SBJ/November 10 - 16, 2003/Coast To Coast

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  • Coast to Coast

    ATLANTA

    Site has dynamic screen saver
    The Atlanta Thrashers have relaunched the team's Web site,

    The Thrashers upgraded their site with a dynamic screen saver.
    www.atlantathrashers.com, and unveiled a new Interactive Zone featuring a dynamic screen saver with live NHL scoring designed by 15-year-old Keith Peiris. The site upgrades were produced in partnership with Cyberteks Design, a Web development company founded by Peiris, who is based in Canada. The retooled Web site is designed to complement the team's fifth-season anniversary and the team's 2003-04 marketing slogan, "True Blue." Atlantathrashers.com still has original content and coverage of the Thrashers, as well as the free weekly online newsletter, "eShoots, eScores."

    BUFFALO

    The Sabres debuted their new display board at a game on Oct. 28.

    HSBC Arena shows off display board
    The Buffalo Sabres unveiled a new 360-degree fascia display board at HSBC Arena on Oct. 28. The custom-made LED panels show animation and graphics in full color. The board, which cost about $1.6 million, according to Sabres officials, was purchased from VMagic division of Venue 1, of Wayne, Pa.

    CHARLOTTE

    Ex-Hornets fans grab Bobcats seats
    The Charlotte Bobcats have taken deposits on 5,000 season tickets from former ticket holders of the Charlotte Hornets. The Bobcats made the announcement at the same time general public sales began Nov. 1. The team begins play in the fall of 2004. Season-ticket prices range from $731 to $4,300 next season. The prices will increase the following year, when the team moves to a new downtown arena.

    CLEVELAND

    Barons help line youth hockey rink

    Barons staffers Jock Callander and Tom Holy and a city worker lay the blue line on the rink’s north end.
    The Cleveland Barons teamed with the city of Cleveland to line Halloran Ice Rink on Oct. 30, readying the facility to house hockey games for the first time in its 44-year history. Halloran is part of 22 rinks in the greater Cleveland area. The Barons play an active role in each rink. By enabling local youth and adult teams to play at the facility, the city of Cleveland gains a new revenue stream.

    COLUMBUS

    Minor league hockey back in Columbus
    Minor league hockey returned to Columbus on Oct. 31, when the United Hockey League Stars beat Fort Wayne 3-2. An announced crowd of 1,645 turned out for the game at the 5,600-seat Ohio Expo Center Coliseum. It was the first pro hockey game at the Coliseum since the Columbus Chill left town in April 1999.

    Crew creates hockey festival, tourney
    MLS' Columbus Crew announced it will launch a soccer festival and tournament for youth teams next June 9-13 at three central Ohio sites. Crew President Jim Smith said the event will be open to boys' and girls' club teams whose players are ages 10-17. In addition to tournament play, the festival will have clinics for youth and college coaches and sessions for officials.

    DALLAS-FORT WORTH

    Mavericks debut, can new jersey
    The Dallas Mavericks unveiled a second road uniform

    The Mavericks’ alternate uniform will likely not be seen again.
    in an Oct. 28 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, but it may not be seen again. The Dallas Morning News reported that owner Mark Cuban said he got "only three positive e-mails about the uniforms out of about 300." The new duds are dark silver, with the name "Mavericks" on the front of the jerseys. The current road and home uniforms say "Dallas" in that spot. The team is reportedly working on a new uniform in a lighter shade of silver.

    DAYTONA BEACH, FLA.

    Sunoco joins Grand American
    Sunoco Race Fuel will be the official gasoline of Grand American Road Racing for the next 10 years. Under the agreement, Sunoco will provide racing gasoline for the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am Cup Series. Sullivan Sports Marketing, whose marketing work with Grand American was also recently announced, assisted in the deal.

    HOUSTON

    Aeros move front office downtown
    The Houston Aeros packed up their front office and moved downtown last month to be closer to their new home at Toyota Center. The team offices were located in west Houston, 15 miles away from the new arena. Now Aeros employees only have to walk a couple of blocks to get to the ice. The office was originally located in west Houston because it was a halfway point between the Aerodrome in Sugar Land, where the team practices, and the Compaq Center, where the team used to play.

