SBJ/June 12 - 18, 2006/Coast To Coast

Coast to Coast

Troy Aikman attended Wingstop’s national
convention this year in San Antonio.
Boston
T&K has BoSox reruns covered
T&K Asphalt Services was named the first presenting sponsor of “Red Sox in 2,” NESN’s two-hour rebroadcasts of Red Sox games. The show has been renamed “Red Sox in 2” presented by T&K Asphalt Services. As part of this sponsorship, NESN integrates the company’s name and logo into all on-air promotions for the program, including 15-second promotional spots, show information on NESN.com and graphic-supported live reads during Red Sox games.

Buffalo
Bisons get local airtime
The Buffalo Bisons will have three games broadcast in the local market this season on WNGS-TV/RTN 11. The independent station entered into a sales agreement with WKBW-TV, the ABC affiliate, to air a 30-minute show called “Sportsnite.” WNGS is also carrying a schedule of Major League Baseball games involving the New York Yankees and Mets, and the Cleveland Indians.

NBA concept shop partnered with Meijer to offer
team gear and accessories.
Chicago
Tickets.com enhancing Cubs offerings
Tickets.com signed a multiyear deal with the Chicago Cubs to continue providing ticketing services and technology to the club. Through the extended partnership with the Cubs, Tickets.com will provide enhanced ticketing features, including Tickets@Home, “My Tickets” fan portal, and electronic ticket transfer. “My Tickets” enables fans to manage their ticket inventory, as well as sell and transfer their unused season tickets online in a secure environment.

Dallas
Aikman, Wingstop extend partnership
Troy Aikman extended his contract as Wingstop’s official spokesman. Aikman originally signed on as Wingstop’s national spokesman in October 2003. The new three-year partnership will feature Aikman in print, outdoor, radio and television ads, as well as in special event appearances for the chicken wing-themed eatery. Aikman’s connection with Wingstop began as a regular customer at the Valley Ranch location near Texas Stadium while playing for the Dallas Cowboys.

Detroit
Pistons gear available at Meijer location
Meijer Stores and the NBA are celebrating the grand opening of the largest NBA team concept shop. The 1,000-square-foot Detroit Pistons concept shop will be available to fans inside the Auburn Hills Meijer Store. The shop offers fans the opportunity to purchase all of their team merchandise in one central location. The concept shop gives fans an opportunity to own popular Pistons merchandise even if they are unable to attend games.

Shock fans step up for health
The WNBA Detroit Shock is introducing summer flip-flops to benefit breast health awareness. The navy blue and red slippers with the Detroit Shock primary logo along with the breast cancer ribbon are available for $10 a pair on the concourse at every Shock home game during the 2006 regular season. The campaign, co-sponsored by Health Alliance Plan, will culminate with Detroit Shock Breast Health Awareness Night on July 16.

Fort Worth, Texas
Speedway, 7-Eleven push ethanol
Texas Motor Speedway is teaming up with the ethanol industry and 7-Eleven to discuss the expansion of ethanol-enriched fuel in the Dallas area. Additionally, they have partnered to provide ethanol-enriched fuel to the region at $2.20 per gallon. Texas Motor Speedway was scheduled to give all customers free tickets for last week’s Oak Creek Homes Qualifying Day for the IRL and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Indianapolis 500 champion Sam Hornish Jr.
can afford to spill a little milk.
Green Bay
Packers plan summer road trip
The Green Bay Packers are planning a four-day, four-city bus trip through Wisconsin next month to thank fans for their longtime support of the team. The tour will include Chairman Bob Harlan, President John Jones and players Donald Driver, Bubba Franks and Rob Davis. The tour will feature stops in Milwaukee, Madison, La Crosse and Wausau. Evening tailgate parties are planned in each city, along with autographed footballs as prizes.

Indianapolis
Hornish pushes earnings past $11M
With his victory in the Indianapolis 500, Sam Hornish Jr. became the first Indy Racing League driver to make more than $11 million in career earnings. Hornish has made $11,286,905 since debuting in the IRL in 2000. “That’s a pretty special deal to be the first person to get to $10 (million), and then take it to $11 (million) is even better,” Hornish said. “Of course, we don’t get all that. It would be nice if I did.”

