Bring Brazil’s World Cup Home

Apr 15

Posted on
Apr 15, 2014

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The World Cup is less than two months away, which means those planning to attend the planet’s biggest single-sport festival are busy dealing with visas, tickets and hotels.

Then there is the issue of the host nation itself, which for all of its majestic beauty, including the beaches of Copacabana and skills of Neymar, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. You have a flurry of venue delays, political bickering and class strife that threaten to disrupt the event, just as it did during last year’s Confederations Cup.

It doesn’t get any easier for FIFA. Soccer’s governing body awarded the 2018 World Cup to ‘Mother’ Russia.

Due to those visa regulations, fans won’t be able to book trips to Brazil at the last minute. Those fans of U.S. Soccer have it particularly tough, having to travel some 4,000 miles from Natal, to Manaus and Recife. This is before taking the pitch against Ghana, Ronaldo and Portugal and the mighty Germans.

Thankfully, there are ways to bring the World Cup experience home without having to worry about busing through the Brazilian back country. Here are a few suggestions to do just that.

1) Host an event (or add talent to your event)
Thuzio has several former members of the U.S. Men’s National Team in its talent network including Cobi Jones, Clint Mathis, Marcelo Balboa, John Harkes and Tony Meola. Whether you’ve already got a World Cup event planned, or need an excuse to have one, we’re your one-stop shop.

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 3.35.32 PM2) Don’t forget the ladies
Lest we forget that in the United States, our Women’s National Team is as popular, if not more popular than the men. Heather Mitts, Leslie Osborne, Kristin Luckenbill are three former members of the U.S. Women’s National Team who have won gold medals on the international stage. Thuzio is also preparing to onboard members of the 1999 Women’s World Cup winning team over the next few weeks for corporate events and activation.

We also have off-site pricing for several other U.S. Women’s National Team members including Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach and Hope Solo.

3) Major League Soccer Players
Thuzio’s talent network has access to dozens of Major League Soccer players from ALL of the league’s member clubs. All of these individuals would be welcome additions to your at-home World Cup experience, whether it be a Game Watch, Play With a Pro, or Brand Activation event. Imagine being able to watch Team USA play with eight members of the New England Revolution, or a pair of Seattle Sounders? It’s possible!

4) The Broadcasters
Shep Messing was a member of ESPN’s World Cup coverage in 2002, 2006 and 2010, while Jack Edwards was the lead play-by-play voice of America’s last World Cup run in 2002, including a victory over Portugal and a controversial quarterfinal loss to Germany.

New Talent – April 14

Apr 14

Posted on
Apr 14, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 9.14.51 AMIntroducing the week’s new talent including an NCAA legend, a Letterman regular and an NFL player turned gay rights advocate.

David Thompson – The NC State hoops icon was named National Player of the Year twice, ACC Player of the Year three times and was a consensus first-team All-American three times during the 1970’s. He also led the Wolfpack to the school’s first national championship in 1974. At the pro level, Thompson was a four-time NBA All-Star and was named the ABA’s Rookie of the Year in 1976.

Tom Dreesen – The stand-up comedian has made over 500 appearances on national television, including more than 60 appearances on The Tonight Show. He is a favorite guest of the soon to be retiring David Letterman and frequently hosts the show in his absence. For 13 years Dreesen toured cross country and opened for Frank Sinatra, and has appeared countless times in Las Vegas, Tahoe, Reno and Atlantic City with artists like Smokey Robinson, Liza Minnelli, Natalie Cole and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Jeremy Kimbrough – The Washington Redskins linebacker looks to bounce back in 2014 after suffering a torn labrum during last year’s training camp.

Daniel Kilgore – Kilgore is currently a 49ers offensive lineman who played in all 16 games during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

Jason Hunter – After missing the 2012 season due to torn triceps, Hunter played in 13 games for the Raiders in 2013, making 27 tackles and picking up three sacks.

RJ Webb – Currently a wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, Webb tallied 85 receptions for 1,082 yards and eight touchdowns at Furman.

Cooper Helfet – The Redwood High standout and Duke graduate played a key role in the Seahawks Super Bowl victory by mimicking top opponents during practices.

DeAndre Presley – The current Carolina Panther was named the Southern Conference’s Player of the Year in 2010.

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 9.16.42 AMJacob Green – The Seahawks legend played thirteen seasons, making two Pro Bowls (1986, 1987) He was third on the NFL’s all-time sacks list behind Reggie White and Lawrence Taylor upon retirement with 116.

