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August 10, 2016: How Brands Are Building Olympic Enthusiasm Despite U.S.O.C. Rules, Why More Magazines Are Hosting Their Own Pop Culture Festivals, There's a Decrease in Beauty Sponsors at the Rio Olympics

1. HOW BRANDS ARE BUILDING OLYMPIC ENTHUSIASM DESPITE U.S.O.C. RULES: Brands that aren’t official Olympic sponsors can get into big trouble by discussing the Summer Games on social media because of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s strict brand usage guidelines. However, many brands including Ford, General Mills, and Google have been able to generate enthusiasm about the Olympics by not explicitly mentioning the event. Adweek: “Ford's campaign for its 2017 Ford Escape SUV, "We are All Fans," includes TV and Snapchat ads that don't use any banned terminology but still allude to the Olympics. The ads show a guy performing a pommel horse routine on top of his Ford Escape, and a weightlifter loading boxes into the back of her SUV. To promote the removal of artificial flavors and colors from its cereals, General Mills launched the Rabbit Showdown, a campaign that's a tribute to the famous Trix rabbit. The Rabbit Showdown video and tweets feature rabbits performing Olympic sports like gymnastics, track and field, and diving, and invite fans to submit videos of their pet rabbits' ‘amazing athletic talents.’ Since nonsponsors are banned from using hashtags that include Olympics trademarks, Oiselle, an athletic apparel company that sponsors Olympic hopefuls but is not an official sponsor, uses #TheBigEvent to refer to the games. In one of its blog posts, the company referred to the Olympics as the ‘South American rodeo.’ … On Wednesday, Previnex, a nutritional supplement company that sponsors five Olympic athletes but is not an official sponsor, is doing an Instagram takeover with Kristin Hildebrand, a U.S. pro volleyball player not on the Olympic team, who will post behind-the-scenes looks at the games from Rio. Previnex also is using other individuals, who are free to tweet about the Olympics, to post about the games on its behalf. After the USOC's blackout period ends on Aug. 24, any content is fair game, so Previnex will post videos using Olympics footage and the athletes it sponsors in a post-games wrap-up.”

2. WHY MAGAZINES ARE HOSTING THEIR OWN POP CULTURE FESTIVALS: In an effort to generate a new source of revenue and highlight live journalism, more magazines including New York, Entertainment Weekly, and Complex are relying on experiences found in their pop culture festivals. Forbes: "The anatomy of a pop culture festival is relatively consistent across all publishers: catchy and nostalgic music, high-quality food, unexpected laughs and pragmatic activism, with a healthy dose of celebrity. The 'editorially-driven' component means that staff writers and editors not only curate the programming themselves, but are also onsite introducing and/or interviewing their special guests, creating what is essentially a living newspaper. More tangible than Snapchat and Facebook Live, these festivals aim not only to connect editorial staff more directly with digital readers, but also to revamp the tired, old-fashioned business models of newsrooms past. Particularly for OZY, a digitally-native news outlet that launched in 2013 and held its inaugural OZY Fusion Fest last month, live events round out the company’s multimedia business model, while driving its mission of converting observation into action. … Most importantly, while they seem to target millennials with ever-shortening attention spans, pop culture festivals are far from one-hit wonders. OZY has made a five-year commitment to OZY Fusion Fest, while the Vulture Festival, which last took place in May 2016, has already been running for three years. In fact, publishers as diverse as the New York Times, Recode and the digitally-native Quartz are already organizing several annual conferences around the world and extending their brand beyond the physical and digital homepage, for both readers and advertisers. If recent numbers are any indication, these conferences and festivals also attract big bucks. The meetings sector alone contributes more than $115 billion to the U.S. GDP and accounts for more than 15% of direct domestic spending on travel and tourism, according to PwC. Former New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan valuated the newspaper’s conference enterprise at $20 million. The question that remains is whether the rise in editorial festivals can save journalism’s unfavorable economics from itself—or whether such events can even qualify as 'journalism' in the first place."

3. THERE'S A DECREASE IN BEAUTY SPONSORS AT THE RIO OLYMPICS: While beauty brands have a rich history of sponsoring female Olympic athletes, there's a noticeable decrease in sponsored athletes at the Rio Games. And the trend, which is also reflected in general sponsors, might be because of high-profile Olympians including Lance Armstrong and Michael Phelps, who've lost endorsement deals. Yahoo: "As it is, Olympians are a high-risk endorsement. Their viability peaks in the small window of time leading up to the competition, during the Games and right after the Olympics end, unlike a traditional celebrity deal that has one or two years of high visibility. 'You’re trying to catch lightning in a bottle—it’s difficult enough to pick athletes who fit your brand and campaign, and then you have to take a chance on them coming through and winning the gold medal,' says Bob Williams, the CEO of Burns Entertainment and Sports. Procter & Gamble has been the biggest beauty player to take that chance in recent history, blanketing the 2008 and 2012 women’s gymnastics team with ads for a slew of its most popular brands, including CoverGirl, Olay, Secret and Pantene—and highlighting Gabby Douglas in particular across all platforms at the last Summer Olympics, in 2012, when she magically went on to capture the gold. This time, P&G featured just one brand with a gymnast, and Douglas is that golden girl. While fellow competitor Simone Biles may be giving her a run for her money on the mat, Biles doesn’t yet have the name and face recognition that still makes Douglas the most coveted endorsement prize. The one-brand partnership between Douglas and Gillette Venus Swirl pairs her with its latest marketing innovation. The razor operates with a multidimensional 'Flexiball' to help get around tricky areas like the knees and ankles, and the 'Moves Like No Other' campaign with Douglas is intended to emphasize her own legendary ability to, well, move like no other."


