Well, for the second straight weekend … I attended a major sporting event as an entrepreneur, not as an AOL exec / league sponsor … and got lucky with weather-related travel. I was scheduled to fly out of Dulles on Thursday afternoon to go to Dallas for NBA All-Star Weekend. There were 5 flights scheduled in the 5:00 pm hour and all of them were canceled except for our United Airlines flight. So, we did get to Dallas nearly on time … but just in time for another snowstorm in Dallas! LOL, I can’t escape the snow.
Friday of All-Star Weekend was terrific. I attended the NBA Tech Summit on Friday morning. I believe this is the best Sports conference of the year … many wonderful panelists … executives and leaders from the Sports, Entertainment, Technology, Finance, Marketing, etc. Also, the networking that takes place during the breaks is also fantastic. After the summit concluded, a number of volunteered for the “NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service.” A large group of us went to a local elementary school to work on a few projects. It was great to see the faces of the Dallas youngsters light up when a number of NBA and WNBA players showed up at their school. Of course, the highlight may have been when Magic Johnson came through the doors. Talk about a million-dollar smile! The day concluded with a number of networking events / night-time parties. What a long, but terrific and highly productive day.
Saturday was highlight by the NBA All-Star Saturday Night at American Airlines Arena. It was a bit odd to attend as a fan, not a sponsor. AOL used to sponsor All-Star Saturday Night … my team and I managed the NBA partnership. A number of us as well as clients used to attend this event together. But, nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the festivities.
Sunday’s obvious highlight was the All-Star Game, which was played at the magnificent Dallas Cowboys Stadium. I’m clearly a fervent Washington Redskins fans — and I’m not a fan of the Cowboys. But, I must say … the Cowboys Stadium is simply stunning. It is clearly the greatest sports venue in the world. The video screen — which runs 60 yards in length — simply must be seen in person. Heck, I watched more of the game on the screen vs. watching the game on the court. And, the way they have integrated advertisers and sponsors throughout the stadium is world-class. Every Sports Marketing class should take a tour of this place while a game is being played. They set a record with over 108,000 fans in attendance. They will break that record with the Super Bowl there in 2011.
I wonder if the ‘Skins will be playing in that game next February? 🙂