Chris Kluwe – The former Minnesota Vikings punter holds 11 team records, including that for highest career punt average in franchise history. An outspoken advocate for gay rights, Kluwe gained national exposure for his stance and even filed a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court challenging California’s Prop 8 law.

Charles McRae – McRae was selected in the first round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – the first offensive player selected. He started 38 NFL games over six seasons.

Will Blackwell – The former Steelers wide receiver and former second round draft pick played five seasons in the Steel City.

Top Client Engagement Events

Apr 9

Posted on
Apr 9, 2014

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From a client’s perspective, there is nothing like a major sporting event to captivate someone’s attention. Through tickets, on-site experiences and (in our case) leveraging big-name talent, playing the right cards can make all the difference in extending a partnership or getting someone to sign on the dotted line.

Here are five of our favorite events and why:

1) The Masters
The only one of golf’s majors to be played at the same course every year is also one of sport’s most exclusive experiences. There is no public sale of tickets, limited (but very expensive and unobtrusive sponsorship) and a list of ground rules that make Miss Manners blush. Also, with about 300 members of Augusta National Golf Club (and no application process,) even the world’s wealthiest find themselves on the outside looking in, making an invitation to Amen Corner one that can’t be turned down.

Notable mention: Last year’s PGA Championship brought in an estimated $102.1 million into the New York economy according to the Governor’s office. This year the event is in the Metro Atlanta area.

2) U.S. Open Tennis
They call it love, don’t they? Take tennis’s international prestige, some of the world’s greatest athletes and host one of the biggest sporting events in New York City and you get a place to see and be seen.

Notable mention: Wimbledon has more prestige and tradition, but is also more expensive.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 3.53.13 PM3) The Kentucky Derby
The most exciting two minutes in sport concludes a wild and most elaborate celebration in the heart of ‘My Old Kentucky Home.’ While A-listers may opt for the Maxim Party and Millionaires Row versus a more traditional southern celebration, anyone can enjoy the mint juleps, big hats and betting slips galore.

Notable mention: The Belmont Stakes becomes a big deal with a Triple Crown contender. Problem is, no horse has won the Triple Crown in nearly four decades.

4) The Final Four
There are studies out there that suggest office productivity declines 30-40 percent during March Madness. With a billion dollars up for grabs and office pools throughout the country, that number is sure to rise in 2014. As for NCAA Basketball’s crown jewel, moving the event to venues like AT&T Stadium has opened up more seats, but has also increased demand for VIP Experience packages (with the best seats), like those sold through Primesport.

Notable mention: The NBA All-Star Game is in New York City and will attract the interest of your clients and corporate partners.

5) The Super Bowl
Like with the Masters, there is no public sale of tickets to ‘The Big Game.’ And with the entire football world in town, chances are there will be opportunities (through Thuzio) to activate a pro (or three). Also, it never hurts to invite a client to an event that 111.5 million people watched in 2014, even if it means they’ll miss the commercials.

Notable mention: College Football’s Playoff kicks off in 2015, offering the NCAA an equivalent to the Super Bowl.

New Talent – April 7

Apr 7

Posted on
Apr 7, 2014


Here’s a glimpse at this week’s new Thuzio talent, including a very popular player in New York AND Philadelphia. (Go figure)

Lenny Dykstra – They called him ‘Nails.’ The three-time National League All-Star played a significant role on two of the most beloved clubs in recent memory – 1986 New York Mets, 1993 Philadelphia Phillies. Dykstra would sacrifice his body to make a play, could always be found with chewing tobacco in his mouth and had a flair for the dramatic, including a walk-off home run in Game 2 of the 1986 NLCS against the Houston Astros.

Mike Gminski – The 1979 ACC Player of the Year and All-American at Duke University had a very successful 14-year NBA career. He’s also successfully transitioned into the broadcast booth, where you’ll hear him calling Brooklyn Nets games and ACC basketball telecasts.

DJ Dozier – Dozier scored the winning touchdown in Penn State’s 1987 Fiesta Bowl victory for the National Championship over Miami. He is also the only professional athlete in recorded history to sign a contract to play professional baseball and make his MLB debut after seven years of not playing, doing so in 1992.

Mark Allen – The six-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion was designated “The World’s Fittest Man” by Outside Magazine in 1997 and was named “The Greatest Endurance Athlete Of All Time” by ESPN in 2012.

