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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Super Bowl XLI - Colts-Bears draws No. 3 Audience Of All Time

Colts-Bears draws No. 3 audience of all time
NFL.com wire reports

NEW YORK (Feb. 5, 2007) -- Peyton Manning had a lot of witnesses to his soggy super victory, with the estimated 93.2 million viewers representing the second most-watched Super Bowl broadcast ever.

Only the 1996 Super Bowl between Dallas and Pittsburgh, which had 94.1 million viewers, had a bigger audience, according to Nielsen Media Research on Monday. Behind that 1996 game and the M*A*S*H series finale, Super Bowl XLI was the third most-watched program in television history.

The presence of one of the game's most popular players in Manning, the Indianapolis Colts' quarterback and a major-market team from Chicago undoubtedly juiced the ratings.

It was the highest-rated Super Bowl game since St. Louis-Tennessee in 2000. The viewership is higher this year even though the ratings are lower than in 2000 because there are more homes now with television sets.

The Colts beat the Bears 29-17 in a game played during a driving rainstorm in Miami. It was shown on CBS, a division of CBS Corp.

The Super Bowl last year between Pittsburgh and Seattle drew 90.7 million viewers.

Despite the huge audience, the Super Bowl didn't provide much of a jolt to the CBS drama Criminal Minds, which was given the choice time slot following the game. Criminal Minds was seen by 26.2 million viewers. While that's the biggest audience the second-year show has ever delivered, it dwarfs the 38.1 million people who saw Grey's Anatomy after ABC's telecast of the game last year.

According to another measuring service, the most-watched moment of the CBS broadcast wasn't Manning's lone touchdown pass, the interception and touchdown run by Kelvin Hayden or even Prince's electrifying halftime show. It was the Bud Light ad featuring Carlos Mencia and a language class, according to Tivo.

The digital recorder company's measurement includes not only people who watched the commercial live, but those who froze the set and went back and watched the commercial, said Todd Juenger, vice president and general manager for audience research.

More viewers with digital recorders tend to replay the Super Bowl commercials than game action perhaps because broadcasters offer plenty of replays of game action on their own, he said.

The most popular minute of the actual game, representing most Tivo replays, was after a personal foul was committed following an Indianapolis kickoff in the third quarter, he said.

The Associated Press News Service

Monday, February 19, 2007

Super Bowl XLI Ad Review Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3: SF American Marketing Association

I attended this meeting of the San Francisco Chapter of the American Marketing Association on the invitation of my friend Beth. It is an informative and entertaining look at ads from the 41st Super Bowl game, and by ad and marketing professionals based in the San Francisco Bay Area. What follows is an entertaining three-part video series of this discussion.

As far as I've seen, this is the only online presentation of a full panel review on the Internet, so take advantage of it, and pass the link to it on to your friends and co-workers.

As for Super Bowl XLI, it was the third-most-watched tv program in the history of television. According to USA Today, CBS' Super Bowl XLI drew 93.2 million fans for the second-most-watched game ever — behind the 94.1 million who tuned in to the 1996 Cowboys-Steelers contest — and the third-most-watched telecast (the 1983 M*A*S*H finale drew 106 million). Last year's game: 90.7 million.

Here's the SF AMA's description of the meeting, followed by the videos in series:

As Super Bowl XLI is poised to return to sunny South Florida for the ninth time in 2007, the TV commercials surrounding the game will be all the talk on Monday.

We will hear whether companies' Super Bowl TV commercials have generated the "water cooler" conversation? Marketers dropped more than $150 million on Super Bowl commercials in 2006, but will the spots be good enough to make viewers want to speak out, tell others, discuss it on a blog or post a comment online? Did my $2.6 million ad create a buzz or blog comment? With new metrics on analyzing buzz, was the buzz positive or negative? Super Bowl draws around 140 million viewers for all or part of the game, but is the cost worth it? Do companies reach their intended audience? What about ROI?

Are companies getting more sophisticated in tracking their ads and ad dollars or do companies view a $2.6 million Super Bowl ad as a branding exercise? Come hear a panel of industry professionals discuss the pros and cons of Super Bowl ads at the San Francisco American Marketing Association February 8 event.

