SBJ/March 15 - 21, 2004/Coast To Coast

Coast to Coast


Sharks begin play April 10
The Atlantic City CardSharks, a new National Indoor Football League franchise, will begin play in historic Boardwalk Hall on April 10. The club is led by general manager and head coach Mike Siani, a former Oakland Raiders and Villanova University player. The CardSharks will play seven Saturday night home games at Boardwalk Hall.


Ravens have deal with Papa John's
The Baltimore Ravens have a multiyear sponsorship agreement with Papa John's pizza that designates it the "Preferred Pizza of the Baltimore Ravens." As part of the agreement, Papa John's and the Ravens will develop a promotion for the upcoming season in which Baltimore-area fans receive a free pizza topping for each touchdown scored by the team during a game. Additionally, there will be one promotion each year of the five-year agreement in which Baltimore-area fans are automatically entered to win Ravens merchandise when they buy a Papa John's pizza.


Bank of the West signs on with UC-B
The University of California-Berkeley athletic department has agreed to a five-year corporate sponsorship deal with Bank of the West. The agreement extends Bank of the West as the preferred bank for the Golden Bears through 2009. Enhancements added to the partnership make Bank of the West the presenting partner of the Memorial Stadium video board, which will be titled "Bear Vision." Financial terms of the deal were not released.


Crew lands TV partner
WWHO-TV, an over-the-air station in the UPN network, will televise seven Columbus Crew games in a new partnership with the MLS team. The station will have the option to televise playoff games, said Crew President and general manager Jim Smith. Three other Crew games will be telecast on ESPN2. The deal is the first between the Crew and UPN since 1996.

Buckeyes boost ticket prices
Ohio State football season-ticket holders will pay 21 percent more to see the Buckeyes this fall. The price hike, announced March 3 by OSU, will boost the cost of a single-game ticket to $57, a $10 increase. Ticket prices will rise $8, to $48, for faculty and staff, and $5, to $27, for students. Athletic department officials said the increases are needed to cover a drop in home games from eight the last two years to six this season, as well as rising tuition at the university.


Adams starts new campaign
Adams Golf Inc. launched a new

Adams Golf’s new Ovation spots target golfers with mid to high scoring handicaps.
ad campaign March 5 during the MasterCard Classic touting its new Ovation Fairway Woods line. Aimed at golfers with mid to high scoring handicaps, the four spots focus on what Plano-based Adams Golf says are the clubs' "easy to hit design and innovative performance features." Each ad shows various professional and amateur golfers making perfect shots, followed by loud applause. Designed by Dallas ad agency Temerlin McClain, the campaign will run on network and cable television through the end of the year.


Congress plans hearing on sex, recruiting
The ongoing recruiting scandal in the University of Colorado football program has reached Washington, D.C. Congress scheduled a hearing on using sex to recruit athletes. The hearing was set for last Thursday to determine if there is some federal fix to the problem. Several women have filed lawsuits claiming they were raped by CU football players or recruits.

Broncos re-sign Adrenalin Design
The Denver Broncos have retained Adrenalin Design Group's services for the 2004 campaign. As part of the renewed contract, Adrenalin will develop the look of all Broncos materials, including marketing collateral, media guide, game programs and annual community report. This is the seventh season that the Broncos have used Adrenalin's services. Adrenalin also re-signed with the Los Angeles Avengers for the 2004 season.


Fox to air 100 Tigers games
Fox Sports Net will televise 100 regular-season and four preseason Detroit Tigers games this season on the Fox Sports Net Detroit cable network. Once again, Mario Impemba and ex-Tiger Rod Allen will be the announcers.

Line-X to sponsor race
Line-X, the nationwide leader in spray-on truck bedliners, will sponsor the Line-X Spray-On Truck Bedliners 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway on July 31.

Lions boost ticket prices
The Detroit Lions announced increased ticket prices for their third season at Ford Field. Increases are $2 to $7, with no increases for 15,000 upper-level corners/end-zone seats. The largest increases were for upper-level sideline seats.


BankAtlantic makes deal with Marlins
BankAtlantic in Fort Lauderdale has agreed to a two-year sponsorship package with the Florida Marlins. The alliance provides the bank with the sponsorship of several events — including the seventh inning stretch during all regular-season home games and signage at the stadium — and offers fans the opportunity to have BankAtlantic checks with the Marlins logo. Other elements include signage and logo on the JumboTron screens and broadcast advertising air spots. Terms were not announced.


RailCats hold high school challenge
The Gary SouthShore RailCats announced that 41 area high schools will participate in the second annual RailCats High School Baseball Challenge. The series will include 21 games and will be played from April 2-30 in Gary. The series allows high school baseball players in northern Indiana and northeast Illinois to compete in the RailCats' state-of-the-art $45 million stadium, the U.S. Steel Yard. The series began in 2003 when 24 schools participated. The RailCats are a minor league professional baseball club that competes in the independent Northern League.


