Sports Illustrated Super Bowl Party with Wyclef Jean
February 2014. New York, NY, Skylight Modern
When the Super Bowl came to the New York area in February 2014, many major corporations and brands marked the occasion with top-tier parties in Manhattan filled with celebrities, athletes and VIPs. As one of the world’s leading sports media companies, the Sports Illustrated party would necessarily need to stand out from all others and Empire was tapped to help ensure this.
Sports Illustrated chose to present a large-scale event on the night before the big game at one of New York’s newest venues, Skylight Modern. Located in the heart of the chic Chelsea Gallery district, this contemporary space accommodates over 600 guests with room to spare for large-scale staging, sponsor activations and kitchen facilities. Joining Sports Illustrated as co-sponsors of the Super Bowl event were several blue chip companies from the automotive, technology and liquor industries. The space was elegantly constructed into a main concert area with raised VIP areas, several bars, elegant sponsor activations and marketing installations for the participating partners.
DJ Kiss kicked off the party as VIPs arrived via Jaguar automobiles and took their turns on the red carpet. Attending VIPs included John Legend, Fantasia and several of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models. As the crowd filled the room and began dancing, multiple Grammy Award winning musician, artist and producer Wyclef Jean arrived to take the stage with his full band and DJ. Wyclef proceeded to rock the house with a high-energy set as he alternated between guitar, keyboard and bongos. His electrifying set soon had everyone in the house on their feet, including the invitation to come onstage extended to 20 ladies to dance with him mid show. When the live set ended, Wyclef remained onstage to DJ for another hour, playing mash-ups of 1980s hits evocative of New Jersey where he spent part of his youth and where the Super Bowl would soon be played. The party was a sensational success and Sports Illustrated, the sponsors, advertisers and attendees all had a great time.
Empire secured and contracted Wyclef Jean and his band for this project and coordinated all related production and logistics, working closely with Sports Illustrated and its partners. Empire is a leading provider of headline talent for high-profile sports hospitality events.