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NEW YORK Fans of the Marvel comic and 2016 film Deadpool know Sister Mary Margaret’s School for Wayward Children as a former Catholic boarding house that was turned into a bar, which doubles as a dispatch center where the irreverent, foul-mouthed superhero Deadpool—portrayed by Ryan Reynolds in the film—and other mercenaries accept private jobs.
Recently, Mike’s Harder and 20th Century Fox gave fans a chance to experience Marvel's fictional New York setting in real life as part of a partnership between the alcoholic beverage brand and the upcoming sequel Deadpool 2.
Mike’s Harder had partnered with the first Deadpool film, offering fans limited edition cans, consumer sweepstakes, and a product appearance in the film. Sarah Dabold, senior manager of brand experience for Mike’s Harder, said for the sequel, the brand wanted to take the partnership a step further by hosting consumer experiences.
“The partnership makes so much sense to us because when we think about the personality of the Harder brand, Deadpool has so much synergy with our brand. They’re both really bold, unapologetic, provocative, and edgy,” said Dabold. “We know this movie has such avid fans. We wanted to give them a chance to feel like they were part of the movie and recreate the bar in a Mike's Harder way.”
The first pop-up took place April 26-28 at Alligator Lounge in Brooklyn, while the second will take place May 10 to 12 at the Slipper Clutch in Los Angeles. The West Coast pop-up will be hosted by and benefit the DTLA Film Festival. Attendees could R.S.V.P. to both pop-ups in advance.
“We picked venues that had the same grit and edge to Sister Margaret’s,” Dabold said. At Alligator Lounge, the Mike’s Harder team along with creative branding agency Henry Agency designed the bar to have activities and decor inspired by the film. Actors dressed as mercenaries interacted with guests, who were able to participate in a game of pool and Skee-Ball, which is a nod to Wade Wilson—Deadpool’s real name—and his fiancée Vanessa’s first date.
The bar featured a prop replica of the bar’s “Dead Pool”—where Deadpool and fellow mercenaries place bets on who they think is going to die—and a painting of Deadpool and the sequel’s villain Cable (Josh Brolin) provided by 20th Century Fox. Debold also noted that the pop-up served guests Deadpool-theme pizza and the Los Angeles edition will serve guests chimichangas—the character’s favorite food.
As part of the partnership, Dabold said that exclusive Mike’s Harder and Deadpool content is airing in 1,300 theaters in the U.S., and they are holding a consumer sweepstake for fans to win a trip to the premiere on May 14 in New York. Deadpool 2 premieres nationwide May 18.