Kobe Bryant and the players in his health & fitness weekend celebrity game mingled with Dubai’s beautiful people at the stunning poolside venue, Mosaic Chill, at the Kempinski Hotel, the Mall of the Emirates.
The crowd collectively gasped when the elegant Vanessa Bryant entered wearing an extremely fashionable silvery gown with Kobe, dressed equally dapper in a maroon and black tuxedo, by her side. R&B superstar Marques Houston also graced the red carpet, stopping to pose for pictures with fans.
Kelly Herndon, American National Football League player most famous for breaking the Superbowl record for longest interception return for a touchdown came dressed to impress in white linen, while DJ Trauma, one of the USA’s most highly sought after DJ’s graced the red carpet in true Atlanta style. Stealing the show was hip hop sensation Soulja Boy wearing his official game jersey with a host of blinged out necklaces to accompany it. Jose Eugenio, Ambassador of Spain to the UAE was also in attendance.
“I am delighted to be able to celebrate the launch of Maven Marketing & Events in such distinguished company,” said Sarah Omolewu, managing partner, Maven Marketing & Events. “The caliber of dignitaries and celebrities at our launch and the overwhelming success of the Kobe Bryant Health & Fitness Weekend is a display of the type of entertainment marketing activations we are capable of bringing to the region in the coming years,” she added.
The day began with Kobe Bryant hosting an intimate brunch with his celebrity game players at At.mosphere at the Burj Khalifa. The world’s fastest elevator whisked Kobe Bryant up to the 122nd floor restaurant. And the tallest building in the world was a fitting venue for the 6’6’’ tall star to enjoy brunch on his first trip to the Middle East. Kobe enjoyed the stunning views of Dubai which different angles of At.mopshere offer. Kobe even added his famous signature to At.mosphere’s visitor book, adding one more feather to the cap of the world’s highest restaurant.
The Kobe Bryant Health & Fitness Weekend celebrity basketball game, in support of diabetes awareness, had fans thronging the Knights Arena at the American University of Dubai before the doors opened at 2pm, looking to get the best seats in the house.
Ambassador of the United States to the United Arab Emirates, Michael Corbin, as well as the Ambassador of Spain to the UAE, Jose Eugenio Salarich, along with their wives were among the courtside ticket holders who stood to attention when the national anthems of the UAE, Spain and US were played. Ambassador Corbin then stepped on to the floor of the arena to do the tip-off for the first half.
“The Kobe Bryant Health and Fitness weekend provides a great opportunity to raise awareness of diabetes and other health issues,” said Ambassador Corbin. “The buzz surrounding today’s events underlines the close ties between the US and UAE across a wide range of common interests, from commerce to culture to sports,” he added.
The game then got off to a resounding start with Kobe Bryant intently focused on his coaching responsibilities for the home team. Celebrity game player Kris Fade took a mike and added some impromptu voiceover to his fellow Virgin Radio radio jockey Priti Malik who was MC for the game that afternoon.
On the celebrity team the players from the Emirates were front and centre. Mohammed Abdrabboh, general counsel, DMCC, presenting partners for the weekend; Mohamed Al Mubarak, deputy CEO, Aldar and chairman Imagenation; Amer al-Sati, American University of Dubai student and basketball player; and Rashed Alzaabi, and Qais Alshabebi, regional professional basketball players made the crowd go wild with their fancy footwork and breathtaking baskets. The Real Madrid basketball legends put up a formidable defence but had to concede defeat as the final scoreboard read 72 to 63 in a closely contested match.
Basketball was not the only activity that had the audience glued to their seats through the afternoon. DJ Trauma had been ensuring the crowds were grooving to the beat through the game then at half-time Soulja Boy took the microphone to sing his hit single ‘Crank That’, which had a seven-week run on the US Billboard Hot 100. Real Madrid basketball legend Joe Arlauckas, who played both halfs of the game, joined Soulja Boy to do the moves and most of the audience was also on their feet cranking it up.
Kobe’s appeal for children of all ages was apparent when he chose 10 children to play a popular half-time game where they had to don over-sized clothes then shoot a basket. The winning duo included Jadon Folmar but the audience’s heart was stolen by the youngest child in the game, who Kobe singled out for some special attention.
Soulja Boy went on to judge the slam-dunk competition immediately following the game alongside Kobe Bryant and DMCC executive chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem Bin Sulayem is a Kobe Bryant and basketball fan and his voiceover while commentating the celebrity game was evidence of both.
The Kobe Bryant Health & Fitness Weekend is organized by Maven Marketing and Events. The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) is the presenting partner for the Kobe Bryant Health & Fitness Weekend. DMCC has a mandate from the government of Dubai to provide the physical, market and financial infrastructure to set up a commodities market place in Dubai. It is the licensing authority for JLT, one of the largest mixed-use, free-zone developments in Dubai. DMCC recently announced plans to build the world’s tallest commercial tower as part of an expansion plan to attract more multinationals.
GEMS Education and Nike, who is a global sponsor of Bryant’s, supported the basketball superstar’s first appearance in the Middle East. The Kobe Bryant Health & Fitness Weekend was in association with the Dubai Diabetes Association; Boston Diabetes Centre; Imperial College of London Diabetes Centre; Expo 2020; General Authority of Youth and Sport Welfare; Sport is a Lifestyle campaign; Dubai Calendar; Dubai Sports Council; and Almoe AV Productions/Rentals. The official media partners are Virgin Radio Dubai and Gulf News.
Thursday, October 3- 2013 @ 0:00 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.