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January 29, 2015: Events Create Excitement for Super Bowl Ads, Cracking Down on Grammy Ticket Scalping, F.C.C. Rules Against Hotels Blocking Wi-Fi Access

1. EVENTS CREATE EXCITEMENT FOR SUPER BOWL ADS: Brands like Pepsi and Doritos are using an events to build excitement for their Super Bowl commercials. The event marketing strategy is intended to maximize their investment of $4.5 million for a 30-second ad during the big game. The New York Times: “‘If you want to be part of pop culture, then you have to be part of the biggest event in the country,’ said Simon Lowden, Pepsi’s chief marketing officer for North American beverages. … The idea this year was to try to bring the excitement surrounding the show to different places across the country, staging events to create material for commercials as well as for people to share their experiences on social media. The brand’s efforts included more than 40 promotional activities.”

2. CRACKING DOWN ON GRAMMY TICKET SCALPING: With the Grammy awards coming up February 8, the Recording Academy is cracking down on ticket scalping, filing a lawsuit against one particular scalper who previously got in trouble for selling scalped tickets to the Oscars. Hollywood Reporter: “Grammy Awards tickets are said to be distributed on a restricted basis only to dues-paying members, promotional and sponsorship partners. The lawsuit claims that the scalping creates a likelihood of confusion as to whether the Recording Academy is endorsing and approving the sale as well as interfering with its goodwill and reputation by interfering with the glamour and exclusivity associated with the awards ceremony.”

3. F.C.C. RULES AGAINST HOTELS BLOCKING WI-FI ACCESS: Days after Marriott dropped its effort to block Internet access for guests using personal Wi-Fi hot spots, the Federal Communications Commission rules that the practice is illegal. CNET: “Any company that attempts to block a Wi-Fi hotspot willfully or with malicious intent will face the possibility of being leveled with ‘substantial monetary penalties,’ the FCC said in a statement on Tuesday. The government agency specifically mentioned hotels and convention centers, which it says, have been engaging in the blockade of personal Wi-Fi hotspots.”


BOSTON:  The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is hosting a series of colonial-era-theme “Tavern Nights” in February, March, and April. The events will include 18th-century tunes, games, and a Paul Revere impersonator. Eater:

CHICAGO:  Labriola Ristorante & Cafe opens on Michigan Avenue today. The venue has a private dining room that seats 32 guests.

LAS VEGAS:  The New Tropicana Las Vegas—a DoubleTree by Hilton announced its plans for Wi-Fi technology throughout the property. Starting in March, both wired and wireless Internet access will be available in its 100,000 square feet of convention space, including the new Trinidad Pavilion, and its 1,467 guest rooms and suites.

LOS ANGELES:  The 14th annual DIY Convention: Do It Yourself in Film, Music & Books, produced by JM Northern Media, is slated for March 6-7.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  La Nuit en Rosé, a wine festival dedicated to rosé, is Friday and Saturday at Miami Beach Edition.

NEW YORK:  Caterer Mary Giuliani has written her first book, The Cocktail Party: Love, Mary: Eat, Drink, Play, Recover (Ballantine Books). It's now available for presale on Amazon.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

PHOENIX:  Bounce Sporting Club will host "Super Sunday Funday” in Glendale on Sunday. Hosted by Nick Cannon, the Super Bowl party will take over Calico Jack’s Cantina and offer cocktails, food stations, DJ tunes, and samples of the bar's signature Banana Jameson shots.

SAN FRANCISCO:  Mourad, a Moroccan restaurant, is now open on New Montgomery Street. The restaurant offers sharable plates of short ribs, lamb shoulder, and branzino.

TORONTO:  The Artist Project, a contemporary art fair, will host its opening-night party on February 19.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The 184-room Radisson Largo Maryland was sold and will be renovated and reflagged as the DoubleTree by Hilton Largo/Washington D.C., effective May 1. The renovation will include upgrades to the meeting rooms, guest rooms, public space, and food and beverage outlets, as well as a new outdoor social space with a fire pit. Frontier Development & Hospitality Group acquired the hotel and Crescent Hotels & Resorts will manage the property.

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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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