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April 14, 2015: N.B.A. Switches to Pepsi as Official Sponsor, Old Spice Stunt Asks Gamers to Control Real Person, How a Toronto Stadium Gets Transformed for Events

1. N.B.A. SWITCHES TO PEPSI AS OFFICIAL SPONSOR: After a nearly 30-year partnership, the N.B.A. has dropped Coca-Cola as its exclusive food and beverage partner in favor of PepsiCo. Fortune: “PepsiCo has put sports at the center of its marketing strategy in recent years. In the U.S., PepsiCo is also the official sponsor of the NHL, the NFL, and Major League Baseball, with Pepsi as the lead brand. … The NBA and PepsiCo have plans for new and expanded content, such as building out the league’s 3-on-3 events, while the food and beverage behemoth will have exclusive rights of association with anything to do with logos and gear on a national level.”

2. OLD SPICE STUNT ASKS GAMERS TO CONTROL REAL PERSON: Old Spice is inviting gamers who use the social video platform Twitch to control the actions of a real person who is spending three days in a forest. Adweek: “Beginning Thursday at 10 a.m. PT, visitors to will use the site's chat feature to send commands to the man to perform. Users will work together to unlock achievements or activities for Nature Man. ('Arm wrestle an obviously fake bear? Hear stories from a wise tree? Stumble across interesting and good smelling characters? The scenarios are endless—and completely up to the participating gamers,' says Wieden + Kennedy, which built the experience.)”

3. HOW A TORONTO STADIUM GETS TRANSFORMED FOR EVENTS: Toronto’s Rogers Centre, home of baseball’s Blue Jays, invested in new artificial turf for the start of the season. Converting the flooring from concrete to faux grass is a carefully choreographed process that takes about 40 hours to complete. Toronto Life: “The fuzzy green carpet went down for the first time at the end of March, after Disney’s redundantly titled Frozen on Ice cleared out of Rogers Centre ahead of the start of baseball season. Here’s a step-by-step look at the surprisingly exacting process of turning a concrete floor into a lush, playable field of fake grass.”


COAST TO COAST:  The British Academy of Film and Television Arts will host events in New York and Los Angeles as part of its “Brits to Watch: The Screenings” event series that aims to introduce British talent to the United States film industry. On April 21 director John Maclean will be guest of honor at a dinner in New York, where his debut feature film, Slow West, will screen at the Tribeca Film Festival. He will also screen the film at an event in Los Angeles on April 23.

BOSTON:  Jazz Week will take place April 24-May 3 at several venues. The week will offer events including a "Jazz Walking Tour" in Roxbury and a “Jazz Fashion Show.”

CHICAGO:  Lincoln Park Zoo's fifth annual Zoo-ologie is scheduled for May 9. Dubbed “Macaque Masquerade,” the event will offer snacks from some 20 local restaurants.

LAS VEGAS:  Ringing Brothers and Barnum & Bailey will present Circus Xtreme at the Thomas & Mack Center, with seven shows June 11-14.

LOS ANGELES:  Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau has announced changes to its senior leadership team. Harriet Porter has been promoted to vice president of convention sales. Christina Dawson has taken on a new role as vice president of operations. Colleen Cornett will become director of partnership development. And Steve Rathje will transition to build a business intelligence team within the marketing department.

Classic Party Rentals provided rentals for the recent Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival as the exclusive tenting and lighting provider and preferred furnishing supplier for the seventh year in a row.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Miami Dade Animal Services and Heather Glassman are hosting a pet-friendly brunch April 25 at the District Miami. The event will offer on-site pet adoptions.

NEW YORK:  IMG announced that New York Fashion Week will relocate from Lincoln Center to Skylight at Moynihan Station and Skylight Clarkson Square this September. New York:

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Daredevil Nik Wallenda will walk atop the 400-foot Orlando Eye observation wheel as it spins for the grand opening of the I-Drive 360 entertainment and dining complex on April 29. Glickman Productions is producing the event, which will also include a private party with the band MPiRE and a pyrotechnic finale.

PHILADELPHIA:  The 34th annual Clean Air Council's Run for Clean Air presented by Toyota Hybrids is slated for April 18 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps. The event—certified as a green run by AFitPlanet—includes a new 10K race this year as well as eco-friendly race swag, a pre-run yoga stretch, and post-race organic treats.

TORONTO:  The Bata Shoe Museum will host its 20th anniversary gala, produced by Candice & Alison, on May 7.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s annual National Tribute Dinner will be held Wednesday at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park. F.B.I. director James Comey will deliver keynote remarks at the event, which is expected to draw about 1,000 guests.

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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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