    Bowl committee gets $8.7M boost
    The Texas comptroller is giving $8.7 million to the Houston Super Bowl XXXVIII Host Committee to help defray the cost of hosting the Super Bowl and other events leading up to the Feb. 1 game. On Oct. 31, the state comptroller announced the estimate of state taxes to be collected from visitors during a two-week time period culminating with the Super Bowl, which is projected to have a $336 million economic impact in the Houston area.

    INDIANAPOLIS

    Study: NCAA boosts local economy
    A recently released study showed the NCAA headquarters has a $63 million annual economic impact on Indianapolis and Indiana. The study, conducted by an independent firm, was funded by the Indiana Sports Corp., the NCAA, Butler University and the Horizon League, a Division I collegiate league based in Indianapolis. The NCAA moved its headquarters to Indianapolis in 1999 after 47 years in Overland Park, Kan.

    KANSAS CITY

    Knights tip off in Mexico
    The Kansas City Knights will tip off Nov. 22 in Juarez, Mexico, as the revamped American Basketball Association resumes play after a one-year layoff. Other ABA teams are the Long Beach (Calif.) Jam, Tijuana (Mexico) Diablos, Jersey Squires, Las Vegas Rattlers and San Joaquin (Calif.) Sun Devils. Each team is scheduled to play 36 games. League offices are in suburban Kansas City.

    MIAMI

    Domed stadium may be on the way
    Miami-Dade County officials have proposed a plan to get the Florida Marlins their own domed baseball-only stadium. It would be a 38,000-seat, $325 million ballpark. Miami-Dade would contribute $73 million in bed-tax funds, while the Marlins have agreed to put up $137 million as well as cover construction overruns. The Marlins and others, perhaps private investors, the state and the city of Miami, would have to come up with the additional $115 million by March 15, The Miami Herald said.

    Building earmarked for boxing, ball
    Boxing promoter Don King has proposed a dual use for the Palm Beach Jai-Alai building he bought two years ago — boxing and baseball. King spent $14 million on the property two years ago and said he'd be more than willing to "sacrifice his dream" of a boxing-only venue to help out a world championship baseball team. He told the Palm Beach Post that the land is there, and so is the opportunity.

    MILWAUKEE

    Panthers bounce to Clear Channel
    The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team has jumped to a new home for its game broadcasts — Clear Channel's adult-standards station WOKY-AM — in a three-year deal. Clear Channel executives in Milwaukee also plan to run promotional events for UWM basketball on other outlets in the company's six-station Milwaukee cluster. The Panthers had been carried on WMCS-AM.

    MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL

    City to improve camp to lure Vikings
    The Sioux Falls (S.D.) City Council voted to spend $2 million on improvements at Howard Wood Field in hopes of luring the Minnesota Vikings to South Dakota for training camp. A committee plans to pitch a $5.6 million proposal to the team, according to a report. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has said that if the team moves its training camp outside the state, it will adversely affect the team's pursuit of a new stadium.

    NASHVILLE

    Retief Goosen won the Chrysler Championship.

    SmartDM signs Pacers, Bobcats
    SmartDM, a Nashville-based database marketing firm, has signed agreements with Pacers Sports & Entertainment, owner and operator of the Indiana Pacers, and the NBA expansion Charlotte Bobcats as data management services provider. As part of the agreements, SmartDM will build and maintain marketing data warehouses for the organizations. Both also will use SmartDM's proprietary Web-based tool, DirectTR@K, for sales and marketing initiatives.

    OAKLAND

    A's hire McCann-Erickson
    The Oakland Athletics hired McCann-Erickson San Francisco as the team's integrated advertising agency for 2004. The scope of activities at McCann-Erickson will include brand strategy, advertising, media, digital and promotions.

    ORLANDO

    Predators roll out new campaign
    The Arena Football League's Orlando Predators launched a new, 11-point marketing campaign. According to Brett Bouchy, president of the Predators, the campaign makes Predators season-ticket holders partners in the team rather than customers. As partners, season-ticket holders will be able to travel with the team to away games, take part in monthly partner meetings with the Predators' front office and help choose this year's cheerleading squad.