Dante Lombardi -- Executive Vice President, Group Creative Director - McCann Erickson San Francisco
Paul Venables - Founder and Co-Creative Director -- Venables Bell & Partners
David L. Smith - CEO -- Mediasmith Inc.
Paula Storti - Managing Director -- Worldwalk Media
Mike Mazza - Executive Creative Director -- JWT
Rick Quan - CBS 5 Sports Anchor -- CBS 5 (less)

Video Part One

Video Part Two

Video Part Three

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

How to Pick A Super Bowl Party - Zennie Abraham's Criteria For Selecting A Super Bowl Party

With every Super Bowl Game in a "host city" comes Super Bowl Parties. From Maxim to Playboy to Leigh Steinberg, there are at times too many parties. There were over 1,000 in Miami, the host city for Super Bowl XLI. How does one determine which parties to go to? Read on for help from a Super Bowl verteran. Me: Zennie Abraham, CEO of Sports Business Simulations , has attended five Super Bowls, and counting.

I also headed the effort to bring the 2005 Super Bowl to Oakland. (Oakland lost to Jacksonville on the third ballot vote of NFL owners.)

I felt compelled to write this after my great Miami Super Bowl experience, where I went to six parties, and didn't pay a dime. That's what maintaining good relationships gets you. But I digress, here's my guide. (Which can also apply to the NBA All Star game, by the way.)

Things You'll Need

Here's what you need to know about a Super Bowl Party. First, location. Where's it at. Second, how much does it cost to attend? Third, has it been done before. Beyond that, here's a step by step plan.


STEP 1: Is PDiddy or another celebrity's name on it? If so, don't go to the party. Why? Because celebs who's names are part of the party name sometimes don't show up. Meanwhile, you're dealing with a lot of people in a crowded place waiting for that person to show. Save your money. I made this mistake in Detroit in 2006, when PDiddy himself failed to come to a Super Bowl Party with his name on it. But the place -- the Elylisium Lounge -- was so packed, the fire marshal threatened to shut the party down three times.

STEP 2: Does the party have free food? The best Super Bowl parties all have free food; the PDiddy party had no food at all. If you have to pay for food, don't go. There's no excuse other than poor planning for a lack of free food. If you have to pay for the party, you should expect that the caterer has been secured and paid. Plus, eating is a great way to cut down the impact of any cocktail you may consume. Which brings me to this point...

STEP 3: Are the drinks free? Again, if you're paying a lot to go to a party, the drinks should be free. That's a basic Super Bowl Party rule. If you go to the Playboy, Maxim, or Leigh Steinberg parties, the drinks are free. Don't even think of going to a Super Bowl party where you have to pay for drinks, unless the party itself is free of charge.

STEP 4: Is the party in a central location? Where is the party located? If it's in a downtown location, well served by cabs, and all of the other criteria for a Super Bowl Party are met, then go to the party. But if it's located way out in some suburban location where the cabs call once every 20 years, forget it. The best Super Bowl parties are the easiest to get to. Now, I'll place a word in for some very exclusive parties that are way out in a suburban location. I've been to a few of them, and given the celebs in attendance, I can understand. This was true for a party I attended at the Doral Country Club. But then cabs do serve at places like the Doral, so my basic rule applies -- it must be a place cabs call to.

STEP 5: Is there one party price? What's the price of the party? Is there one price or a level of prices? If there's a level of prices, avoid the party. It means that someone there will play favorites and as the result, what people paid for the party will be all over the place. If you paid for a ticket at $600 and find that someone else just paid $100 and for the same service, you will feel cheated and rightly so. Don't bother. One price should fit all.

Overall Tips & Warnings

If all of the criteria I listed above are met, it's obvously a party worth attending. But here are some more tips. First, don't drink and drive. Remember, you're more than likely from out of town and the last problem you need is to come back to the Super Bowl host city just to defend a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge. Forget it. If you're going to drink -- and most people do -- take a cab or a limo. They're plentiful for Super Bowls.

