Steve Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards Honors Everyday People
By D. Aileen Dodd | 8/11/2014, 11:49 a.m.
The increasingly popular Steve Harvey’s Ford 2014 Neighborhood Awards is underway in Atlanta with four full days of fun activities. (Aug. 7 -10). Many of the events will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center downtown.
Event organizers expect approximately 150,000 members of the Steve Harvey Nation – a loyal group of diehard fans that have followed Harvey from his stand-up days as a “King of Comedy” to his reign as a syndicated radio host, and Emmy-winning TV talk show host – to make the trek to Atlanta for the down home celebration honoring the accomplishments of everyday people.
The Neighborhood Awards weekend will bring national exposure to local businesses that will benefit from the success of Harvey’s brand. It has the potential to pump millions of dollars into the local economy.
The Steve Harvey Nation is a diverse demographic of mostly African-American fans age 25-to-54 with the disposable income to shut down websites with orders to support businesses on Harvey’s command.
“He is the new Oprah,” said David Camacho, an executive in charge of the production for the 2014 Neighborhood Awards weekend. “Steve has the ability to connect with people on a personal level. This awards show weekend is the best way to see Steve Harvey live. We want this to be an event that not only the City of Atlanta, but the nation takes note of.”
With the star power of a BET production and a crowd estimated to draw more people than the 103,000 who came to see Super Bowl XIV, the Neighborhood Awards could be a signature event for the city.
“Over the course of three days, the Neighborhood Awards will bring an estimated 150,000 people to dine, shop and meet in Atlanta for a star-studded and eventful weekend,” said Mark Vaughan, executive vice president and chief sales officer, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We’re proud that Steve Harvey chose Atlanta as the show’s new home. Big events like the Neighborhood Awards help fuel Atlanta’s $13-billion hospitality industry and contribute to the nearly 230,000 jobs that this industry supports.”
The Neighborhood Awards was first launched in 2001 as a single-day event honoring businesses and community leaders in Los Angeles at a time when Harvey’s radio show was in its infancy. As Harvey’s listening audience grew, the awards show expanded adding more categories and activities like concerts and parties to make it a vacation destination.
In 2007 when the Neighborhood Awards show - then known as the “Hoodies” - moved to Las Vegas, a city without a Steve Harvey affiliate, it sold-out tickets six months in advance and filled hundreds of hotel rooms. Several thousands of fans came to honor award winners - and to spend money at casinos.
This is the eighth straight year that Ford has been the title sponsor of the awards. For the second year in a row, Ford will present the winner of the Community Leader of the Year Award with a check for $30,000 to be used as a donation to his or her nonprofit organization of choice to further community efforts locally.