TheWrap’s Party Report will be updating throughout the big weekend.
Hollywood stars and NFL icons unite this weekend at the countless parties and A list events leading up to Super Bowl 50.
Just 380 miles north of Los Angeles — and 45 miles away from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, where the big game is played — ESPN, Maxim, Playboy, DirecTV, Bleacher Report, Sqor Sports, CBS, Leather & Lace, Rolling Stone and countless other bashes were celebrating the best of the NFL in style.
As usual, the festivities were in full force long before the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers and took to the field on Sunday, and TheWrap was on the scene capturing the action.
Throughout the week, stars and athletes gathered at the New Era Style Lounge at The Battery Hotel, to get kitted out with New Era hats, get makeovers and blow outs, and even take to the stage for “Lip Sync Battle” showdowns. Justin Bieber, Jaime Chung, Serena Williams, Usher, Pete Wentz, Michael B Jordan, Hailey Baldwin, Karrueche, Chanel Iman, Jeremy Piven and TJ Miller were all spotted enjoying the perks of the weekend, while Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Dan Williams faced off against Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell in a heavyweight “Lip Sync” contest.
The EA Sports Madden Bowl XXII was among the opening events at the San Francisco Masonic Center, with Fall Out Boy, Ludacris and DJ Khaled providing the live soundtrack as NFL players squared off on game consoles for a share of the $50,000 prize. The party was so popular that it was shut down early by the police for being overcapacity, so many took the action — and the socializing — to the sidewalk and mingled in the open air.
DirecTV’s three-night extravaganza also kicked off with the Dave Matthews Band playing Thursday night, before Pharrell Williams and Red Hot Chili Peppers headlined the Friday and Saturday night mega-parties.
Friday night saw the party scene really heat up during the unseasonably warm night with sports media elite gathering at Fort Mason Center for ESPN The Party. Grammy winner Nick Jonas walked the red carpet before taking to the stage to perform hits including “Chains,” “Levels” and “Jealous,” and an acoustic version of Drake‘s “Hotline Bling.” He also upped the Jonas ante with a surprise visit from brother Joe for “Cake by the Ocean.”
The party was packed with Super Bowl champions — such as New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski and former Rams QB Kurt Warner — and players from past and present including Tim Tebow, Malcolm Butler (the surprise star of last year’s Super Bowl), Calais Campbell and Mercedes Lewis from the Jacksonville Jaguars. As expected for their company bash, ESPN talent was out in full force with Michael Wilbon, Ryen Russillo, Jesse Palmer and Chris Burman in the house (or hangar-like massive space).
Guests got to balance out the Ketel One vodka and Coors Light with coffee, hot chocolate and donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts.
Having played as quarterback for the Denver Broncos before Peyton Manning rolled into town and having played with Cam Newton at Florida, Tim Tebow told TheWrap that he had personal ties to both QBs in this year’s Super Bowl.
The Heisman Trophy winner said that while he was still a big kid at heart, Newton has grown up a lot since their college days in Gainesville (before he transferred following a scandal over a stolen laptop). “He still plays with that raw passion but has it more channeled now,” he said.
After doing the media rounds all week with everyone from Conan O’Brien to Grumpy Cat, Gronkowski (who scored a touchdown a year ago in the Patriots’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks), made the night a family affair as usual, with his brother Chris, father Gordy and a gathering of close friends at a prime table.
The biggest question for fans was not who will win (smart money and Vegas odds are picking the Panthers), but “W
Across town at the Playboy party at AT&T Park, the party hosts were far more scantily clad. Bunnies poured the booze of choice, EFFEN Vodka, the personal brand of 50 Cent — who happened to be on hand. “People s. O.J. Simpson” star Cuba Gooding Jr. made a direct line to the stage with DJ Ruckus, while Adrian Grenier, AnnaLynne McCord and Jeremy Renner were all spotted soaking in the sexy view.
Bleacher Report’s first ever party, dubbed “Bleacher Ball,” boasted headlining act Zac Brown Band, with Hollywood showings from Liam Hemsworth, Alyssa Milano, Conan O’Brien and Andi Dorfman. NFL stars who sadly aren’t playing Sunday included Eli Manning, J.J. Watt, Golden Tate, Mark Herzlich, Blake Bortles and Shawne Merriman, while “NBA Countdown” host Sage Steele brought her brother (and former player) Chad Steele as her date.
Aside from the serious partying and networking to the max at the Mezzanine, the Bleacher Ball highlighted America’s veterans with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) joining as the bash’s beneficiary.
Leather & Laces launched a two-night party extravaganza on Friday presented by MGM Grand and hosted by Emily
On Saturday, the New Era Gold Rush Party attracted top stars en masse as they crowded into the Battery Hotel to watch Future and Diplo spin. Kanye West, Usher and Beyonce were all spotted in the packed crowd, while Justin Bieber slipped in quietly through the VIP entrance with his hoodie up. The pop star did the rounds of the party scene, later turning up at Maxim on Treasure Island before meeting up with fellow “Entourage” movie guest star, Rob Gronkowski.
Over on Treasure Island in the middle of the Bay Bridge, the Maxim Party teamed up with Hollywood staple Bootsy Bellows with performances by Lil Wayne and A$AP Rocky. Guests got an adrenaline rush along with their boozing (courtesy of Pernod Ricard and Absolut Elyx, Avion Tequila and Perrier Jouet) on the “Dodge Thrill Ride Experience,” as as a professional drivers took them on a spin around the waterfront in Dodge Vipers, Charger SRT and Challenger SRT Hellcat vehicles.
As a reward for fans who purchased Super Bowl tickets on StubHub, the brand took over California’s Great America amusement park on Feb. 6 and 7, to let over 6,000 fans ride roller coasters, eat game food and meet former athletes — all with a perfect view of Levi’s Stadium next door. Those having a last-minute urge to go to the big game, could also purchase tickets and then walk straight over to the stadium.
The final party of the weekend was of course the celebratory party for the Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos, held in a giant marquee outside the Marriott hotel in Santa Clara, just a few blocks from the stadium. Players, friends, family and fans danced to the early hours to a wedding-type DJ, and we’re sure Peyton Manning final had those two Budweisers that he promised to drink in his post-game interview.