Cheerleaders. Football. Maxim magazine. All three are synonymous with young, hormone-charged men and Super Bowl weekend. The Maxim party has been the staple to which most Super Bowl events are judged, partly because of its invite-only status.
We chatted with Maxim editor Joe Levy (who picks the Saints) about the upcoming party (at the Raleigh Hotel), which has a guest list including Cheryl Burke and Karina Smirnoff of Dancing With The Stars, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, actor Dennis Haysbert and singers Asher Roth, Daughtry and Gavin DeGraw.
What should we expect from the party?
You should expect the magazine to come to life. It’s going to be fun sexy and not over but right up to the edge. There will be some spectacular special things and some on the eyes-bugging-out-of-your-head scale.
In Los Angeles for our Maxim Hot 100 party, when people walked into the airline hanger there was a Ferris Wheel in the middle of the place. We like to bring the WTF-factor to the party!
How has it grown into this event that everyone wants to get into – what’s the secret?
The party comes right out of the pages of our magazine. The party, like the magazine, talks directly to guys and it’s not about how to get a six-pack of abs. It’s about partying with our audience. It represents a lifestyle that men want to live, with fast cars and faster ladies. That’s what people expect from our party. The Super Bowl is the ultimate guy event and we are the ultimate guy magazine.
How are you involved?
By no means is the planning for this on auto-pilot. We work months out to make sure the party is off the hook when the cork pops off the bottle of champagne. You will see people at the party, moments at the party, which I have been very involved with.
Did you have to downsize in any way from years past due to the economy?
Last year was difficult year, and during last year’s party it was at a moment where we knew things would be sinking but we didn’t know how difficult it would be. Now we have the first glimmers of recovery, and not just for our party but it’s a better time to celebrate in general. I would say it has not been affected because it’s been a priority for us. We held fast our party last year. If we love doughnuts and beer and have to cut back on one, we’ll cut back the doughnuts.
How do you handle tickets? Should fans trust scalpers?
It would be wrong of me to condone anything in the aftermarket ticket business. But that said, people will do whatever they can to get into our party.
What do you think about The Who as halftime performers?
I think they were trying to top last year’s Springsteen performance. Obviously classic rock appeals to an older demo, but generation after generation of 14 year olds will hear The Rolling Stones or The Doors or The Who and will think ‘Hey, that’s kind of cool.’ And amazingly with only half of the original band they remain a shockingly good live band. I think it’s partly their songs and they use great musicians.
It had to grow on me a bit, but my first reaction was I guess it wouldn’t work to have U2 again. It would be too soon. But do I think this is something that will have people transfixes? No. I think people will get up and go get a beer and some nachos and when they hear that music in the background, then they will come back to the TV and get transfixed.
What party, besides your own, do you plan to attend?
There is no other party to attend. It’s all about arriving in Miami, resting and relaxing and loading up on electrolytes before the Maxim party, and then after it’s time for the Super Bowl.