989 Sports(TM) NFL Players Party to Host NFL Players, Entertainment, and Celebrities In Tampa's Historic Ybor City for Super Bowl Weekend


TAMPA, Fla. /PRNewswire/ — PLAYERS INC and 989 Sports(TM) today announced plans for the 989 Sports NFL Players Party, the “Official” Party of the NFL Players, and second largest sanctioned event during Super Bowl weekend, to be held at the Cuban Club in historic Ybor City in Tampa, FL Friday, January 26 through Sunday, January 28, 2001. The 989 Sports NFL Players Party, hosted by Derrick Brooks (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Isaac Bruce (St. Louis Rams), Daunte Culpepper (Minnesota Vikings), Warrick Dunn (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Tony Siragusa (Baltimore Ravens), will feature hundreds of current and former NFL players, allowing fans to mingle with their favorite pro football stars.

“The 989 Sports NFL Players Party is the premiere event of the year for the NFL players,” said Gene Upshaw, chairman of PLAYERS INC and executive director of the NFL Players Association. “Not only will they take their helmets off and show the fans who they really are, but they will also give something back to the host city Tampa through school and community events.”

The 989 Sports NFL Players Party will be the place for fans to interact with pro football’s hottest stars and get free autographs and photos. Those in attendance will also have an opportunity to challenge football greats in free competition on 989 Sports’ NFL GameDay(TM) 2001 for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system. Party guests may also play pool and shoot hoops with their favorite NFL players, while enjoying live concerts, fashion shows, and a chance to win tickets to Super Bowl XXXV!

With each day having a different theme as its focus, partygoers will enjoy four levels of entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights, as the three-day venue kicks off at 7:30 pm with Friday night’s red carpet “Premiere Party”. WBA/WBC/ IBF Light Heavyweight Champion of the World and Olympic Silver Medalist Roy Jones, Jr. will co-host this VIP star-studded evening. Celebrity DJ Kid Capri will entertain guests on the fourth floor “Club Level” overlooking the Tampa skyline.

The evening will also see NFL players “strut their stuff” during a chic fashion show presented by Code Magazine, the style magazine for men of color.

On both nights, guests may relax in the cigar martini bar and enjoy the cigar rollers, while listening to smooth jazz and latin grooves by live bands. Or they can head to the courtyard for a “tropical” night under the stars as they enjoy live entertainment by top names in music.

Also, on Friday night, the PLAYERS INC “Humanitarian of the Year” award will be given to a local NFL player who has demonstrated excellent community service.

On Saturday, January 27, “NFL Player Mania” begins at 3:00 pm at the Cuban Club, along Republica de Cuba, as football fans enjoy free play on NFL GameDay 2001, along with free autographs and photographs with NFL players. Inside at the sports bar, fans can challenge their favorite gridiron star to a billiards tournament or a videogame match-up, while live broadcasts by local radio stations and promotional giveaways take place.

The “Saturday Night Party” kicks off at 8:00 p.m. and goes into the wee hours of the morning, as NFL players host the official after party of the “Crown Royal Kings of Comedy”, featuring famed comedians Steve Harvey, Cedric “The Entertainer” and Bernie Mac. The “Queens of Comedy” Sommore, Adele Givens, and Mo’nique will join them to perform for the late-night partygoers, along with nationally renowned performing artists.

Among the myriad of activities at the Party will be the return of two popular events featuring NFL players competing on NFL GameDay 2001. In an event that is open to media and VIPs only, on Thursday, January 25, at 8:00 pm the annual 989 Sports “Game Before the Game(R)” Super Bowl preview event will pit two standouts from each competing team in an NFL GameDay 2001 challenge on the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. On Saturday afternoon, “The Locker Room Challenge” will be open to the public and features eight of the NFL’s top gamers in a single elimination tournament to determine the League’s top NFL GameDay 2001 player.

“We are proud to team with PLAYERS INC once again as title sponsor of the 989 Sports NFL Players Party for the fourth year in a row,” said Sharon Shapiro, director, promotions, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. “Sony Computer Entertainment America’s involvement with the 989 Sports NFL Players Party provides football fans with a unique way to get closer to the NFL and its players, and we look forward to creating the most exciting week of Super Bowl activities.”

On Super Bowl Sunday, it’s the “Super Bowl of Parties!” This is the last chance for fans to win Super Bowl XXXV tickets, as a pair will be given away every half-hour at the Party and lucky winners will be whisked away to the big game via limousine. Those unable to snag tickets can select a comfy seat in the “giant living room” and watch the game with NFL players on the jumbotron screen in the courtyard. In addition, there will be big screen TV monitors throughout the venue. A portion of the proceeds from Sunday’s event will benefit Special Olympics Florida.

Tickets are on sale December 1, 2000 via Ticketmaster. Friday night’s “Premiere Party” ticket prices are $40 in advance. Tickets to Saturday’s “Player Mania” are $8 for adults, $5 for children. “Saturday Night Party” ticket prices are to be determined. Tickets for Sunday’s “Super Bowl of Parties” are $15.

Sponsors for the 989 Sports NFL Players Party include title sponsor 989 Sports, At-A-Glance, Champion, Collector’s Edge, Diamond Billiards, Fleer/Skybox, John F. Turner & Company, Limited Treasures, MBNA America, Pacific, Photo File, Playoff, Press Pass, Starline, Topps, Upper Deck, and Wizards of the Coast.

The 989 Sports NFL Players Party is the second largest sanctioned event during Super Bowl week. It is the only “official” event of the NFL players and attracts from 400 to 500 active and retired players each year. The party is produced each year by PLAYERS INC, the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association.

989 Sports is the sports software brand of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Known for its top-selling sports franchise titles such as NFL GameDay(TM), MLB(TM), NBA ShootOut, NHL FaceOff(TM), NCAA(R) Final Four(R) and NCAA(R) GameBreaker(TM), 989 Sports is committed to developing authentic and innovative sports games to appeal to both the professional athlete and hard- core sports videogame fan.

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation(R) game console and the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system. The PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system is set to revolutionize the home entertainment market, offering the most compelling interactive content and the capability to be used as a network terminal in the coming broadband era.

Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation game console and develops, publishes, markets and distributes software for the PlayStation game console and the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif., Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

Founded by the NFLPA in 1994, PLAYERS INC creates and develops marketing opportunities for current and former NFL players. Representing over 1,800 active and 3,000 retired NFL players, PLAYERS INC “takes the helmets off the players,” giving fans the opportunity to see the players’ personalities and talents off the field. PLAYERS INC is involved in licensed merchandise programs, corporate sponsorships and promotions, special events, music and video recordings, as well as television, radio and Internet (http://www.nflplayers.com ). PLAYERS INC schedules more than 1,000 NFL player appearances each year.

Contact: Chartese Booty of PLAYERS INC, 202-496-2885, or email: chartese.booty@nflplayers.com; or Laurie Winkles of Hill and Knowlton, 813-221-0030, or email: lwinkles@hillandknowlton.com, for PLAYERS INC