By Steve Keating
MIAMI (Reuters) – Take one of the world’s great party destinations, add a Super Bowl and throw in a milestone celebration like the National Football League’s 100th anniversary and you have all the ingredients for an epic bash.
With plenty of sun, surf and sand there is never a need for an excuse to party in Miami but the Super Bowl, back in its favorite city for a record 11th time, has generated an unprecedented buzz dialing up the heat on South Beach.
From Lady Gaga to Post Malone and Black Eyed Peas to Guns N’ Roses, many of music’s hottest acts will be fronting parties during Super Bowl week, providing a magnet for A-listers, titans of industry and the rich and famous.
“Post Malone is probably one of the top three artists in the world and then you combine that with a location on the water in Miami and that is really a special thing,” John Terzian, the co-owner of hospitality and lifestyle company h.wood Group and Bootsy Bellows, told Reuters.
“Every year, especially when you go to a city like Miami, you have to really do something major.
“It’s a big undertaking and there is a lot of competition.”
“Special” is often code for expensive and the “Bootsy on the Water” Super Bowl splash on Friday will require deep pockets if you want to go full-VIP, which includes the eight-hour use of a 125-foot yacht with an onstage private suite for 80 guests going for $150,000.
The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers are the undisputed Super Bowl headliners on Sunday, but until then the another competition will be played out in posh night spots across Miami with party planners and promoters upping their games.
Miami will offer something for everyone from gospel to disco, in every price range from free to “I’m going to need to win a lottery to pay for this”.
Super Bowl Experience, an NFL style theme park, will be free for kids while a ticket to the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration can be had for a modest $38.
If you are up for the classic full monty Super Bowl experience, however, it will cost you much more and you will not lack for choice.
Like the Bootsy event, the AT&T TV Super Saturday Night with Lady Gaga constructed a venue on an island (complete with hurricane certification) while Sports Illustrated has taken over the iconic Fountainbleau Hotel for what it shamelessly bills as “THE PARTY”.
“It is because it is Miami, it’s a party city, the weather is more conducive and people enjoy going to Miami in the winter as opposed to say Minneapolis,” Roger Hyde, the senior vice president of creative services at AT&T in charge of Super Bowl event planning told Reuters.
“Location is obviously the biggest thing for us. Unlike a lot of the other competitive parties around town we don’t just go rent a venue we build a venue.
“There are going to be a lot of parties, there are going to be a lot of events but that just keeps us pushing harder to put on the best and biggest event we possibly can.
“It’s all about what’s possible.”
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
And it seems anything is possible in Miami depending on your party taste.
Former New England Patriots fun-loving tight end Rob Gronkowski is hosting the “Gronk Beach Festival” while the Maxim Big Game Experience is going with a Havana Nights theme.
“We’ve been doing this for over 10 years and the last five we have great analytics and we are seeing a 600 percent increase of traffic through social and our ticket sites,” Michael Heller, the founder of Talent Resources Sports’, which is putting together the Sports Illustrated event, told Reuters. “I’ve never seen anything like this.
“What was harder this year was knowing that there’s going to be so many more events to compete with.”
Having spent hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of dollars on a ticket, the priority for partygoers is having a good time.
Yet the Super Bowl, one of the world’s mega sporting events, also means big business with companies like Pepsi, Budweiser and AT&T using the stage to activate sponsorships and push their brands.
“We’ve been advertising at Super Bowl for over four decades, our first ad ran in 1975, so we’ve seen the anticipation and excitement around the event grow,” said Richard Oppy, Global vice president of global brands, Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer.
“Specifically we’ve seen a growing global appeal to the event which inspired our activation this year.
“We are gearing up for a ground breaking weekend in Miami at Super Bowl LIV.”
(Editing by Toby Davis)