Miami -- Future Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino was honored at the Pro Player Stadium here in a star-studded tribute involving USA Home Entertainment, New York, and Publix Super Markets, Lakeland, Fla.
ips from our video of his career were shown on the giant JumboTron TV screen at the event," said Sal Scamardo, USA vice president of sports & special programming.
Celebrity guests in attendance included Hall of Fame coach Don Shula, Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Namath and Terry Bradshaw, and Marino's classmates in the "Quarterback Class of '83": Jim Kelly, John Elway, John Blackledge, Tony Eason, and Ken O'Brien.
USA presented a $50,000 check to the Dan Marino Foundation, which supports local children's charities, at a press event before the concert. "This was attended by VIPs from Publix Supermarkets, from USA, and from the National Football League," said Scamardo.
Publix participation included sponsorship of the tape, which bears their logo. Officials at Publix declined to comment on their involvement in the event or on merchandising the tape in their stores.
"The tape is now on sale exclusively at Publix," said Scamardo. "Sales are very brisk and we're all very pleased." The documentary, which utilizes interviews and game footage to celebrate Marino's accomplishments on and off the field, is available at Publix Supermarkets throughout south Florida at a $19.98 suggested retail price. The exclusive run lasts through the end of the year.
The tribute "was a huge success," said Scamardo. "Publix received a tremendous amount of awareness from such a big event, where sports fans from the whole area were focused on the 17-year veteran. There was a lot of local media coverage from the Miami area, as well as the national press. It was a proper send-off for Marino and a good launching pad for our video with Publix."
"We're happy to be a part of something that preserves Marino's legacy as a player," said Scamardo. "It gets the message out to his fans about his foundation and hopefully it will do some good for quite a few people to come."