    PHILADELPHIA

    Aramark, World Wide sign with venue
    Aramark Corp. and World Wide Concessions, both based in Philadelphia, signed a five-year deal recently to provide food and beverage services at Citizens Bank Park, the new home of the Philadelphia Phillies. World Wide Concessions was founded and is run by former Phillies center fielder Garry Maddox. The deal covers concession stands, 72 luxury suites, four group suites, the Diamond Club, the Hall of Fame Club and the Scoreboard Restaurant. Aramark said the deal will yield $30 million in annual revenue. Also, the Phillies announced that they will allow outside food to be brought into the ballpark, which opens in April, if it comes in a bag no larger than 16-by-16-by-8 inches.

    New restaurant to operate in ballpark
    The owners of Zanzibar Blue restaurant in Philadelphia are teaming up with the McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon chain to open a new restaurant at Citizens Bank Park. The restaurant, which will be located on the southwest corner of the ballpark, will be known as McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon. It will open in March, prior to the stadium's first game, and be open year-round.

    PITTSBURGH

    Pirates cut ticket prices
    The Pittsburgh Pirates cut full-season ticket prices for 2004 by $3 per ticket and by $1 per ticket on partial-season ticket plans. The team said it was cutting prices to acknowledge fans' loyalty to the club though it has not had a winning season in more than a decade.

    PORTLAND

    Team puts jobs online
    Landing an entry level or middle-management job with the Rose Quarter and its resident NBA team, the Portland Trail Blazers, can now be just a mouse click away. The Rose Quarter and Trail Blazers signed a licensing agreement with TeamWork Online to provide an integrated job board and recruiting system software to post job openings on the facility complex's official Web site, rosequarter.com.

    SAN FRANCISCO

    Young to market new tonic
    Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young is trading in his milk mustache to pitch Yet, an energy drink marketed by a company in Chandler, Ariz. The makers of Yet —Your Energy Tonic — hope to appeal to active people older than 40. Young, 42, has pitched other products in the past, including milk, as part of the "Got milk?" campaign.

    SAN JOSE

    Stealth to play free exhibition
    The San Jose Stealth is scheduled to introduce professional lacrosse to the Bay Area on Saturday with a free exhibition game immediately after the San Jose-Toronto NHL game at the HP Pavilion. Those attending the hockey game will be invited to stay, while those wishing to enter after the NHL game will be allowed to do so for free, Sharks officials said. The National Lacrosse League Stealth relocated from Albany, N.Y., this summer.

    SEBRING, FLA.

    Coke extends raceway deal
    Coca-Cola has extended its sponsorship with Sebring International Raceway for five years. The 52nd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring is scheduled for March 20. The event, which is the opening race of the American Le Mans Series, runs on the historic road racing circuit located adjacent to Sebring Regional Airport. The agreement with Coca-Cola includes the production of a second Sebring International Raceway commemorative bottle. Coca-Cola last year produced a Sebring 50th anniversary bottle.

    TAMPA- ST. PETERSBURG

    Golf crowd smaller than expected
    An estimated crowd of 60,000 attended the PGA Tour Chrysler Championship at Westin Innisbrook Resort Oct. 30 through Nov. 2. Organizers of the first-time tournament had hoped for at least 75,000, but the final round was up against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers home game against New Orleans. The game was shown on a big-screen TV at the course.

    City targets 2009 Super Bowl
    Tampa officials are planning to bid to host the 2009 Super Bowl after losing out on the city's bid for the 2008 game, which was awarded recently to Phoenix. The pitch to the NFL during the league's owners meeting last month came from a local group that included Outback Steakhouse Chairman Chris Sullivan and retired U.S. Army Gen. Tommy Franks.

    Send your Coast to Coast news to: CoastToCoast@sportsbusinessjournal.com or phone (704) 973-1438.

    Print | Tags: AFL, AHL, Aramark Corp., Atlanta Thrashers, Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Buffalo Sabres, Charlotte Hornets, Clear Channel Communications Inc., Coast to Coast, Colleges, Columbus Crew, Dallas Mavericks, Football, Hockey, Los Angeles Lakers, NCAA, NFL, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Portland Trail Blazers, Soccer, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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