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 9.14.55 AMAnthony Robles – Robles won the 2011 NCAA individual wrestling championship at the 125-pound weight class while at Arizona State. Impressive yes, but his story is downright incredible when you realize he was born with only one leg. As a high school freshman, he went 5-8 and was ranked last in the city of Mesa, Arizona, but an unquestionable work ethic led to two consecutive National Championships and a 96-0 record during his junior and senior seasons. Now he serves as a coveted motivational speaker across the country.

Guy Hebert – The 10-year NHL veteran was the very first pick of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim during the 1993 Expansion Draft. He also was a goaltender on the 1998 United States Olympic Team.

Marty Appel - Acknowledged by many to be the leading historian on the New York Yankees. The former PR Director and later a producer of the team’s broadcasts has authored 18 books, including “Munson,” “Pinstripe Empire” and “Now Pitching For The Yankees.”

Kevin Conway – The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year and 2013 IMSA Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Series Champion has more than 100 victories between the IMSA, NASCAR, USAC, ARCA, ASA, WKA and AMA.

Thad Lewis – The current Bills quarterback started six games in 2013, completing nearly 60 percent of his passes. He played his college football at Duke, setting school records for passing yards and touchdowns.

Kayvon Webster – Currently a member of the defending AFC Champion Denver Broncos, registering 41 tackles and an interception during his rookie season.

Dee Brown (Illinois) – The 2005 National Player of the Year led Illinois to its first Final Four since 1989. He also is the winningest player in school history, with 114 career victories.

Introducing Thuzio Executive Events

Apr 1

Posted on
Apr 1, 2014

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Ralph Sampson (Virginia) and Derrick Whittenburg (NC State) during a Thuzio Executive Event centered around March Madness and the 1983 NCAA Tournament.

Imagine being able to entertain clients at a first-class setting with high-end talent and not having to do any of the work.

It’s possible.

Thuzio Executive Events is our newest product offering, one that combines talent, food and a programmed evening designed to impress everyone in the room.

All you need to do is craft a guest list.

Thuzio Executive Events can be found in three categories, based the number of people and level of talent. Syracuse alums can relive the days of yesteryear with Pearl Washington and John Wallace in an intimate 15-person room for $15,000, while Paul O’Neill, Bobby Knight, or Phil Simms can mix and mingle with a room of 50 for $50,000.

Best of all, these events are fully customizable for your business needs, whether its impressing a major client, celebrating a team accomplishment, or closing a business deal.

Visit thuzioexecutiveevents.com or call 1-800-656-0930 to learn more about crafting your own Thuzio Executive event today.

100+ New Football Talent Added (Gronk, McCoy, Edge, Gore, T-Smith, Bradshaw & More)

Mar 31

Posted on
Mar 31, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 5.05.03 PMNot too long ago, we crafted a blog post talking about the 53 man roster you could build using Thuzio’s Football Talent.

Well, like any good General Manager during the off-season, we’ve just upgraded our team significantly.

With more than 100+ new NFL Pros added over the last week, brands, businesses and die-hard fans can book some of the biggest stars for an event, outing, campaign or public appearances.

Your new options would make Peyton Manning salivate, especially with the likes of Rob Gronkowski, LeSean McCoy, Torrey Smith, Frank Gore and Ahmad Bradshaw.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 10.19.17 AMAll 32 NFL franchises are represented in this latest update, meaning that in Chicago, there’s a Lance Briggs waiting to be booked, in DC, Santana Moss is now available. Colts fan? Edgerrin James is here for ya, as is TY Hilton.

Love to Tweet? Chad Johnson, a.k.a. @Ochocinco is available for a social media campaign or two. His price, far more affordable than celebrities with fewer followers.

So if you haven’t been to the football page in a while, now is the perfect time for a rendezvous. After all, Training Camp is right around the corner and we just Gronk spiked our talent offerings!

NEW FOOTBALL NAMES ON THUZIO: Greg Hardy, Clinton Portis, Michael Bennett, Joe Haden, Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon, Mario Manningham, Jimmy Smith, Richard Marshall, Brian Hartline, Greg Jones, Terrelle Pryor, Donte Stallworth, Yeremiah Bell, Sydney Rice, Kevin Vickerson, Arthur Moats, Louis Delmas, Charles Johnson, Eric Winston, Rex Grossman, Jabar Gaffney, Darius Butler, Kassim Osgood, Kasey Studdard, Kenbrell Thompkins, Zach Miller, Trindon Holliday, Sean Spence, Greg Little, Roscoe Parrish, Andre Caldwell, Ben Watson, Dan Gronkowski, Chris Gronkowski, Randy McMichael, Marquise Cole, Olindo Mare, Kenny Phillips, Donald Thomas, Kevin Ogletree, Tony McDaniel, Jason Fox, Ashlee Palmer.

