Miami presented a mixed bag of parties.
Electronic Arts rented out a huge space in the famous Clevelander, but had an underwhelming amount of things to do (you can only watch your favorite player playing Madden for so long) and eat (I actually made personal history at the EA party by ordering my own food!) Under Armour overperformed in its intimate Thursday night bash in a Sunset Island mansion complete with Under Armour logos everywhere you looked, including on the red velvet cupcakes and in the pool, and extra points for filet mignon sliders.
But this "Super Bowl" belongs to the almost decade long battle between the men's skin mags, Playboy vs. Maxim.
The battle for Saturday night supremacy wasn't as strong as in the years past, like in 2005 when Maxim bussed guests to a secret location 30 miles outside Houston and hosted what might go down as the most outrageous party of all time.
Given the current state of the media environment, it's commendable that both were battling once again.
So here is my list of the winners:
If you were walking along South Beach, Maxim seemed like the party to get into given the signs and the amount of barricades. But insiders were excited about Playboy's promise that the Black Eyed Peas would show up. Can't get much bigger than that.
It's not really the space. It's what you make of it.
Playboy took the Sagamore, which ironically was the place where the Maxim party was in 2007. Upon entering, the inside lobby was fairly sparse. Outside, gorgeous women were dancing on platforms in jerseys that matched the Colts and the Saints, while 10 playmates circulated in their bunny costumes deflecting marriage proposals. Two women with mermaid tails swam in the pool. The Maxim party took place in the outside area surrounding the Raleigh Hotel. The party had just as many invited guests as the Playboy party (1,200), but there was much more room to move around. There were also more defined areas, from the Patron photo booth to a flip flop giveaway to an area to play video games by sponsor Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell.
Food & Drinks: Push
The days when a Super Bowl party had awesome food is pretty much done.
What you do have to do is do enough so that people don't go home hungry.
Both skin mags did this.
Playboy's best was a slider with onions.
Maxim had a bevy of passouts, including a good crabcake.
But we're a long way from the Super Bowl parties of old with huge buffets of outrageous items. Maxim offered a bunch of Patron cocktails, while Playboy had a full bar.
There's no question that these two battle it out to win the man over.
It's a complicated deal because the more men that show up, the harder it is to see the women.
Playboy offered a slew of bunnies and a handful of dancing women on boxes. The mermaids swimming in the pool might have seemed good on paper, but it didn't really pull people away from the bar.
On the other hand, Maxim's trademark has been to achieve the greatest man/woman ratio of all time and this year was no different. While we were waiting on line to get in, we saw a cluster of 30 or 40 women being brought in.
Everywhere you looked, there were beautiful women chatting it up. "It takes a lot to figure out how to execute that ratio, but luckily most who know how to do it work at Maxim," said Maxim publisher Ben Madden.