In February, DirectTV threw the most expensive Super Bowl party in history.
While the cost wasn’t publicly disclosed, the New York Post reported that on-site performances by Jay-Z, Beyonce and Tiesto cost more than $2 million on their own, much of which was offset by sponsorships from Bank of America and Mark Cuban’s Axs TV.
And that’s before the alcohol!
The star-studded affair was attended by everyone from Kate Upton to Tim Tebow, making it a public relations and branding success. There was a palpable buzz around Manhattan with tickets commanding thousands of dollars on the secondary market. Page Six, US Weekly, Perez Hilton and People Magazine were all on scene, conducting red carpet interviews and generating tens of millions of impressions for DirectTV.
But defining the impact all of that had on the company’s bottom line isn’t as black and white. After all, who wants to talk dollars and sense when Queen Bey is blaring ‘Crazy In Love’ and telling you to “put a ring on it?”
Compare that to what was taking place at Ernst & Young’s Times Square headquarters where football and food was the name of the game.
Nestled right at the heart of Super Bowl Boulevard, EY already had the game’s biggest public attraction right outside its doorstep. That party was no match to the high-level networking opportunities that took place inside, where some of the greatest football players in history were leading the discussion.
That list, all provided by Thuzio, included Joe Montana, Phil Simms and Victor Cruz, three Super Bowl champions. Dan Marino and Tiki Barber, two of the best all-time at their respective positions, were also there, as were celebrity chiefs like Emeril, making sure everyone was well fed.
The guest list was small, exclusive and most importantly inclusive, only available to EY employees, clients and prospects. The company was able to engage potential new business on its own turf, leveraging an impressive list of talent to start a business conversation.
Another perk? When Joe Montana is in the building, you are less inclined to go elsewhere. The festivities brought many of EY’s major players together under one roof like few other events could.
“Having Thuzio talent engage our prospects was a new marketing approach for EY, and it was a success,” said EY Partner Michael DeStefano. “The talent disarmed the CEO/CFO prospects and clients, and they were as happy as any kid meeting their hero.”
So while DirectTV was busy throwing the bash of the year, EY was using its Super Bowl activation to engage clients and create new business opportunities for itself.
All for less than booking Jay-Z and Beyonce to sign a few songs in front of a few thousand people.