Your Summer Golf Outing Problems Solved

Mar 27

Posted on
Mar 27, 2014

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Spring is here …

Sort of …

Well, officially. Though bitter cold temperatures across much of the country seem to suggest otherwise.

That means someone in your office (yes, right now) is already frantically worrying about the company’s big spring and summer outings. These could be the furthest thing from your mind, but a good planner knows that the early bird always gets Dennis Rodman (a.k.a. The Worm).

See what we did there?

Every company (or charity) has some type of outing when the weather gets warmer, with many of those taking place on America’s golf courses. Some are designed to raise company morale by getting the team together for a round. Others engage top clients by getting them out of the office for an afternoon of ‘networking.’ There are also hundreds of Celebrity Golf Tournaments / Classics each year, with many raising money for worthy causes.

At Thuzio, we know a thing or two about these events.

For instance, everyone will try and purge their own internal company networks looking for a talent connection. If Debbie from accounting has a friend who is second cousins with a local athlete, Debbie will probably be asked to reach out to that person.

Or that the logistical gymnastics involved with getting several talent at a single event will give anyone nightmares. Where do you find the talent? How do you get them to and from the event? Who might the talent know that could also enhance the afternoon?

We make it easy.

Thuzio has 2,000 Pro talent who offer golf experiences ranging from Mike Modano ($22,500) and Ozzie Smith ($18,750), to dozens of local heroes in each market for just a few hundred dollars. Most importantly, we are your ONE and ONLY contact for booking multiple talent for your event. Meaning that instead of 18 calls to 18 different people, you make just one, to our office, where all of those logistics are handled. We’ll even mix and match the right talent to your event given specific needs and demographics.

Entertaining a major client? If they happen to have a favorite player (or team), imagine the surprise when they see who you’ve added to the foursome.

And for those REALLY looking to do something unique, Hank Haney, who spent years as Tiger Woods’ swing coach, Mark O’Meara’s right-hand man and worked with celebs like Charles Barkley and Ray Romano on his Golf Channel show ‘The Haney Project’ will lead a one-hour range session, then coach foursomes on the course for $27,500.

See all Thuzio Golf Experiences

New Talent – March 24th – Book Tiger’s Coach, Roy White, Kelli Stack

Mar 24

Posted on
Mar 24, 2014

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Just in time for your spring and summer corporate outings, we’ve added one of the world’s best golf instructors to Thuzio.

Hank Haney has coached more than 200 touring professionals from the PGA, LPGA, Champions, European, Japanese, Australian and Asian Tours over the course of his distinguished career. Among the notables are Tiger Woods and Mark O’Meara, both of whom won major championships under his guidance.

You may also remember the PGA Teacher of the Year from his Golf Channel TV show, aptly dubbed The Haney Project, working with the likes of Ray Romano and Charles Barkley on their games.

Haney will lead a one hour range session for $27,500, an absolute STEAL for your client engagement events, or business rounds.

Other new talent on Thuzio this week:

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 9.37.32 AMRoy White – The 15 year MLB Pro was often found roaming the outfield at Yankee Stadium, where he led the AL in fielding percentage for four consecutive seasons. The two-time All-Star was also a member of the Bronx Bombers World Series winners in 1977 and 78.

Ike Diogu – He was a seven year NBA Pro and former All-American at Arizona State University.

Montrae Holland – His nine years in the NFL included stops in New Orleans, Denver and Dallas. Holland also won a national championship with Florida State in 1999.

Kevin Huber – The current Cincinnati Bengals punter (and former Cincinnati Bearcat) averages more than 44 yards a punt.

Otis Sistrunk – The 1974 Pro Bowl selection was a Super Bowl winner with the Oakland Raiders as a defensive lineman.

Pete Mitchell – An inaugural member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the tight end was a two-time All-American while at Boston College.

Chris Cooley – The very popular Washington Redskin was voted to two Pro Bowl teams and named first-team All-NFC by Pro Football Weekly. The tight end caught a career high 83 passes in 2008.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 9.38.40 AMKelli Stack – The two-time Olympian won silver medals in 2010 and 2014 as a member of the U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey Team.

Chuck Knoblauch – The second baseman turned outfielder won World Series titles as a member of the Minnesota Twins in 1991, and during the Yankees run of dominance during the late 1990’s.

Larry Whigham – The two-time Pro Bowler was a member of New England’s all 1990’s team, playing an instrumental role in the club’s appearance in Super Bowl XXXI.

