U.S. Fans Abound For WWC Final LeBron Praised For Role In Apatow's "Trainwreck" MLS Eyeing St. Paul For Expansion Club Angels Bad PR Continues With Dipoto Exit NBA Free Agency Begins With Money Flying Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC NBC Lands New Advertisers For Race Coverage Going Off The Grid Steelers Exploring '23 Super Bowl Bid GT To Benefit Financially From Ireland Game
SBD/February 6, 2013/FranchisesPrint All
The Jaguars yesterday “unveiled their new logo” along with the slogan “Stand United’’ for the upcoming season as well as new ticket-pricing plans, according to Vito Stellino of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. But the “most eye-catching feature" of the news conference conducted by Owner Shahid Khan and President Mark Lamping "was a proposal to install the biggest scoreboards in the country in the end zones at EverBank Field" at a cost of close to $50M. Lamping said that if “they can finalize a deal with the city, which owns the stadium and would be responsible for paying for the scoreboards, in 60 to 90 days, the scoreboards could be installed by this fall.” They would be “about 52 feet high and 348 feet wide.” The new logo introduced “was not a radical change from the current one, but it is a fiercer looking Jaguar.” The design change “includes the realigning of the jaw, adjusting the positioning of the ear and adding white around the mouth and eye.” The Jaguars also will “have a secondary mark featuring the new Jaguars logo underneath a bold graphic treatment for the nickname, ‘Jags,’ paying homage to the military roots of Jacksonville.” In addition, they will have a “new logotype or word mark that was slightly updated by removing the trailing lines” from the bottom of the word “Jaguars.” The team unveiled its ticket-pricing plans and said the per-game price for 80% of seats "will remain unchanged.” The per-game price for 17% "will be increased" and 3% "will be reduced.” Meanwhile, the team is set to play a game in London for the next four years and plans “to hire a sales executive to lead sponsorship sales” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 2/6). In Jacksonville, Ashley Gurbal Kritzer reported other marketing efforts this season “will include digital billboards in Gainesville, Orlando and Savannah, Ga.” Town hall-style “fan forum” meetings “throughout Northeast Florida begin at the end of February” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/5).
THE SEAL OF THE TEAL: Jaguars Senior VP/Communications Dan Edwards said that the club "worked with the NFL creative team" to create the new logo (THE DAILY). ESPN.com’s Paul Lukas noted the change marks “the first helmet logo revision in the team's 18-year history.” The update is a “big hit here at Uni Watch HQ.” The old logo “wasn't bad, but it looks crude and sloppy compared to the new one.” The teal nose is “a little weird, and the teal eye is even weirder.” But Lukas added, “I gather we'll all get used to them, just like we got used to the teal tongue on the old logo. Let's hope this all bodes well for the team's new uniforms, which are due to be unveiled around the time of the NFL draft in April” (ESPN.com, 2/5). In Jacksonville, Matt Soergel wrote the colors are “crisper, brighter,” and the new logo “honors the old one, but stands on its own.” Soergel: “Most importantly, it kept the teal tongue -- and even emphasizes it.” Jacksonville-based marketing and advertising firm Robin Shepherd Group Creative Dir Mike Guiry said, "I like it. It crops well. It’s definitely a radical shift in the style. … The ears are pinned back, the teeth are sharper. It’s more realistic, and definitely a closer tie to the jaguar in front of the stadium. The bright color palette, I think, is interesting.” He added, "This is an evolution, but there's definitely a jump" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 2/5). YAHOO SPORTS’ Kevin Kaduk wrote the “cat got a little bit of Botox and the result is a more colorful and pulled-back look” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/5). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon asked Tony Kornheiser about the Jaguars new logo, “What do you think of this junk?” Comparing the previous logo to the new one, Kornheiser said the new mark is “marginally better, but better.” Wilbon: “Somebody paid huge money for that? Some kid could have done that on his Etch-A-Sketch” (“PTI,” ESPN, 2/5).
Blue Jays President & CEO Paul Beeston yesterday "proclaimed the baseball team’s attendance could eclipse the three-million mark should everything fall into place during the course of 2013," according to Robert MacLeod of the GLOBE & MAIL. Beeston said that with the "dramatic improvement" Senior VP/Baseball Operations & GM Alex Anthopoulos has made to the team’s on-field product for this season, from a "business standpoint, things are also looking up." Beeston, speaking at the annual state-of-the-franchise event for season-ticket holders, said, "The ticket sales are dramatically up, sponsorships are dramatically up. Everything’s up. But it still comes down to winning." The Blue Jays last year "averaged 25,921 fans for their home games." To reach an "overall attendance mark of three million in 2013, they would need to average about 37,037 -- which would put Toronto in the top 10 in baseball." Attendance at last night's event "likely surpassed 1,500 and was a significant increase over last year’s edition" (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/6). In Toronto, Ken Fidlin notes Beeston is "maintaining his tight-lipped stance on season ticket sales." Beeston said, "We haven’t announced them before when things were going bad and we’re not going to start announcing them now that things have turned.” He said that an "attendance total of three million for the 2013 season is not out of the question." Beeston: "Depending on how we get out of the gate. We were 2.1 (million) last year with a really rough August and September. ... All the metrics are very positive" (TORONTO SUN, 2/6).
