To strengthen its brand as one of the leading champagne producers in the United States, Korbel Champagne Cellars of Guerneville, Calif., sponsored Korbel Night of Olympic Champions, a celebration honoring more than 1,200 U.S. athletes from the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Held in November at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, the event was taped and aired on “U.S. Olympic Gold,” a one-hour show on NBC.
For Chicago-based Disson and Associates, the executive producer of the event, it was imperative that the Korbel name be prominent throughout the event. Event planner Halle Becker-Henkin of New York-based Comet Productions, who was hired to assist Disson, enlisted a team of Washington-area vendors to make it happen. The result: an 18-by-40-foot, digitally reproduced replica of a Korbel bottle on the dance floor; centerpieces featuring a low ring of yellow roses surrounding a bottle of the bubbly; and a fiber-optic drape bearing Korbel's name taking center stage.
After a champagne toast, guests watched footage of many poignant moments of the Games.
The logistics of the event provided Becker-Henkin a unique challenge. Many of the attending athletes were in wheelchairs, so she had to organize the 130 tables to allow the requisite space. For underage athletes — who had no guardians present — she designated certain tables as “nondrinking tables.”
Margie Healy, Korbel's director of public relations, says Korbel wanted to create an event that would “expand our Olympic sponsorship and become something that would only be owned by Korbel. The event certainly accomplished this and will provide us a springboard for how we can make it bigger in the years to come.”
Disson and Associates
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