New Year’s Eve celebration featuring a performance of The Nutcracker, champagne carts, Viennese waltz music, and a confetti cannon.

CHICAGO:  The 11th annual "Tickled Pink for Bright Pink" will take place at Morgan Manufacturing on February 19. The benefit was founded by Paramount Events principal Jodi Fyfe; this year it will feature chef stations, live music, and a raffle.

HOUSTON:  Scot Cotton has been appointed general manager of the Marriott Marquis Houston. The new 1,000-room hotel is slated to open in October.

LAS VEGAS:  Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley will co-host the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards, slated to return to the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3.

LOS ANGELES:  People and the Entertainment Industry Foundation will once again co-host the official SAG Awards gala, held immediately following the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 30. Tony Schubert of Event Eleven will design and produce the gala for the eighth consecutive year.

Local event listings from the new Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Former Speaker of the U.S. House John Boehner will deliver the keynote address during the 2016 National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual Meeting on April 19. The event will take place at the Breakers resort in Palm Beach.

NEW YORK:  To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Max's Kansas City, the Cutting Room will host a tribute concert to Velvet Underground and Lou Reed on January 14.

The New York Pops 33rd Birthday Gala will take place May 2 at the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall. The event will honor Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, the songwriting team behind Miss Saigon and Les Misérables.

Local event listings from the new Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel has named Isa Lee as its newest account director, with responsibility for accounts in the Southeast market.

SAN FRANCISCO:  Alamo Drafthouse Cinema opens this week. The movie theater has its own bar and restaurant, and hosts employee outings, corporate presentations, team-building activities, and other types of events.

The Axiom Hotel is slated to open in Union Square this winter. The 152-room boutique hotel will combine contemporary design with urban artwork inspired by the city.

TORONTO:  Erin Kang, the events manager at the Centre for Social Innovation, has a new series of storytelling events called Stories of Ours. The Star:

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Events by AndrĂ© Wells designed two benefits for Lungevity: the Celebration of Hope Gala, held October 14 at the Pierre Hotel in New York, and the Musical Celebration of Hope Gala at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington on October 23.

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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, Anna Sekula, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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