‘Legends’ club planned for Conseco
Pacers Sports & Entertainment is planning a 600-plus limited-membership area called “Legends” on the club level in Conseco Fieldhouse. Membership benefits for the area, which will be run by Levy Restaurants and open in time for the 2006-07 season, include tickets to 45 Pacers and 18 WNBA Fever games, all-inclusive food and beverages, VIP parking, a private bar and in-seat wait service.

Lawrence, Kansas
KU, Daktronics going big
The University of Kansas athletic department chose Daktronics Inc. to provide an integrated scoring and video display system for Hoglund Ballpark, home of Jayhawks baseball, on the KU campus. The new, state-of-the-art display features a large ProStar VideoPlus display, measuring approximately 16 feet high by 28 feet wide with full color pixels on 23 millimeter spacing.

Hoglund Ballpark has a new roost in center field.
Los Angeles
Dodgers enjoying brisk sales
The Los Angeles Dodgers have surpassed the 3 million mark in ticket sales for the 2006 season, the fastest they have hit that mark by this date since 1992. This will mark the 11th consecutive season in which the Dodgers will draw 3 million fans and a major league-record 21 times overall. The Dodgers were among six teams last season to draw more than 3 million fans during the season.

Minneapolis – St. Paul
Metrodome closure possible
If the Minnesota Vikings eventually leave the Metrodome for Anoka County, it could get harder for the Twin Cities to land major events such as political conventions or Final Fours. The Metrodome would run at a $5 million to $7 million deficit if the Vikings leave, which would likely force it to close after a couple of years, said Bill Lester, executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission. Lester said such events would need a climate-controlled venue, which the new Twins stadium will not be.

HOK front-runner for Twins facility
HOK appears to be the leading candidate to design the Minnesota Twins new stadium. The firm did preliminary work for the Twins and has designed eight of nine MLB ballparks that have opened since 2000 and is the architect on two ballparks under way in New York and another in Washington, D.C. It also designed Xcel Energy Center, an arena the Twins are using as a model.

Nashville
Titans to play at LP Field
The NFL Titans and Nashville-based Louisiana-Pacific Corp. reached a 10-year, $30 million naming-rights deal for the Coliseum, according to a report in the Nashville Tennessean. The new name of the stadium is LP Field.

Norwalk, Ohio
JEG’S assumes Top Stock rights
Ohio-based automotive aftermarket supplier JEG’S High Performance/JEG’S Mail Order signed an agreement to assume title sponsorship rights to the International Hot Rod Association Top Stock class. The agreement became effective before the MOPAR Canadian Nationals at Grand Bend Motorplex June 2-4 and will continue at least through the remainder of the 2006 eMax Drag Racing Series schedule. Top Stock is a heads-up muscle car class that features everything from 1960s classics to late-model, fuel-injected sports cars.

Oakland
Raiders rewarding premium customers
The Oakland Raiders announced details of another benefit being extended to recognize the team’s season-ticket, club-seat and suite holders. Each ticket holder with an active account is automatically entered to win one of 200 prizes, including Super Bowl tickets, a Pro Bowl package, tickets on JetBlue Airways and several exclusive Raiders experiences. The prizes will be awarded on a rolling basis, beginning June 19.

A’s seating strategy falling short
The Oakland A’s closed the upper deck of McAfee Coliseum this season to reduce stadium seating capacity and drive up ticket demand. Is the strategy working? With about one quarter of the season over, the team is averaging about 22,165 tickets per game compared to last season’s average of 26,038. Attendance tends to rise when school is out, and the team has many popular teams coming to visit, including the Giants, Angels and Red Sox.

Philadelphia
BOD named for Olympic bid
More than 45 civic, business, sports and education leaders from the Greater Philadelphia region will serve on the board of directors of Philadelphia 2016, the city’s bid to host the Olympic Games. Philadelphia 2016, the entity that will oversee the region’s bid effort, will be chaired by Dawn Staley, a three-time Olympic gold medalist and head coach of the Temple University women’s basketball team; Joseph Torsella, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center; and David Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast Corp.

Phoenix
Gila River extends deal with D’Backs
All aspects of Diamondbacks games, from the broadcasts, to in-game entertainment, to the Chase Field plaza and rotunda, will now be presented by Gila River Casinos. In addition to their current sponsorship with the team, Gila River Casinos will have a presence on the ballpark plaza and in-stadium, including permanent signage and logos. The television and radio broadcasts also will mention the presenting partnership at the beginning and end of every game.