Barry Cofield – Currently a nose tackle for the Redskins, the defensive captain had 32 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 2013. Cofield was also a member of the Giants Super Bowl XLII winning team in 2008.

Lee Rouson – One of the leading rushers in University of Colorado history, Lee’s professional career included two Super Bowl victories with the New York Giants. He currently works as a motivational speaker for Sports World Ministries, travelling to schools and churches around the United States

Etan Thomas – The NBA veteran and Syracuse legend was recently appointed by President Obama to be a part of White House Fatherhood Initiative.

Scott Fujita – Fijita was the first free agent to join the New Orleans Saints following the team’s year-long absence in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He would help the franchise win its first Super Bowl in 2010 and was named the organization’s Man of the Year award winner in 2009.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 9.39.35 AMEthan Zohn – The winner of Survivor Africa, co-founded Grassroot Soccer, which uses soccer to raise money for, and promote AIDS awareness.

CJ Nitkowski - The former MLB reliever was one of the first major leaguers to maintain his own Web site, where he posted ongoing personal diaries about life in the big leagues, as early as 1997. Now he serves as an analyst and published author.

Jody Reed - Using Fenway Park’s famed Green Monster as target practice, the 11-year MLB veteran led the American League with 45 doubles in 1990.

Curtis Lofton – The current New Orleans Saints linebacker led the team in tackles during the 2012 season. He also was a first-team All-American at the University of Oklahoma.

Activating The Bracket

Mar 19

Posted on
Mar 19, 2014

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Everybody has a bracket.

Your mom has a bracket. Your boss has a bracket. Even the President of the United States of America has a bracket.

America’s obsession with bracketology has become big business for brands looking to capitalize on the ‘Madness’ of March … even without an NCAA sponsorship. For instance, ESPN’s Tournament Challenge is sponsored by Allstate, Infinity is all over CBSSports.com’s bracket, and as everyone already knows, Yahoo has teamed up with Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans to give away $1 billion for a perfect bracket.

Here’s what you should know about Thuzio during ‘The Big Dance.’

- On March 18th, Jay Williams, Duke legend and 2002 National Player of the Year, led our Thuzio Executive Club through the bracket. (He picks Louisville over Florida in the title game) Also at the event, John Wallace of Syracuse’s 1996 Final Four team, Terry Dehere from Seton Hall’s 1989 Final Four team and Sir Charles Barkley himself, who picked Florida.

- Our friends at Bonobos have put together their own “Pro-Am Bracket Challenge,” allowing fans to team up with numerous Thuzio Pros including Hall-of-Famer Rollie Fingers, U.S. Soccer star Marcelo Balboa and world record airplane thrower Stephen Kreiger. The duo (user + celebrity) with the highest score wins two tickets to next year’s Final Four in Indianapolis.

- If you’ve seen celebrities tweet how they plan to #WatchLikeaKing, we’ve been working with Burger King on that campaign, including co-founder Tiki Barber himself.

- We’re also working with travel and hospitality partners to activate talent throughout the NCAA Tournament, including on-site at the Regional Finals, Men’s Final Four, Women’s Final Four and hockey’s Frozen Four the following week.

Don’t Forget That Sick Day Note, Send One From An MLB Legend

Mar 17

Posted on
Mar 17, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 9.27.15 AMOur friend (and Thuzio Pro) Ozzie Smith is currently in the middle of a campaign with Budweiser with the hopes of turning Opening Day into a National Holiday.

We fully support that. Let’s hope the President of the United States gets the message!

Due to the spirit of Ozzie’s work, we fully encourage all of you Thuzians to tell the boss how and why you’ll be playing hooky (Ferris Bueller style) when the season opens up in a few weeks.

Though instead of forging a doctor’s note, may we suggest having a legend ask on your behalf?

Here are five of our favorites:

OZZIE SMITH: Nothing says important like sending your boss a customized video from the campaign’s leader himself.

ROGER CLEMENS: Remind the corner office that its striking out with staff members by not recognizing the importance of America’s National Pastime.

MOOKIE WILSON: Mention that the greatest error one can make in life is not taking advantage of every opportunity. You never know what might happen?

ANDRE DAWSON: Tell the boss that he or she can watch you like a ‘Hawk’ to make sure work gets done in your absence.

PETE ROSE: Have the ‘Hit King’ remind your team that you’ll (Charlie) Hustle your way back to the office after the game.

You can record any one of these video messages for just $99. Just remember to buy us a beer at the ballpark when it actually works.

After all, “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”