Steve Max is a full-time PROFESSIONAL Simon Sez (Simon Says) caller/leader. Known nationally for his appearances on TV and at NBA & NCAA basketball halftimes, Steve has taken this classic kids’ game to a whole new level!
Simon Sez read more to find out where he came from and where he’s headed next.
— Steve Max (@SimonSezGuy) June 4, 2018
Gameops.com: What are some high points from your career and over 1000 halftime shows going back to ’03?
Steve Max: Firstly, I’ve got to say that performing my very first halftime back in the summer of ’03 at Madison Square Garden, the ‘World’s Most Famous Arena’, for the New York Liberty was quite thrilling! And even all these years later, performing to 20,000 people at any arena is still incredibly exciting.
But the real highlights are when my Simon Sez Halftime Show creates a special moment for the fans … like the time the Dallas Mavericks brought me in for their ‘Seats For Soldiers’ night, and when the soldier with only one hand lifted the ‘wrong’ arm, rather than call him out, I said that since it he gave his left hand for our country, he gets to stay in the game. The crowd went nuts, the soldier excitedly jumped around, and I got the pleasure of knowing that what could have been an awkward situation was turned into a very special moment.
Or the time we did ‘Kids vs Moms’ during a Mother’s Day Playoff game for the Nets … and the last two contestants standing center court were a mother and her son! The fans were ecstatic while the mom and her boy will remember that experience forever. Or the time, during a ‘Kids vs Players’ Simon Sez at a pre-season open practice for the Pacers, because Lance Stephenson had blown into Lebron’s ear during the previous playoffs, I had a little kid blow into Lance’s ear. Needless to say, big laughs ensued.
Gameops.com: Your show is so interactive and valuable because you can always wrap a theme around the contestants, and no two shows are ever the same. Talk about how you build these one-of-a-kind shows to a team’s needs.
Steve Max: Well, there are two big reasons why my show is so different from other acts out there: 1) the audience participants of up to 50 people and 2) I have a microphone!
As you know, teams schedule ‘theme’ games throughout the season. So the first thing that comes to mind is a ‘Seats for Soldiers Night’ or Military Appreciation. It’s always nice to have veterans stand up in the stands and be recognized … but having them participate in my show is ALWAYS amazing! Kids participating and getting prizes during holiday time games is ALWAYS amazing! Cancer survivors participating during Breast Cancer Awareness games is ALWAYS amazing! Last season I also did a Halloween night for the Pacers and a ‘Star Wars’ night for the Magic. Because my show is a ‘framework’ of sorts, I can incorporate any theme into it. BTW, Mascots vs Kids is the funniest thing ever!
Teams also recognize the importance of my microphone during the show and the opportunities to say extra things. So for example, the Jazz and Bucks will have me play Simon Sez with season ticket holders … and then I’ll tell the fans what section of the arena they can go to for re-upping for the next season. The Mavs have used me countless times to promote halftime sponsors such as super market chains … whose reps are in the crowd and more than pleased at the extra publicity. And I’ve also had a great six year relationship with Geico, which has used me to promote their insurance company at 50 halftimes over the years.
Gameops.com: Last year you did 73 halftimes, so it sounds like you book up fast. Where can teams connect with you to lock you in for their upcoming season?
Steve Max: Yes, 73 halftimes was my busiest season ever! Truthfully, I’m blessed to have made so many friends and wonderful relationships with Event Presentation people around the country over the years. With me, it’s never just about booking the gig. It’s also phone calls about our families and how things are going. There’s a reason the Mavs, Bulls, Knicks, Wizards, Clippers, Raptors, Nets, Cavaliers, Jazz, Magic, Timberwolves, Pacers, Hawks, Suns, Bucks, Nuggets, Pelicans and Thunder continue to bring me in year after year … many going back to ‘04! It’s all about relationships and professionalism. The teams I’ve mentioned know their fans deserve the best and that’s why they feel very comfortable bringing me in. I hope if your team is not mentioned above, you’ll give me a shot this coming season. I guarantee your fans will LOVE it. You can reach me at:
- P: 914-288-0789
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- See the Steve Max Arena Show Flyer
Update January 2020: Steve Max is innovating during the pandemic combining his world-famous Simon Sez call with Zoom calls. On the January 2021 Party in the Back podcast Amanda Greco noted Steve’s innovation and how this would be a great addition as a pandemic-friendly scoreboard halftime. Steve noted he been in discussion with several teams about the possibility, and he has been honing his Zoom show with corporate shows and kids camps. Here is a sample of his Zoom-style show.