Here's a major warning: If you're going to buy a Super Bowl Party ticket do it where the purchase is either directly from the party producer or the transaction is insured. Some people posing as ticket brokers may sell you a fradulent ticket. I'm serious. The Super Bowl is also a magnet for dishonest business people. If you're going to buy a ticket, go to our site http://www.sbstickets.com"> , where your ticket transactions are secured as we're part of the StubHub network.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Super Bowl Party - ESPN Party At The Miami Design Center

This video is of the great Friday, February 2nd party thrown by ESPN / NEXT and held at the Miami Design Center. In perfect ESPN fashion, the entire block was taken over as well as all of one building.

It was a total blast, and as you can see, I tried to capture as much of it as I possibly could. The only thing I didn't like was the VIP building got too hot after it filled with people. Also, the food wasn't as plentiful or as good as it was at the ESPN Party in Detroit. But it was a great effort overall.

Note the ever present Cadillac cars as they were a major sponsor. But also note the demographics of the people. It must be noted that this is a private party, so the marketers have a captive audience. It's a great lesson in sports marketing.

At the end of the video, we get to see a concert by LL Cool J and it can be said that he did bring the house down!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Super Bowl XLII - Arizona Super Bowl XLII Host Committee Gets Ready For 2008 Game - AZCentral.com

Glendale prepping for Super Bowl XLII
Scott Wong

The Arizona Republic
Feb. 7, 2007 12:00 AM

MIAMI -When the clock hit zero Sunday night at Dolphin Stadium, and the Indianapolis Colts were crowned the NFL champs, planning efforts for Super Bowl XLII at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale kicked into high gear.

This time next year, more than 175,000 visitors will flood the state in a span of a week. Hotels, restaurants and local attractions will be brimming with out-of-towners.

And game-related festivities, from an National Football League interactive theme park to swanky VIP parties, will extend to every corner of the Valley, making the region the hub of the football universe.

To pull off the colossal undertaking, organizers from the Arizona Super Bowl XLII Host Committee will need a solid foundation: an estimated $15million in public and private sponsorship and an army of 10,000 volunteers.

"There's no question, it's massive. And every day, the energy ramps up," committee President Bob Sullivan said earlier this week over the chatter of dozens of sports radio hosts broadcasting from the floor of the sprawling Media Center in Miami Beach. "It's daunting but it's calming, because (being here) allays some of the anxieties.

"The unknown becomes the known."

Sullivan is part of an Arizona contingent of more than 60 tourism, transportation, law enforcement and other officials that has been in Miami since last weekend. They've been scrutinizing everything from airport security and shuttle routes to jerk-chicken skewers at a media party.

Those are just a couple of the thousands of details that go in to planning for a weeklong extravaganza that attracts America's wealthiest executives and celebrities, is beamed to television sets in more than 230 countries and is expected to give a $400 million boost to Arizona's economy.

"Everybody wants a piece of the action," said Jack Clary, a former reporter and Super Bowl media consultant from Boston who has attended all but the first two bowl games. "It's grown from a media event into a business event."

Arizona organizers will tackle the mega-event by breaking it down into parts: media relations, hospitality, transportation, security and special events, among others.

The host committee's more tangible efforts include staging up to three exclusive media parties and organizing football clinics for 20,000 youths.

Also in the works is a downtown Phoenix block party, similar to the one held along Mill Avenue when Super Bowl XXX came to Tempe in 1996.

Carrying lessons from Miami, Arizona organizers also will draw from last month's Fiesta Bowl and BCS National Championship Game, both held at the Glendale stadium.

Glenn Dickey - San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Bill Walsh Caused Increase In Hiring Of Black Coaches In NFL

My friend and SF Examiner columnist Glenn Dickey wrote this great column on ex-49ers coach Bill Walsh, which I post here and link to here.

Dickey: Walsh laid groundwork for black coaches

"Bill Walsh was not only a groundbreaking offensive coach with Stanford and then the 49ers, he also was instrumentral in integrating blacks into the coaching ranks. Notably, Denny Green and Ray Rhodes were on his staffs and went on to become head coaches." - Glenn Dickey.

