Kobe Bryant weekend voted ‘best special event’ in Dubai

Maven events company promises more high-profile basketball events in the UAE

At the Middle East Event Awards 2014 in Dubai
Image Credit: Supplied
From left: Phill Jupitus, Sarah Omolewu, Sameera Anand and Laura Schembri at the Middle East Event Awards 2014 in Dubai.
Gulf News

Dubai: The managing partner of Maven Marketing and Events has promised similar high-profile events like the DMCC Kobe Bryant Health and Fitness Weekend that was awarded the ‘Best Special Event’ at the Middle East Event Awards 2014 last week.

The celebrity basketball match featuring NBA star Kobe Bryant was held before a packed audience at the American University in Dubai (AUD) in September 2013 and was voted as the best special event at last week’s annual awards.

Sarah Omolewu, Managing Partner, Maven Marketing and Events, was thrilled after receiving the prestigious award from Phil Jupitus at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel.

“Such an honour to win the best event in our very first year can only be a huge source of encouragement for us as a team at Maven Marketing,” Omolewu told Gulf News.

“Our thanks go out to our peers in the event industry for voting for the celebrity game for this prestigious award as it stands as proof of the region’s ability to embrace our vision of bringing first-time concepts to the market while recognizing the hard work and dedication of our team. We look forward to continuing to bring to the Middle East new ideas and scaling new heights,” she promised.

Bryant, who tore his Achilles in April 2013 in a match against the Golden State Warriors, was forced to sit out the rest of the 2013 season. He traveled to Dubai on September 26 to kick-off the three-day Kobe Bryant Health & Fitness Weekend. The highly anticipated weekend took place from September 27-29 culminating with the celebrity basketball game at AUD.

The Real Madrid Basketball Legends were pitted against a team of international and regional celebrities including American music artists Soulja Boy and Marques Houston, American footballer Kelly Herndon and Saudi Prince Sultan Bin Mohammad Bin Abdullah Al Faisal Al Saud, along with local celebrities. Bryant coached the celebrity side to a 72-63 victory over the legends.

The weekend, which was in aid of diabetes awareness, was presented by DMCC, under the patronage of Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development and Chairman, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare (GAYSW).

Bryant, the third-highest paid athlete in the world, jetted back to Los Angeles on a private plane immediately following the celebrity basketball game to attend Lakers media day on September 29.

Kobe played only six games in 2013 before suffering a fractured tibia in a game against the Memphis Grizzles on December 17. In March, the Lakers formally announced that Kobe would miss the rest of the season to recover and ensure he was fully recovered for the start of the 2014-2015 season.

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