ATLANTA:  Music Midtown will take place September 17-18 at Piedmont Park. The lineup includes the Killers, Twenty One Pilots, Beck, Alabama Shakes, and Kesha.

BOSTON:  Harbinger Development has filed plans with the Boston Redevelopment Authority to open a Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites at the Boston Marine Industrial Park entrance. The 411-room dual concept hotel is slated to open in 2019. Boston Business Journal:

CHICAGO:  The West Town Food Truck Social has partnered with the West Town Art Walk for a food and art festival September 30-October 1.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI:  Visit KC has announced nine major convention bookings from 2017-2022. Conventions include USA Weightlifting's 2017 National Junior Championships from February 23-26, Life Leadership in April 2017, and the Enactus 2017 USA International Expo.

LAS VEGAS:  Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival has released the music lineup for the event, which will run from September 23-25 in downtown Las Vegas. It includes Mumford & Sons, J. Cole, Major Lazer, the Lumineers, G-Eazy, the Shins, Flume, Empire of the Sun, Jane’s Addiction, and more.

Working together with the Cosmopolitan, Spiegelworld will take over and re-imagine the former ballroom space in Rose Rabbit Lie to create a new venue for the show Absinthe.

LOS ANGELES:  APLA Health & Bonhams will host the sixth annual Art Project Los Angeles art auction and reception on September 17.

The third annual Eastside Food Festival will return to Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake on October 2.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Colombian restaurant and bar Kukaramakara has moved from Brickell to downtown Miami, at 900 Biscayne Boulevard. 

In 2017, Menin Hospitality Group plans to open an Al's diner-style restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Firestone on Alton Road. The city’s design review board has approved a mixed-use retail and restaurant development with outdoor café seating and a take-out window on 16th Street. The Real Deal:

NEW YORK:  Eco-friendly theater festival Planet Connections Theatre Festivity will end its season with an annual awards ceremony on Sunday at Cherry Lane Theatre. The event honors productions and individuals that demonstrated artistic excellence and environmental responsibility at this year's festival, which took place June 13-July 10 at the Paradise Factory.

The 54th New York Film Festival—which runs September 30-October 16, and is presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center—has announced 25 films for its main slate lineup. Along with opening night documentary The 13th directed by Ava DuVernay, films include Olivier Assayas' Personal Shopper starring Kristen Stewart, Neruda directed by Pablo Larraín, and the animated My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea, which features characters voiced by Lena Dunham and Maya Rudolph.

Triple Canopy's fall benefit will take place November 16 at Jing Fong, honoring Julie Ault.

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

PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE:  Venues of North Scottsdale has added a 33,000-square-foot airport hangar to its portfolio. The hangar, located in the Scottsdale Airport, can seat as many as 2,000 for dinners.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO:  The El San Juan Hotel & Casino has announced that it will undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation beginning on Monday, resulting in a temporary closure. The upcoming property-wide transformation, which is expected to be completed in early 2017, will include thorough renovations to the guest rooms, pool area, meeting spaces, food and beverage venues, and spa and fitness facilities.

SAN FRANCISCO:  The Bentley Reserve will debut a Mother's Room space for breastfeeding mothers. The private room will feature magazines, free Wi-Fi, a mini-fridge, and can be reserved for $300 per day for those attending a meeting or event at the venue.

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts has announced that the Waldorf Astoria San Francisco will be the centerpiece of a 2,000,000-square-foot mixed use complex in Transbay. The hotel will take up the first 21 stories of a tower designed by Foster & Partners.

TORONTO:  Sean Penn will be the honoree at Artists for Peace and Justice's eighth annual benefit, the Bovet 1822 Artists for Peace and Justice 2016 Festival Fair, which will take place on September 11 during the Toronto International Film Festival, at a venue to be announced. A.P.J is a non-profit organization that encourages peace and social justice and addresses issues of poverty around the world with an immediate focus on supporting the poorest communities in Haiti.

The 19th annual Hot & Spicy Food Festival will take place August 19-21 at Harbourfront Centre.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts will present its annual fund-raising Wolf Trap Ball on September 16 on the Filene Center stage at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna. Hosted in cooperation with the National Park Service, this year’s event celebrates the National Park Service Centennial and proceeds will benefit the Wolf Trap Foundation.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Carla Hay, Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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