Rockets transmit in secondary language
The Houston Rockets began transmitting secondary audio programming in Spanish on March 3, becoming the first professional team in Houston to offer Spanish play-by-play during telecasts. Rockets games are broadcast in Spanish on KYST 920 AM. That broadcast is now being simulcast as the team's secondary audio programming. Team and league research shows that 25 percent of Rockets fans are Hispanic, and more than 35 percent of Houston Hispanics are regular viewers of Rockets telecasts.


Royals near ticket goal of 10,000
The Kansas City Royals are approaching their goal of selling 10,000 season tickets, team President Dan Glass said. If the team's attendance can reach 2 million this season, Glass said, it will be in great shape economically. The Royals last drew 2 million fans in 1991.

Wizards plan 6-game barnstorm
The Kansas City Wizards will embark on a six-game barnstorming tour before and during the Major League Soccer team's first month of the season that begins April 3. Exhibitions start March 27, when the Wizards travel to Raleigh to face the Los Angeles Galaxy. In April, the team plays games in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., potential MLS expansion sites. The tour's final three games will be played in Springfield and Sedalia, Mo., and Des Moines, Iowa.

ABA Knights boost attendance
The Kansas City Knights drew 2,250 to their final ABA regular-season home basketball game March 2. The Knights' early season home games in December had drawn barely 100 fans. Jim Clark, the Knights' owner and the ABA's CEO, said he hopes to expand the seven-team minor league to at least 16 franchises for next season. Expansion would build regional rivalries and cut travel costs, Clark said.


St. Vincent renews USTA deal
The U.S. Tennis Association

St. Vincent USTA tournament logo
announced that St. Vincent Health Systems and St. Vincent Auxiliary has renewed its title sponsorship of the $15,000 entry-level men's USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Little Rock, Ark. The St. Vincent Auxiliary USTA Men's Professional Tennis Tournament will be held March 22-28 at the city-owned Rebsamen Tennis Center. St. Vincent has been title sponsor of the event for a record 20 years.


Bonham Group hired for naming deal
The University of Miami has retained Denver-based The Bonham Group to lead the naming-rights search for its $51 million Convocation Center. The facility originally was named the Ryder Center, but the Miami-based logistics company pulled out of its deal midway through construction. The facility seats 7,000, has 26 suites and opened in January 2003.

Crestor a sponsor of PGA Tour
AstraZeneca said it has a multiyear sponsorship agreement on behalf of its new cholesterol-lowering medication, Crestor, building on its two-year relationship with the PGA Tour. The deal makes Crestor an official partner with the PGA Tour and Champions Tour. No terms were announced.


Brewers add 2 sponsors
The Milwaukee Brewers have signed two new sponsors and renewed five additional sponsors for the 2004 season for in-stadium advertising and promotion. The latest additions followed the Brewers securing renewals a month earlier of 10 of their key business sponsors. Rick Schlesinger, Brewers executive vice president of business operations, said the two new sponsors are George Webb Restaurants, a local chain of diners, and Bally's Total Fitness, Milwaukee. The businesses renewing contracts included St. Michael's Hospital, Milwaukee; M&I Bank, Milwaukee; TruGreen Chemlawn, Waukesha and Gatorade. He declined to reveal the value of the contracts.

Milwaukee Mile to rebuild infield
The Milwaukee Mile will spend at least $1.4 million to rebuild the infield of the track to improve safety and to allow the track's promoters to bring new events to the Wisconsin State Fair Park grounds where it's located. By widening a 22-foot-wide road around the track infield to 36 feet, Milwaukee Mile officials will be able to add go-cart, motorcycle and snowmobile races.


Wolves' speaker series continues
The Minnesota Timberwolves' ongoing Timberwolves Speaker Series will have three nationally known participants in the next month. NBA Commissioner David Stern will address fans before the team's game against the San Antonio Spurs March 22. St. John's football coach John Gagliardi will speak March 31. Late night talk show host Craig Kilborn will address fans April 4. Tickets for the events, which the team has been doing all season long, range from $17 to $60, including admission to the games.

3 games to be broadcast in Spanish
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Clear Channel Radio announced plans to broadcast three of the team's remaining games in Spanish. The games — last Sunday, March 21 and April 4 — were to be the first-ever Wolves-originated Spanish broadcasts. The games will be broadcast on KFXN-AM 690, owned by Clear Channel.


St. Mary's drops football
St. Mary's College announced March 3 that it is dropping its Division I-AA football program in order to concentrate funding on its 14 other athletic programs. The Gaels were 1-11 in the West Coast Conference in 2003.