Trib Total Media is reaching out to kids
to name the Pirates’ new mascot.
Pittsburgh
New mascot needs a name
The Pittsburgh Pirates unveiled a new pirate mascot that will be incorporated into the Pirates’ in-game entertainment at PNC Park, Sunday Kids Days and other marketing initiatives. The Pirates are teaming up with Trib Total Media to allow children throughout the region to determine the new pirate mascot’s official name. Beginning this week, the new mascot and entry forms will appear in the Trib Total Media family of newspapers. The child who submits the winning suggestion will be invited to a party and game at PNC Park on June 18.

Spokane, Washington
Club president guarantees playoff spot
Bobby Brett, president of the Spokane Chiefs Hockey Club, guaranteed the team will make the playoffs in 2007. If not, the Chiefs will refund $100,000 to their ticket package holders. The Chiefs are members of the Western Hockey League and have missed the postseason the last two seasons. The money will be paid out to ticket package holders at the end of the 2006-07 season in the event that the team does not make the playoffs. Brett and his ownership group purchased the Chiefs in the summer of 1990 and saw the franchise win the Memorial Cup in 1991.

St. Louis
Pujols teams up on restaurant
Albert Pujols and his wife, Deidre, have partnered with Hanon Management Group to open Pujols 5 Restaurant. Construction and renovation will begin immediately in West Port Plaza for an opening this fall. Proceeds will go to the Pujols Family Foundation, a faith-based charity dedicated to serving people with Down syndrome.

Federko finds room for steak
Blues hall-of-famer Bernie Federko is opening B. Federko’s Steak & Sports Grille in the Sheraton Hotel across from Savvis Center. The restaurant will shuttle guests back and forth from events at Busch Stadium and the Edward Jones Dome free of charge. Taffer Dynamics will operate the restaurant, owned by a group of local investors led by businessman Bob Meyer.

St. Petersburg, Florida
Florida preps magazine launching
Varsity Sports Media, the newly formed division of national collegiate marketing firm Action Sports Media, will launch Varsity Sports Media’s Florida Football magazine in August 2006. The annual magazine will include coverage of Florida’s 515 varsity high school football teams, their schedules, player statistics, recruiting information and feature stories. Varsity Sports Media will team with parent company Action Sports Media and with A.E. Engine to promote the magazine.

Sunrise, Florida
Credit union to have arena club space
Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union will be the title sponsor of a new, all-inclusive club on BankAtlantic Center’s sunset terrace that will open in time for the 2006-07 Florida Panthers season. Eastern Financial will receive naming rights to the 8,000-square-foot Panthers Club, present the Florida Panthers shootouts and receive various other ancillary benefits. An official name for the new Panthers Club will be announced in the coming weeks.

Toronto
Maple Leafs interviewing for front office
The Toronto Maple Leafs have their sights set on hiring a player agent to help from a business perspective in the front office. The Globe and Mail reported agent Brian Lawton was interviewed by Leafs GM John Ferguson recently. The team also interviewed ex-Leaf Jeff Jackson, now a lawyer, and Rick Olczyk, a lawyer with the NHL Players’ Association. Ferguson has made it clear he wants to add a lawyer to be his right-hand man in a position to be determined later. Dealing with contracts and the NHL salary cap are sure to be the primary responsibilities of the new position.

MLSE denies ownership rumor
Officials at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment have denied a newspaper report that their chairman is trying to recruit communications magnate Ted Rogers into the fold. The Toronto Star reported that Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of MLSE, was courting Rogers as a candidate to join the company’s ownership team. The report is based on speculation that the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund, which owns the majority of MLSE shares, may be interested in divesting itself of all or part of the organization. Tanenbaum is one of three minority shareholders in MLSE. The others include Bell Globemedia and TD Capital.

Rogers Centre, Adidas plan free show
Toronto is regarded as North America’s great melting pot of ethnic backgrounds, which will all but guarantee a good turnout when the World Cup soccer final is simulcast on the Rogers Centre video board July 8. Rogers and Adidas announced that tickets to the biggest game in soccer will be free, with 15,000 set aside for community organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters.



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