Archive for the ‘new orleans’ tag

Smirnoff Ice Toasts Ladies with Game

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Football season started September 4, but the real fun kicked off the day before when Smirnoff Ice launched its Ladies with Game Tailgate tour in NYC. Hudson Mercantile played host to a packed tailgate bash, where attendees enjoyed a variety of cocktails made from the Smirnoff Ice portfolio, including the Screwdriver Sangria and the Preparada, a Southwestern favorite made from fresh fruits, chamoy (a popular condiment in Mexican cuisine) and Smirnoff Ice Green Apple. Of course, it wouldn’t be a tailgate without the right bites, so there was no shortage of sliders, mac and cheese, buffalo tater tots, and chicken and waffle snacks.

DJ Stef Nava provided high-energy tunes as guests challenged each other to cornhole, giant Jenga and backyard-tire football toss. For those not ready to get their heels dirty, DryBar provided blowouts and Ami V and Ria Lopez gave custom manicures to prepare them for the custom photo booth. Now everyone knows that a tailgate is nothing without a proper host to make everyone feel at home — so singer and reality TV personality Jessie James Decker led the festivities and showed off her impressive arm in the football toss challenge. Looks like she’s been practicing with her husband!

Over the course of the football season, Smirnoff Ice is hosting tailgate parties in nine cities, including Washington DC, Dallas, Atlanta, San Diego, New Orleans, Charlotte, Nashville and finally Phoenix. With the way things kicked off in New York, this looks to be a winning season for Smirnoff Ice!

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MKTG Grows Hope With MSNBC

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MSNBC is more than a cable news channel. It not only champions progressive issues and values, it seeks to directly engage with its viewers and their communities. So this year MSNBC launched Growing Hope – a campaign inspired in part by MKTG’s design for the channel at last year’s Essence Festival – to give people a voice around the issues that matter to them.

As developed by MKTG, the spirit of Growing Hope is embodied by a community garden, a place where people come together to nurture and grow. The symbol of Growing Hope is a grand solitary tree, evidence of the power and possibilities of voices united.

Visitors begin their experience in our digital greenhouse, where they choose the topic that directly impacts their families and communities, and write their hope for change. Issues include: Education, Economy, Equality, Health & Environment, Community, as well as Veterans and Foreign Affairs. Next, visitors print their hope (now entered into MSNBC’s database), attach it to a flower petal, connect it to a stem and plant it in our outdoor garden – a place where people literally put stakes in the ground.

The Growing Hope Tour began in Houston at Texas Southern University with stops in Atlanta and Charlotte. It culminated in New Orleans at the 20th Annual Essence Festival during Fourth of July weekend.

You can join in the conversation and submit your own hope by clicking here.


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An All Star Bash for Crown Royal XO

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Crown Royal ASW

Following the announcement of Diageo’s partnership with the NBA, Crown Royal was highly present at the NBA All Star Weekend in February.

Crown Royal sponsored three parties at The Metropolitan nightclub, where celebrities from the entertainment, sports and fashion industries Reigned On all weekend long. To kick off the star-studded events, Crown Royal partnered with Kenny Smith to host his annual Mardi Gras All Star Bash. Kenny entered the party with a traditional New Orleans-style marching band, including stilt walkers. He proceeded to drink Crown Royal XO (responsibly, of course) with all his buddies in their XO-themed VIP section. Nick Cannon took over the ones and twos halfway through the party and provided tunes for the roughly 1500 guests in attendance. Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Flo Rida, D.L Hughley, P Diddy, Grant Hill, Damaris Lewis, Romeo Miller and many others showed up to wish Kenny a happy birthday at his All Star Bash.

On Saturday, Crown Royal sponsored two parties – a day party with Terrance J and the cast of Love and Hip Hop, and a night party with Kevin Hart. Biz Markie was the DJ for the evening and Terrance J, Fabolous, NFL Saints and a bunch of basketball players were in attendance.

To round out the weekend, Robert Sickler, Master of Whisky, lead a Crown Royal tasting with media. Towards the end of the tasting Julius Erving (AKA Dr. J) made a surprise appearance for a Q&A and photo opportunity.

