The starting lineup of the best invites before and after Drake hosts Wednesday night’s show at the Nokia
ESPN does the ESPY awards on the one dead sports day of the calendar year, when none of the professional sports leagues play. The party schedule is much less restricted.
Before and after the coronation of Richard Sherman’s rant, Lebron James‘ homecoming, the NFL bullying scandal, the champion L.A. Kings, Red Sox, Seahawks, Spurs, Jameis Winston and feel-good U.S. Men’s Soccer team, here are the best invites and parties on the sidelines over the next three days.
*Top Invite*: BODY at ESPYs
Tuesday, 9 p.m.
S.I. got the Lebronifesto as an exclusive. So what?
ESPN The Magazine gets Venus Williams (bel0w), Michael Phelps, X-Gamer Travis Pastrana, the non-centerfold material Prince Fielder, snowboarder Amy Purdy, Super Bowl champion Marshawn Lynch and Team USA/L.A. Galaxy soccer player Omar Gonzalez to pose naked. Their annual “Body Issue” came out last Friday, making swimsuits and swimsuit issues superfluous.
The official pre-party has the reputation for being “the fun one” during the week. Richard Sherman, Lolo Jones and Colin Kaepernick are expected, while ’90s voices SWV will perform. SWV’s Taj George’s husband, retired NFL star Eddie George, will play DJ for the night.
Golf: ESPYs Celebrity Golf Classic
Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms Resort
Tuesday, 9 a.m.
Until, or if ever, an NFL stadium goes up in the City of Industry, this may be one of the only entertainment industry events in the ironically named city. At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, about 200 people will take to the tees.
I’ll be shocked — shocked! — if I find out there’s any gambling.
Gifting Suite: ESPYs Escape
JW Marriott Pool Deck
Tuesday 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. and Wednesday 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Athletes with actual or potential endorsement deals usually steer clear of the swag suites, but here, ESPN has smartly married all of the show’s sponsors across all of the events of the week. It makes what could be a messy event quite neat, which isn’t surprising from the disciplined and conservative ESPN. Gifts up for grabs come from Gatorade, Nautica, corporate sibling Disney, NuGo Nutrition, as well as William Morris and UTA guy-turned-designer for over-sized athletes, the 6’7” Waraire Boswell.
Gifting Suite: GBK’s “Pre-Espy” Suite
Rooftop of the W Hollywood
Tuesday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Organizers will not reveal what they’re gifting or who’s coming to carry it off, but on reputation alone, GBK suites are usually massive. Allot enough time.
Party: Regard Magazine Party
Marilyn Estate, Beverly Hills
Tuesday, 12 – 5 p.m.
The invite list includes Clipper DeAndre Jordan and new Dallas Maverick Chandler Parsons, whose contract signing with new boss Mark Cuban in a club hit the internet last week.
Dinner Party: Carmelo Anthony Dinner with Grey Goose Le Melon
Sunset Tower Hotel
Tuesday, 6 p.m.
Had Melo chosen the Lakers over the Knicks, this could’ve been a “Welcome to L.A.” bash. Instead, it’s a “just visiting” head nod.
Artist Kehinde Wiley unveils the third portrait in his series of “modern day kings of culture” at the cocktail party and dinner, having previously painted Spike Lee and Swizz Beats in a branded tie in with the fruit of kings and official vodka of most good times.
Party: ESPYs Post Party
Nokia Theater Event Deck
Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. – 12 midnight
“Summer is when we do the lion’s share of our sales,” MillerCoors’ Brad Feinberg tells TheWrap, whose new Miller Fortune hosts the after-party in the same space where “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight” throw post-premiere mega-bashes. Any “Manning-faced” athletes droopy over not going home with a trophy can get re-spirited as the new brew is stiff at 6.9% alcohol, and aimed at winning back hard alcohol enthusiasts.
Cheers to the default post-awards show gameplan.
Party: ESPYs Host Party
Wednesday 12 – 2 a.m.
We’re assuming this means it is Drake’s celebration, and not ESPN president John Skipper’s nightcap. Arrive accordingly.
Poor baseball. First, stomped by the World-Cup. Now, a limp cold Minnesota All Star Game. Oy.
All events are private, and by invitation and confirmation only.