To celebrate the N.H.L.'s Winter Classic game—held this year in Boston—Pangea Brands, the Boston Bruins Foundation, and Marlo Marketing & Communications joined forces on December 30 to host "The Ice Party" for some 1,000 guests at Hotel Commonwealth. In its third year, the Winter Classic (described by some as a harder ticket to land than the Super Bowl) matched the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers in a January 1 game played on an ice rink installed in Fenway Park.
The party came about as a way to capitalize on the game's buzz and the many N.H.L. and sponsor executives, sports writers, and players in town. So, was it hard to garner attendees on the eve of New Year's Eve? "Not at all," said Marlo honcho Marlo Fogelman, who in addition to sponsoring the event also produced it. "The people who were in town had nothing to do. It was a slow week in Boston, and we took advantage of that."
Fogelman aimed to channel both ice (in the form of a 20- by 30-foot rink) and hockey in an event footprint that took over three floors in the hotel. The game-like ambiance came in the form of the "Food Court," where slices of Upper Crust pizza, cheesesteak subs from Davio's, cups of Boston Chowda, and sausages from the Sausage Guy were on offer, while the third floor was occupied by the aformentioned rink and a free skate rental booth.
Sponsor activations were abundant from the get-go: Upon arrival, guests were greeted with two Bentleys on display in front of the hotel and, inside, could sidle up to the Bentley Bar, the Narragansett Zone (which poured the brewer's lagers), and the Jack Daneil's Gentleman Jack Ice Bar. Even the rink, dubbed the "Pangea & Marlo Ice Rink," nodded to those sponsoring the event.
The evening's selling point came in the form of Run DMC's Darryl McDaniels, who performed a 30-minute set with DJ Charlie Chan. Upstairs on the third floor, DJ Deja kept the music going until 1 a.m.
- Courtney Thompson