Feb 2, 2007 3:00 AM (5 days ago)

SAN FRANCISCO - Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith will be the first black head coaches to face each other in the Super Bowl because of groundwork laid by Bill Walsh.

From his first year as a head coach — at Stanford in 1977 — Walsh looked for black assistant coaches. Denny Green was on his first staff.

“Denny was one of our first hires,” Walsh said this week. Green later became head coach at Stanford and then one of the first half-dozen black head coaches in the NFL.

When he came to the 49ers, Walsh started an intern program to bring in black assistants. One of them was Ray Rhodes, who also became one of that first group of black head coaches in the NFL.

“You have to start somewhere,” Walsh said. “At that time, NFL teams weren’t even hiring black assistants.”

In 1987, Walsh created the Minority Coaching Fellowship program, which has produced several black college coaches, including Tyrone Willingham, who has coached at Stanford, Notre Dame and Washington.

He also started a yearly conference of black college coaches to discuss their situation among themselves. Lowell Cohn and I were the only writers present at one memorable meeting, when coaches talked frankly among themselves and then listened to a candid message by Dr. Harry Edwards about their specific role and the condition of black society. An organizer of the black athletes’ protest at the 1968 Olympics, Edwards was a sociology professor at the University of California who had been brought to the 49ers by Walsh to counsel players. He is still on the 49ers’ payroll.

Walsh then turned his focus to the NFL, working with Roger Goodell, now the NFL commissioner but then an assistant to Paul Tagliabue, on a program to help black assistants get head-coaching jobs.

“They weren’t even getting interviews,” Walsh said. “I don’t think it was racism so much as just indifference. White coaches and administrators had their own jobs, their own concerns.”

“I’ve worked with Bill almost from the time I came into the league in 1982,” Goodell said when I interviewed him before he became commissioner, “and I’ve never ceased to be amazed at the depth of his knowledge and understanding. He has a way of processing information and formulating a plan quickly.”

That’s exactly what Walsh did with his program to get black assistants into head-coaching jobs.

“They weren’t even getting interviews,” he noted, “So, we set up a video program where these coaches were interviewed and could then send tapes to clubs.”

One black assistant who did get interviewed was Marvin Lewis, but Lewis didn’t interview well because he didn’t know what was expected. So, Walsh set up seminars with other NFL executives to instruct the black assistants on how to interview.

The black assistants were prepared when the Rooney Rule, which mandates the interviewing of at least one minority candidate for head-coaching jobs, was installed in 2002. There were seven black NFL head coaches last season.

It all comes back to Walsh, who has affected so many people with his intelligence and compassion.

“To focus on him as a football coach is really a mistake,” Goodell said, “because it ignores the breadth of the man. He’s been involved in our league in so many ways.”

Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith can attest to that.

Glenn Dickey has been covering Bay Area sports since 1963 and also writes on www.GlennDickey.com. E-mail him at glenndickey@hotmail.com.

Deadspin Runs Photo Calling Super Bowl "Negro Bowl" - Why?

Ok, I'm not comfortable with the tag or the photo, which I knee-jerk found offensive. I just did. What's the point? I just don't get this stuff at all, I really don't.

We're doing just fine, I thought, then Deadspin, which I read and like and who's editor I respect, does this.

Why? Why? Why?

Interesting Statement On Churches and NFL Super Bowl Viewing

I found this very interesting notice over at NFL Media.com:

February 2, 2007
The National Football League has absolutely no objection to churches and others hosting Super Bowl viewing parties as long as they do not charge admission and that the game is shown on a television of the type commonly used at home.

We are simply following copyright law and have done so consistently with regard to hotels, theatres, museums, schools, arenas and other such venues.

This is nothing new. It is a matter of longstanding policy and the law. We have no rules that relate to viewing at home on any type of television.

That's all there was to the statement. More on this later.

Tony Dungy Day Declared In Michigan - AOL

According to AOL's mjd, Michigan politicians have declared their should be a "Tony Dungy Day." Here's the info

Lawmakers want Tony Dungy Day in Michigan
February 5, 2007
LANSING — State lawmakers on Monday proposed a day honoring Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, who was born and raised in Michigan.
Dungy, whose Colts won the Super Bowl, is from Jackson, where he excelled in football at Parkside High School. He is the first black coach to win a Super Bowl.

