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This story first appeared in the Feb. 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
The Super Bowl (3:30 p.m. PT Feb. 1 on NBC) is sports’ answer to the Oscars, the Globes and a blockbuster movie premiere combined into one weekend. I’ve attended 12 of the past 13 championships (starting in 2002, when the Patriots upset the Rams), and my most memorable time at the big game was being in the New Orleans Saints’ suite the year they won for the first time  and going on the field with them. More from my highlight reel:
There are two cities that host the best parties, so they have the best Super Bowls: Miami and New Orleans. The weather in Arizona (this year’s game is at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, about 17 miles from Scottsdale) is perfect, but even for Angelenos you spend a lot of time in the car — everything’s a half-hour from everything.
For years the Maxim party was the hottest ticket of the weekend, but DirecTV has stolen some of that thunder by featuring an A-list music performance the night before the game. My favorites were Katy Perry in Indianapolis and Beyonce and Jay Z last year in New York.
Dallas, where the giant high-definition screen transforms the in-stadium experience.
Best Ways to Mix Business With Pleasure
The Super Bowl is a great platform for promotion. There’s press from around the world for upward of a week before the game, looking for things to report. Adam Sandler does it best — he is a big sports fan and great at being engaging and funny as a guest, so he generally steals the show when he’s in town. He’s gone for a number of films, including Grown Ups, Just Go With It and The Longest Yard.
Adam’s longtime producing partner, Jack Giarraputo, is one of the few people in town who rivals me as a sports fan, so we do Super Bowl weekend together. One year in Indianapolis, the Indiana Pacers opened up their practice space, and a bunch of us had a pickup basketball game, including Adam and NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin.
On game day at the NFL tailgate’s VIP section, I am pretty easy to spot since most people are wearing business attire. Jack and I are among the few adults in jerseys.
As an advertiser, we at Paramount find the weekend a great place to generate heat, but the bar is high as you are competing with the best advertising in the world. We launched the Transformers franchise at the Super Bowl, so we have a lot of affection for what this platform can deliver. The ads themselves are covered in the press, going into the game and after — you get a lot of extra publicity. This year we are relaunching the Terminator franchise and will look to make a splash that weekend (the film opens July 1; Arnold Schwarzenegger is baaaaack).
I’m told a reasonable number of people bet on the game. If you happen to be in Las Vegas, I like the Patriots. Coach Bill Belichick is the NFL’s answer to Harvey Weinstein: brilliant, passionate and always ahead of the curve, not necessarily loved by all — he just wins.
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