Exclusive for HotspotOrlando -AboutUs Magazine….Written By Sean Slack
ORLANDO UNVEILS LAUNCH STRATEGY AND UPCOMING EVENTS FOR NBA ALL STAR WEEK
The birth of the new Amway Center just a year ago is already beginning to bear needed fruit to the Orlando economy as Orlando will host the 2012 All Star Week beginning February 23, 2012.
by Craig Sager from TNT, the announcement began by introducing Gail Hunter, NBA Senior Vice-President for Events and Attractions. She explained that “ For one week, Orlando would become theNBA capital of the world. The 61st All Star game played in Orlando’s Amway Center, which will bebroadcasts live on TNT and ESPN radio in the US, and reach fans in more than 200 countries and 40different languages.”
She went on to say “ Beginning February 23 through February 26, the NBA will transform theOrlando Convention Center into basketball heaven. Over 600,000 square feet will be turned into the NBA JAM SESSION that will include events like the NBA ALL STAR CELEBRITY GAME, an NBA DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE ALL STAR GAME, and NBA ALL STAR PRACTICES. On Friday, February 24, the attention shifts to the Amway Center, which will host the NBA RISING STARS CHALLENGE, where TurnerSports talent will pick from Rookies and Sophomores on a draft to be televised on February 16.”
“Saturday February 25, will be the famous ALL STAR SATURDAY NIGHT presented by STATE FARM..Which includes SHOOTING STARS, TACO BELL SKILLS CHALLENGE, FOOTLOCKER 3 POINT CONTEST, AND THE SPRITE SLAMDUNK CONTEST. Then on Sunday, the 61st NBA All Star Game.”
She went on to explain the new partnership with Sprint and thanking the Director of SportsMarketing for Sprint, Tim Considine.
Craig Sager was the perfect host for these festivities in his trademark, colorful suit…Magic colorsno less. Flanked by the Magic Dancers and by the Rhythm Drum section for the Magic, it was a great scene. Also on the stage were Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins, Asst Coach Patrick Ewing, and Magic players Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, and Dwight Howard.
Sager then briefly spoke with each player, asking them about previous experiences with the All Star game. Once he reached Dwight Howard, he discussed how Dwight had received more All Star votes than any player last year, and how he had reached over 7.5 million votes in the last three years.
Then, Sager turned to Buddy Dyer and said…”This is an election year. Wouldn’t you like to see that many votes?” , to a round of laughs. All of the players described how they would love the chance to
play in the game in front of their hometown fans. Players must be voted in by the fans, which they can do by accessing ballots on NBA.com or by downloading the Sprint application to vote.
A couple of videos were shown of the last NBA All Star game back in 1992. Sager had asked Patrick Ewing what it was like to play in the game. When he got to Dwight, Howard joked that “He was
only 6 years old when Ewing played in that game”…That particular game really highlighted the return of Magic Johnson after announcing he had the HIV virus and he was awarded the MVP.
Alex Martins then came to the podium, CEO of the Orlando Magic. He started by saying “It was a great day for Orlando to start the countdown for the All Star game in 2012.” He said “ When we
started seeking approval for the plans for this building (AMWAY CENTER), this was exactly the type of worldwide event we knew we could go after. And today it is here.”
“The NBA All Star week will bring over 50,000 visitors to our region, and generate in upwards of $100 million in revenue. They will fill over 30000 hotel room nights. The Magic are honored to serve as
host for this great game. I am confident that Orlando will shine in a way that will convince the NBA to come back very soon.”
Buddy Dyer spoke and discussed how excited the city was to host this great event and what a privilege it was for the city. You could tell, between Dyer and Martins who were seated next to each
other, what an enormous sense of pride and accomplishment both felt. Clearly, this a day that will be remembered in Orlando history.
When the event was finished, I briefly spoke with Alex Martins and asked him about the impact on our economy here in Orlando.
Here is what we asked….
“ Alex, can you talk about the overall economic impact on Orlando?”
Well, this event comes at a time when Orlando could certainly use the boost…especially downtown businesses. Coming off the best year tourism wise of any city in the country with over 50 million visitors, but certainly our downtown economy could use a boost. We should generate at least$100 million in economic impact. We will do independent studies to define what the impact was. The last two NBA All Star events generated at least $100 million to the local communities, so we believe thatis the kind of impact Orlando will receive.”
“And what about long-term? Past the NBA Week, what kind of effects this might generate for
“Well”, he continued, “ It is an opportunity for our town to host a major sporting event now that we have the facilities and give us the opportunity to compete with all of the major cities that host these
kinds of events whether it’s the NCAA Men’s and Women’s tournaments, FINAL FOUR, World Gymnastics championships, World figure skating championships, etc…If we pull this off the way I know we can , I think everyone one of those events will want to come to our region and generate a similar type of economic impact.”
This is a very exciting time for the City of Orlando. As one of the few people born and raised here, it comes with a great sense of accomplishment to walk in the cathedral that is the Amway Center, and know we are going to host the NBA’s best soon.
Stay tuned as for another exclusive with hotspotorlando and About Us Magazine, I will be interviewing the Executive Vice President of the NBA, Phillippe Moggio. We will also sit down with him and possibly other executives to discuss the growth of the NBA in Brasil, the programs and activities currently marketed in Brasil, and the significance of current players like NeNe and Andersen Varejao.