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“Lights Out” Speed

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FastIs Faster

Photo Credit: Andrew Ward

New Orleans. The Big Easy. Home of the beignet, live jazz, crawfish, and daiquiri slurping tourists. A city where the credo is “laissez les bons temps rouler” (for you non-French speakers, “Let the good times roll”). Known for the annual Mardi Gras Festival, this year New Orleans welcomed the 2013 Superbowl (aka the Harbowl) and the Nike New Orleans Football Combine. Nike Football and SPARQ Training hosted the Combine at the new Victory Field at Joe Brown Park. Victory Field (built in conjuction with the Allstate Sugar Bowl and Brees Dream Foundation) shows Nike’s commitment to sports and youth by bringing new energy to the New Orleans East area.

Top high school athletes from Orleans and Jefferson Parish were invited down for a showcase of speed and skill in front of family, coaches, and professional athletes. Combine participants were put through a series of drills with the SPARQ rating system measuring overall performance. The goal – build better athletes.

MKTG INC provided a unique trial experience with a photo/video training component with Nike coaches on-site. Athletes had the choice between trialing the Nike Vapor Talons or the pre-released CJ81 Elites. Once cleated up, athletes were directed to the Nike Dynamic Shuttle where their 5-10-5 shuttle was captured by three cameras and one high-definition video camera. Photos were printed and emailed while the videos were displayed on the monitor wall for coaching analysis. Athletes left with unique takeaways (photos and videos to share on social media) and more importantly, tips for improving their speed and performance.

As the sun went down and the stadium lights kicked on, players took the field for the 2013 Lake Pontchartrain All-Star Football Classic between Orleans and Jefferson. Nike helped to make this a memorable night by providing new Nike uniforms for both teams.

Thank you Nike and thank you New Orleans, a city where Fast is Faster.

Written by: Andrew Ward

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Written by Admin

February 12th, 2013 at 11:41 pm

New Orleans Rolls the Dice with Risky Rebrand

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(Photo Credit:

The New Orleans Hornets have officially announced that they are changing their nickname to the New Orleans Pelicans. Yes, Pelicans. Try to envision it with me: The Timberwolves (arctic beasts with razor-sharp teeth and claws) vs. The Pelicans, (they enjoy a nice dip in the river from time to time).

In the world of sports, striking the balance between what’s marketable and honoring a city’s traditions can be extremely difficult, (and of course, the success of the brand ultimately hinges on the team’s ability to win games).

Obviously the pelican is the state bird of Louisiana, and an incredibly elegant creature, but when put up against the “Bulls”, “Hawks” and “Bobcats” of the NBA, its completely understandable why some find the name a bit underwhelming.

As we all know, the NBA’s ultimate goal is to sell jerseys, but are kids who love Anthony Davis going to feel cool sporting a gold-winged pelican across their chests? The Hornets (because they’re still The Hornets for a little while longer) must proceed with caution, and ensure that their attempt to appeal to their home crowd does not alienate potentially interested fans outside of New Orleans.

If the team’s new identity doesn’t appeal to the national market, it can have a huge ripple effect on the organization. Players won’t want to wear the uniform, the merchandise will sit on the shelves and hometown fans may even begin to lose interest in a team they no longer recognize or accept as their own.

Case in point, when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays unveiled their uniforms prior to their inaugural 1998 season, the Major League Baseball community, fans and media outlets alike collectively barfed at the sight of the team’s clownish, neon themed uniform. Add to that 10 years of last place finishes, and the end result was an embarrassingly empty stadium, dismal TV ratings and unappealing merchandise that you couldn’t get rid of at a garage sale.

When they finally rebranded themselves as the Tampa Bay Rays a decade later, and donned a classy, sleeker midnight blue motif, they found themselves in the World Series for the first time in team history. Coincidence? I have no idea.

I don’t know how talented the New Orleans Pelicans’ team will be. All I know is that if you’re proud of your name, and you like the way you look, you’ll go pretty far in life. But don’t take my word for it (Reading Rainbow, anyone?). Just ask the Tampa Bay Rays.

Written By: Andrew Canlon

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