SBD/February 4, 2011/People and Pop Culture

This Week's Newsmakers: Vinik Puts Stamp On Lightning With Changes

Lightning's new uniforms and logo part of rebranding effort under Vinik
THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here are this week's newsmakers:

WIN: JEFF VINIK -- The new Lightning Owner puts his stamp on the club this week with an array of brand and venue changes leading into next season. The team unveils a new logo and uniforms for the '11-12 campaign, and the NHL for the first time will allow some of the rebranding to take effect immediately at St. Pete Times Forum. The Lightning also announce they will proceed with $35M in renovations to the venue, which includes an outdoor party deck and enhancements to the in-game experience. In addition, Vinik reaffirms his commitment to the Tampa region with a pledge of more than $10M to local programs through the team's Lightning Foundation.

LOSE: DALLAS WEATHER -- While nobody can control the weather, Mother Nature has certainly put a damper on the vibe in Dallas-Ft. Worth leading up to the region's first Super Bowl. The buzz normally associated with the big game is overshadowed by a rare winter storm that has caked the Metroplex in sheets of ice, putting a serious cramp in organizers' plans to showcase the area. While ROGER GOODELL and JERRY JONES both repeatedly say the weather will not have an impact on Cowboys Stadium landing future Super Bowls -- the record crowd expected Sunday will have a lot to say on that -- it is hard not to think of Atlanta, which is awaiting another championship game after bad weather marred the ’00 festivities.

DRAW: NFL MEDIA DAY -- We get it, the NFL’s answer to Carnival gives members of the media that may not regularly cover the two Super Bowl teams availability to players, which can help grow the game throughout the globe. However, when was the last time a player said something even remotely controversial? Most of them just want to get through without sticking their foot in their mouth. And enough with the shenanigans that some “reporters” carry out during the event. MARIA MENOUNOS stroking CLAY MATTHEWS’ hair? Even ROSS THE INTERN thinks that’s going too far.
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