“Because of the strength of his character, as well as his success on the field, Tony Dungy is an inspiration to all of us,” said Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek, whose district includes Jackson.

Schauer plans to sponsor a legislative resolution proposing “Tony Dungy Day” along with Democratic Reps. Marty Griffin of Jackson and Mike Simpson of Jackson County’s Liberty Township.

They had not yet determined which day to honor Dungy.

Bauer's Pure Rush Party - AOL's Stephanie Stradley Pays A Visit

Last week's Bauer's Pure Rush Party was a hit, and was covered by none other than America Online's Stephanie Stradley.

Check out her post with a click here.

Thanks Stephanie!

21st Leigh Steinberg Super Bowl Party In Miami - Video

(Leigh Steinberg -- in suit -- with my friend Randy Gordon.)

I had the honor and pleasure of attending Leigh Steinberg's 21st Super Bowl Party in Miami and held at the Westin St. Francis Grand Floridian Yacht which is docked just off Ocean Avenue. This, my fourth of Leigh's parties I've attended, was the best. And this was due to the intimacy provided by the combination of the yacht and the grounds below. As a result, there was a lot of interaction rather than people sticking in their own groups and clicks.

The video -- as a result -- reflects how people did relate to each other there. It was a lot of fun. Stars? Well, I'm not the best at recognizing people, but I did talk a while with with Julian Jenkins of the Tampa Bay Bucaneers, Jack Del Rio, Heach Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars (not in video) and ESPN's Woody Paige (in the video) and Tony Rially (not in the video as well as Actor Billy Baldwin (Not in the video).

(As a note, Baldwin said that he's lanching an extreme sports tour later in the year.)

Finally, much of the video focuses on Al Samuels and Steve Fleming of NBC's "Sports Action Team" and their segment filmed with Leigh Steinberg, and Bruce Perlmutter, the GM of the Tribeca / ESPN Sports Film Festival.

The 2007 Playboy Super Bowl Party, Miami, At American Airlines Arena - Video

The problem with living life and recording the life you live is that the act causes a delay in uploading the videos. Thus, I'm just getting the videos uploaded and embeded in the appropriate blog posts. Here's an example: last Saturday's Playboy Party at American Airlines Arena.

This was my first Playboy party out of the five Super Bowls I've attended and I'm glad I did because now I can say I've been to one and show you too. For all of the build-up it's really got the same things as other parties I've attended: music and free food and drink -- Super Bowl Party requirements. What other parties don't have is a dress code requirement for women that reads "Lingerie or Less." I'm not kidding. There was a lot of women who did comply with the dress code, as the video will show.

My complaint is there are too many guys, and almost no one dancing. The reason for the dance problem is the way the music is played: they only play part of a song for about 30 seconds, then switch to another tune, so you really can't get into a rhythm that allows you to grove and move.

There were a lot of celebrites, too. Rapper Too Short, ex-Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back Franco Harris (whos' a nice person), Oakland Raiders Wide Receiver Jerry Porter (who seemed a little paranoid that one would recognize him as Jerry Porter), to name some of the people I recognized when my eyes weren't drawn elsewhere. Writing on that, there's a lot of people just standing and looking around, mostly guys in groups. The female count needs to be upped considerably.

Before I get to the video, here's another idea: have a dress code for men calling for pajamas in honor of Hugh Hefner.

Here's the video:

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl XLI - Fun But Dolphins Stadium Must Be Weatherized

I'll have more on this soon, but I'm writing from my friend's guest room at his place on 15th and Jefferson in Miami Beach. I just woke up from the wettest Super Bowl experience I've had, and frankly I did enjoy it.

Right now, I'm going to get some rest, get up, and start packing. Oh, I'll write more when I do. But let me report that Dolphins Stadium needs to be weatherized! It wasn't made for rain at all!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The 11th Street Diner - A 24-Hour Place For Food In Miami Beach

My friend Steve Schnitzer was kind enough to put me up in his new place with his sister and my friend Beth while we were in Miami for the Super Bowl. Steve's got a great 24-hour restaurant called the 11th Street Diner on 11th and Washington in Miami Beach.

