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When it comes to Super Bowl festivities, no one does it better than experiential sports marketing guru, David Spencer. The Talent Resources Sports co-founder has been throwing legendary celebrations centered around the biggest sporting events for more than a decade. His parties — which can take up to two years of planning — are chockfull of celebrity guests, A-list athletes and musical performers, and have enough bells and whistles to rival the actual games themselves.
“We set the blueprint by creating the event and marketing platforms for brands that might not have the millions of dollars to spend on a traditional Super Bowl campaign,” Spencer says. “We create a seat at the table for brands that want to be extremely targeted, leveraging our relationships in sports and entertainment so all of our events are media and celebrity-driven. Our events are geared towards a very deliberate audience, which includes the athletes and teams within our network. They come to us for a safe environment where they can network, rather than party.”
This year is particularly notable with the big game being held at L.A.’s buzzy new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Being on the turf of a major sports and party city, you’re looking at an anything-goes mentality. Even with Covid protocols in place, Spencer has no doubts his Century Park “Sports Illustrated The Party” pre-event extravaganza will go off without a hitch. Boasting live performances by headliner Jack Harlow, along with EDM superstar Kygo, Spencer says, “We wanted to curate a mix of genres so there’s something for everyone at this event.”
As for his outdoor venue of choice, Spencer says the location “was extremely deliberate — we really wanted to highlight the city of Los Angeles.” While the airy location may be influenced by the pandemic, event-goers will likely never attend a Talent Resources Sports extravaganza at a nightclub, hotel ballroom or other conventional space.
“We prefer to focus on identifying and securing very high-value real estate that truly represents the respective city that we’re activating in,” Spencer explains. “The venue really becomes a main attraction and we then take time to curate the event around it.”
Spencer’s success emerged from marrying his educational background in finance (he has an MBA from NYU) with his passion for marketing and sports. From his experiences working with magician David Blaine, Spencer was introduced to the glitzy facet of the professional world. Once he exceeded Blaine’s expectations by landing him a near-impossible gig with the New York Knicks, Spencer’s career pivoted. From there, it was a no-brainer to join forces with childhood pal Mike Heller, who was managing the careers of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton in their prime. Talent Resources Sports was born in 2009, and the rest is history.
While success came quickly for the trailblazing duo, more than a decade later, they proved themselves all over again amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We’re a company that’s exemplified an ability to be nimble and adaptive to current market conditions,” Spencer says. “Even through Covid-19, we’ve pivoted towards digital marketing and furthering acting as a conduit between consumer brands and audiences. We really focused on our digital marketing efforts. With a city like Los Angeles, where there hasn’t been a Super Bowl in almost 30 years, it becomes the perfect embodiment of sports, entertainment and culture.”
The campaigns launched by the duo amid the pandemic include Got Milk with Kyle Kuzma, and Acker Wines with Kuzma, Paul Pierce, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love and JJ Redick. And now, leading up to the Super Bowl weekend’s hotly-anticipated affair, Spencer is only thinking ahead.
“After 15 consecutive years of activating during Super Bowl weekend, we’re back after taking a brief hiatus due to Covid,” Spencer says. “We knew the L.A. market was too important to miss, so we’re making sure we make our mark. The added time has allowed us to plan for a city like Los Angeles while being mindful of our priorities, which is keeping our guests, staff and brand partners safe and their reputations intact.”