GETTING CROWDED: In Toronto, Brendan Kennedy reports last night's attendance was "the largest crowd since the inaugural event in 2002." Beeston said, "It certainly has a different feel, doesn't it?" The event was "more of a love-in for fans than a chance to grill team brass." Beeston also "reaffirmed a promise he made at last year’s gathering -- that the Jays would make the post-season in two out of the next five years." Beeston said of replacing the artificial turf at Rogers Centre, "Our intention is to get grass in here." Beeston said that the CFL Toronto Argonauts "remain an obstacle, because they would have nowhere else to play at the moment." Beeston said of potential ticket price hikes, "Let me put it this way, you hope not. But I don’t think they’re going to go down.” The Blue Jays have "not raised ticket prices in four years." Beeston said that if attendance goes up, the prices "could stay steady." But he made "no guarantees." Beeston: “The longer we put it off, the better" (TORONTO STAR, 2/6). SPORTSNET.ca's Shi Davidi noted "many among the estimated crowd of 1,200 stood and applauded" Blue Jays execs as they took their seats, which is "unsurprising after a winter splurge in excess of $200 million ensured that rather than the outlet for fan discontent the evening has regularly devolved into, this night was a smiley, happy one" (SPORTSNET.ca, 2/5).
FINDING THE ZONE: The Blue Jays yesterday announced that TD has become their official financial institution partner. The sponsorship includes Blue Jays music theme nights and the Winter Tour, along with a permanent presence inside the Rogers Centre. The 200 level of Rogers Centre on the south end will be rebranded as the TD Comfort Clubhouse. The exclusive area also will be the new location for the TD Comfort Zone (Blue Jays).
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson yesterday said that he "remained confident he would deliver a competitive bid to keep" the NBA Kings in the city, according to Lillis & Kasler of the SACRAMENTO BEE. A plan to buy the team by "deep-pocketed investors," reported to be Penguins co-Owner Ron Burkle and 24 Hour Fitness co-Founder Mark Mastrov, also is "expected to include a proposal to build a downtown sports arena." The mayor "plans to present that package to the NBA's board of governors as a counteroffer to a deal" between Kings Owners the Maloof family and a Seattle group headed by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Johnson said that he "wants his plan solidified by the end of this month." The NBA ultimately will "decide whether to support Johnson's proposal or approve the Seattle agreement." Johnson said, "I think we're really close. (Not having an announcement yet) is not a negative by any means. This is a complex deal" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 2/6). NBCSPORTS.com's Aaron Bruski noted since the Sacramento Bee’s report on Burkle and Mastrov's potential bid, there has "been speculation whether Kings minority owners have the 'Right of First Opportunity' to purchase the team from the Maloofs." Bruski: "Looking at the club’s governing documents, they well may." According to a copy of the Kings' '92 ownership agreement and an addendum to the original agreement from May of '03, if the Maloofs sell their interest to the Hansen-Ballmer group for the reported price of $341M and the minority owners do not take up the Right of First Refusal, Hansen and Ballmer would be "required to purchase a proportional stake of the minority share as well" (NBCSPORTS.com, 2/4).
Red Sox fans yesterday celebrated Truck Day, the "unofficial start of spring training," as workers began loading a "JetBlue-sponsored big rig parked outside Fenway Park just after 7 a.m.," according to Marie Torto of the BOSTON GLOBE. Team President & CEO Larry Lucchino said that "the theme for the Red Sox this year is 'new things ahead.'" He added that he was "happy to see the turnout for Truck Day" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/6). In Boston, Michael Silverman notes Lucchino keeps "a lot of little black books," and at the top of a page of notes he took the day after the '12 season ended "is written: 'Lessons Learned.'" One such lesson Lucchino wrote read, "Free agency philosophy: Pay more money for fewer years." Silverman writes it is an "intriguing list, almost a tease, really, but not especially profound or groundbreaking." Lucchino agrees that many of the lessons "are old ones the Sox already knew but forgot and then needed to be reminded of." Silverman: "Say what you want about these owners and operators, at least they can't be accused of trying to put lipstick on a pig." They are "not in denial, and they're also not giving up on themselves, either." But why should the owners and Lucchino "be believed when they say they can clean up after themselves?" Lucchino said, "I can understand some people being skeptical. Our job is to provide them with a product they can be proud of." Lucchino said he will "eventually" get to reading former Red Sox manager Terry Francona's book, but for now, "I've got more compelling, true, non-fiction I want to read." He added, "The notion [Red Sox Owner John Henry and Chair Tom Werner] are not passionate baseball fans and deeply committed to winning is just absurd and offensive" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/6).
Bloomberg Sports has partnered with EPL club Norwich City FC to provide fans a 15% discount on its BSports Match Analysis, which delivers advanced statistics, charts and predictive analysis. The deal, which is for the remainder of the current EPL season with a team option for ‘13-14, is Bloomberg’s first with an EPL club. It was constructed by Front Row Marketing Services, a consultant to Norwich City FC. Front Row CEO Chris Lencheski said, “Norwich has a strong tradition, but realizes that to succeed among the more global clubs in the EPL, they have to find points of differentiation. This is the first of several moves we will help the club with to show their marketing prowess and value.” According to Bloomberg Sports head Bill Squadron, his company is currently in discussions with other EPL clubs about similar arrangements. BSports Match Analysis covers matches in the EPL, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1. The Match Analysis, which launched in September and predicts final and halftime scores, could be popular with bettors of European league matches. “Our projections are the most accurate ever developed and have been thoroughly back-tested,” said Squadron. “They will show clear value propositions where our numbers differ from the bookmakers.”