The staff there is both friendly and funny, as this video will show. After the video, I placed some text I found about the diner online.

Here's the video:

LL Cool J - ESPN NEXT Super Bowl Party Miami Concert In Miami Design Center

On Friday night, I was invited to the ESPN NEXT Super Bowl Party held at Miami Design Center. The party's producers -- ESPN, NEXT, and Sony Playstation -- took over the entire main block and one building of the district and produced one of the best Super Bowl parties I've attended. I'll have more videos on this party, but for now I'm presenting you with the best part of the evening, a private concert by none other than LL Cool J. He rocked the house!

What was so interesting to me is the contrast in the crowd. The people close to the stage were young, of diverse backgrounds, and mostly female; as one moved away from the stage, the audience turned to one mostly white, older, and male. It wasn't a random group, as one had to have a pass to get into the party. By the time LL Cool J started, it was midnight and about 1,000 people remained for the concert. There were probably 5,000 people for the party as a whole.

Here it is:

Friday, February 02, 2007

Super Bowl Party - Bauer's Pure Rush Miami A Success

Thursday night in Miami before Super Bowl XLI -- that's 41 -- featured a number of parties held under a clear sky and a full moon. One of them was Bauer's Pure Rush Miami Super Bowl Party.

Ok,you know about the party if you're a regular reader of this blog. But I'm here to tell you it was a blast! The buffet and cigar bar at The Havana Club was a total load of luxurious fun and drew stars like Fox Sports' Chris Myers, who annouced to a couple of beautiful women that he would do anything for a drink.

A free drink.

After 10 PM, the party moved over to Brick's Nightclub, where the parade of stars continued without interruption. I arrived a bit later, so I missed a face to face with stars, but I'm told that many of the people slated to come did make it. I did see and talked to Warren Moon, the former NFL Quarterback, and client of Leigh Steinberg. Willie McGinest, the famed New England Patriots Linebacker / Defensive End, was one of the party's sponsors and was appropriately dressed in white.

Aside from that, there were a gaggle of lovely women and to be frank some could not seem to keep all of their clothes on. I'm serious. There was one partier who was either pushing her shorts down, or pulling her top up, or having her shorts pushed down and having her top pulled up.

In fact, many of the party patrons where decked out that way, which is why it was subtitled "Heaven: The White Party." Brick's itself is a huge place that must have played host to about a thousand people. Much of the party was held on a roof-top space and the night was perfect.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Steve Young. Steve Bono. Jay Marriotti. -- Greetings From Miami Beach!

Hello. I arrived last night at about 8 PM when our plane touched wheels at Miami International Airport. The flight itself was a lot of fun -- two ex-49ers Quarterbacks were on the American Airlines flight 442. Steve Young was in the eighth row of first class. Steve Bono -- who I met at the GAP Project Red Party -- was just three rows behind me.

Steve Bono, his wife Tina, and I were talking at the gate just before boarding, when Bono spotted Steve Young walking up to the gate with his cap pulled down over his forehead and a Bluetooth phone in his ear. "I guess he's trying not to be recognized," Steve said. To which I replied "No one really cares. It actually draws attention to him when he pulls the cap down."

Bono expressed dismay with 49ers Owner John York's attempt to move the team to Santa Clara, stating that he and other 49ers Alums did a lot of work to help keep the Niners in San Francisco, including trips to see Governor Schwarzenegger.

The flight was a lot of fun. I sat next to someone who works for EA Sports, and saw a friend of a friend who was just six rows ahead of me; we exchanged numbers after the flight.

After I got settled in, my friend's brother took me on a tour of South Beach and we ate at his diner called "The 11th Street Diner" on 11th and Washington in Miami Beach. Great food!

Then, we walked around and ran into Jay Marriotti, of the Chicago SunTimes and the ESPN Show Around the Horn at the Clevelander Sports Bar, which was hoping late into the night. Jay's a nice guy. And what a nice night it was!

More soon!

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