SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--You really had to see it to believe it. A company party unlike any holiday celebration most people will ever see. Saturday night Major League Baseball’s Chase Field was transformed into an amusement park for the Go Daddy holiday party in Phoenix, which one television journalist on scene reported as “one of the best parties on the planet.”
Go Daddy employees enjoyed rides on a Ferris wheel, bumper cars and a merry-go-round as the boss handed out more than $1MM in employee cash giveaways and a $500,000 charity donation … oh and for a little musical pleasure, guests rocked to special performances by A-list entertainers – Jewel, who wrote a Go Daddy song for the occasion, as well as George Thorogood and the Destroyers, and a little band from Texas, ZZ Top.
The “over-the-top, big top” amusement-theme party cost more than $4MM and was produced by Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons and Renee LaBelle Parsons to celebrate the company’s remarkable accomplishments in 2010.
The world’s largest Web hosting provider and domain name registrar provider recorded a 25 percent increase in sales this year, expanded with more than 400 hires, opened a data center in Singapore and now serves more than 8.6MM customers. Go Daddy is now larger than its eight closest competitors … combined!
Mr. Parsons opened the night on stage under the spotlight, wearing sunglasses, surrounded by dancing Go Daddy Girls and fireworks as more than 5,000 guests roared. Parsons’ first order of business was to thank employees who were back at the office working by announcing they would each receive four times their usual pay for the night, plus a $250 spiff.
Renee Parsons, who is Go Daddy’s Vice President of Corporate Events and Community Outreach, joined Bob on stage to help reveal this year’s holiday charity donation, which went to an organization focused on helping women living with HIV/AIDS.
The Parsons presented a “big check” for $500,000 to the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS. The donation establishes the “Go Daddy Women’s Health Center” at Southwest Center’s new community health and education facility in central Phoenix.
“This is an important cause few people talk about,” Bob Parsons said. “The issue of women living with HIV and AIDS doesn’t get much publicity, but more than a quarter-million women and girls in this country are infected with HIV. We believe Go Daddy can make a difference and that the ‘Go Daddy Women’s Center’ will provide relief for many women suffering from this terrible disease.”
In addition to helping create the facility, Go Daddy’s half-million dollar donation will help launch a comprehensive program to connect domestic violence education with HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention for women.
“Go Daddy’s investment will create a national model of excellence for HIV/AIDS prevention for women who are at high risk for the disease, many due to being in abusive or violent relationships with their spouses or partners,” noted Carol Poore, president and CEO of Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS. “This generous gift from Go Daddy will most certainly make a big difference in our efforts.”
At a time when other companies are cutting back, Go Daddy is increasing its charitable giving. The Internet powerhouse has donated more than $3.4MM in 2010, breaking last year’s record of $2.5MM.
To celebrate Go Daddy’s success, Parsons had promised this year’s holiday party would ‘rock,’ and employees agreed – the shindig did not disappoint. Parsons pulled names from a hat and gave away more than $1MM in cash prizes to employees – taxes paid courtesy of the company. Go Daddy also flew in out-of-state employees and their guests to attend the party and put them up in a nearby hotel for two nights.
Employees were also treated to some star gazing – Go Daddy Girls Danica Patrick, Jillian Michaels, Vanessa Rousso and Candice Michelle attended. Auto racing icon Michael Andretti and IndyCar star Ryan Hunter-Reay were also among the celebrities enjoying the festivities. Other special guests included “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio and award-winning advertising critic Barbara Lippert.
Some wonder if the party is too much given the economic climate, but Parsons insists on rewarding employees. “Our people deserve a party like this,” Parsons said. “As my little brother likes to tell me, we’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time!”
The thousands of employees and their guests clearly seemed to agree with Parsons, cheering his legendary declaration. There was romance in the air too, two Scottsdale-based employees were engaged at the Go Daddy holiday party.
About The Go Daddy Group, Inc.
Go Daddy is a leading provider of services that enable individuals and businesses to establish, maintain and evolve an online presence. Go Daddy provides a variety of domain name registration plans and website design and hosting packages, as well as a broad array of on-demand services. These include products such as SSL Certificates, Domains by Proxy private registration, ecommerce website hosting, blog templates and blog software, podcast packages and online photo hosting. The Go Daddy Group has more than 44 million domain names under management. Go Daddy registers, renews or transfers a domain name every second. GoDaddy.com is the world’s largest Web hosting provider and is the world's No. 1 domain name registrar according to Name Intelligence, Inc. During the first half of 2010, The Go Daddy Group registered more than one-third of all new domain names created in the top six generic top-level domains, or gTLDs, including .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz and .mobi.
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