Amerada Hess to sponsor resort, venues
The Walt Disney World Resort and Amerada Hess Corp. have signed a multiyear agreement. Financial terms were not disclosed. The agreement includes the operation of three Hess Express service stations on Walt Disney World Resort property at the Car Care Center near the Magic Kingdom, Disney's BoardWalk and Downtown Disney Pleasure Island. All three locations will be remodeled and reopened by March 30. Hess also will become the title sponsor of the Sports Fields venue at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. As part of the Hess sponsorship, the facility will undergo a 20-acre expansion this summer to include an additional four multisport fields and four diamonds for baseball and softball.


Citizens Bank to let fans do business
Citizens Bank, which last year bought naming rights to the new Philadelphia Phillies ballpark, plans to offer banking service at the facility when it opens next month. A Citizens spokeswoman said the bank won't have a physical branch office on-site, but will have bank employees in an area called the "Citizens Ballpark Bankers Booth" along Ashburn Alley, the ballpark's outfield entertainment area. Consumers will be able to open accounts and apply for loans at the branch.

Veterans demolition already begun
The Philadelphia Phillies

Demolition work has begun at Veterans Stadium, with implosion set for next Sunday.
unveiled plans for next Sunday's implosion of Veterans Stadium. The implosion will begin at 7 a.m. and take about 58 seconds to complete. During the past few months, work has been under way with the conventional demolition of the Vet's concrete ramps, podium level, lower seating bowl, lights and roofing. By Sunday, the team expects the Vet to have been reduced to a "virtual concrete skeleton." Brandenburg Industrial Service Co. is the demolition subcontractor; Demolition Dynamics Co. was hired as the implosion subcontractor. After demolition, the site will be used for an additional 5,500 parking spots for the four stadiums in the city's south Philadelphia sports complex.

Sesame Street meets Flyers
In a cross-promotional

"Burke and Ernie": Ernie takes a shot at Philadelphia Flyers goalie Sean Burke.
initiative called "Burke and Ernie," Comcast-Spectacor arranged for Sesame Street Live's Ernie to take a few slapshots at Philadelphia Flyers goalie Sean Burke at the team practice facility in Voorhees, N.J. The photo-op was arranged to promote Sesame Street Live's 10 performances this month at Wachovia Spectrum. Both the arena and the Flyers are owned by Comcast-Spectacor, a Philadelphia sports and entertainment company.


Arco Arena makes deal with Jelly Belly
Maloof Sports & Entertainment's Arco Arena, home of the Sacramento Kings and WNBA Monarchs, has signed a co-marketing deal with Jelly Belly Candy Co. of Fairfield for the rest of the 2004 season, plus all of the 2005 season. The partnership includes promotions at Kings and Monarchs games, concession sales and halftime prizes. To kick off the partnership, the candy company gave away more than 17,000 samples of its jelly beans at the March 2 game between the Kings and Los Angeles Clippers. The two-year deal gives Jelly Belly a retail presence in eight concession stands inside Arco, midlevel logo signs and exclusive promotions and sampling. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Kings offer trip for 2 to China
Maloof Sports & Entertainment has begun a "Passport to China" promotion in which the ownership group of the Sacramento Kings will send one fan and a guest in October to the NBA China Games, which will match the Kings and the Houston Rockets. To participate in the contest, fans obtain two secret passwords while watching Kings games on ABC affiliate KXTV Channel 10 for the rest of the season. They then submit those passwords in a sweepstakes entry. One grand prize winner and 100 runners-up will be selected in a random drawing April 19.


Chargers hire local law firm for suit
With the Chargers' lawsuit against the city to resolve a dispute over a renegotiation clause in their Qualcomm Stadium lease now scheduled for San Diego Superior Court, the team has hired local law firm Baker & McKenzie and its managing partner, Charles Dick Jr., to replace the Los Angeles-based firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. The Chargers filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court in late November but later agreed to have the case heard in San Diego.


No playoff price hike
The San Jose Sharks announced that they won't raise playoff ticket prices for season-ticket holders. Sharks officials say the team weighed the region's failure to rebound economically and last season's finish in the decision. For the first time, playoff tickets for opening-round games won't cost Sharks season-ticket holders more than those in the regular season. Single-game buyers will see prices rise between $3 and $14 per ticket depending on location.


Panthers, company giving away a boat
The Florida Panthers have teamed with WRMF 97.9 FM and Five Star Marine to give away a boat worth more than $16,000 to one lucky fan at the Panthers' regular-season finale on April 4. The Four Winns 170 Horizon, a 17-foot outboard provided by Five Star Marine, will be won by the fan who correctly guesses the amount of hockey equipment inside the boat. Contestants must be 21 or older to enter. The winner will be selected March 30.


Firm to sponsor newscasts
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP became presenting sponsor of Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic's 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. SportsNite newscasts as of March 1. "SportsNite Presented by PricewaterhouseCoopers" will deliver sports news and highlights from the region's local teams and around the nation in a 30-minute format.

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