ECHL to take digital rights to market In The Office: MKTG NFL to review primary ticketing options Lower ratings? NFL pulls election lever Toronto FC president sees upticks BDA gets into NBA game Licensees prep for campaigns Big 12 stands pat; will see new money League Pass keeps mobile in mind ESPN starts anew on ‘Countdown’
SBJ/July 17 - 23, 2006/Coast To CoastPrint All
Zips partner with ISP Sports
The University of Akron department of athletics reached a multiyear agreement with ISP Sports to serve as the exclusive multimedia marketer for the Zips. ISP will market a variety of corporate sponsorship opportunities involving UA athletics, including live play-by-play game radio broadcasts and call-in shows, football and basketball game programs, signage in on-campus facilities, and corporate hospitality events.
Cyclones join XOS network
XOS Technologies Inc. added Iowa State University to its network of partners. XOS will provide ISU with a customized platform that includes Web site design and integration, Web publishing, e-commerce, auctions and event registration services. Cyclones fans will be able to view live statistics, purchase official team merchandise and subscribe to streaming video and audio for games, highlights and press conferences.
“Bobby ‘Bacala’ Baccalieri” gets tough
on Nets season-ticket holders.
Browns mounting Daktronics ribbons
The Cleveland Browns contracted with Daktronics Inc. to provide full-color LED technology above both sidelines in Cleveland Browns Stadium. Two large ProAd digital displays will be mounted on the fascia inside the stadium and run from goal line to goal line. Each display will measure approximately 3 feet high by 305 feet wide.
East Rutherford, N.J.
‘Sopranos’ guy nudges Nets fans
“Sopranos” star Steve Schirripa and other local celebrities recorded voicemails that will be left as friendly reminders for Nets fans who have yet to renew their season tickets. Fans began receiving the messages last week when Schirripa (“Bobby ‘Bacala’ Baccalieri”) offered a gentle hint that their season-ticket installment is due. An excerpt from Schirripa’s message: “My friends at the Nets tell me that you still have not renewed your tickets for next season despite several phone calls. … Call today or I’ll send Silvio and Paulie to talk to you, and they’re even tougher than the Nets ticket reps.”
‘Crew’ pounds pavement for Nets
The new Nets Bring It Crew launched a tri-state area blitz to generate leads for New Jersey Nets season-ticket sales, with the chance to win an apprenticeship with Nets CEO Brett Yormark. Crew members will seek to increase brand awareness of the team and offer prospective season-ticket buyers coupons for free 16-ounce smoothies from Dunkin’ Donuts in exchange for their business cards.
City wants to help IMS keep F1 race
Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson said the city would be willing to help the Indianapolis Motor Speedway financially to keep the U.S. Grand Prix, the nation’s only Formula One race. Peterson said after the July 1 race that the event has an economic impact on the city of at least a $100 million. F1 officials are reportedly asking for a $20 million sanctioning fee to continue the race at IMS.
Devils extend name to AHL affiliate
The New Jersey Devils will own an AHL affiliate for the first time since the 1992-93 season after the team reached an official agreement with the city of Lowell to complete their purchase of the Lowell franchise. The Lowell Devils will play all 40 home games during the 2006-07 AHL season at the Paul E. Tsongas Arena.
Brewers-themed bank checks planned
The Milwaukee Brewers signed a five-year sponsorship agreement with Associated Bank that includes the launching of a checking product popular with fans of the Green Bay Packers. The Brewers-themed checks will be similar to Associated Bank’s Packers program, for which 85,000 bank customers have signed up since the program began in 1995, said Paul Beideman, Associated president and chief executive officer.
The Milwaukee Mile is trying to tap into “Danica mania” to attract more fans to the Indy Car Series race in West Allis, Wis., on July 23. IRL driver Danica Patrick and her representatives have agreed to allow the Milwaukee Mile to distribute 10,000 figurines of Patrick. Andrew Randall, president of Milwaukee Mile Holdings LLC, which operates the track, said the figurine giveaway is a first in the Indy race circuit and the first time Patrick has agreed to take part in such a giveaway.
Minneapolis - St. Paul
T’Wolves double sales staff
The Minnesota Timberwolves are hoping a few key offseason acquisitions can help solve their turnover problem. Concerned about higher-than-usual attrition by season-ticket holders, the Wolves have doubled their ticketing staff from 12 to 24 and brought in a 20-person seasonal sales staff to make sales calls. The Wolves recently cut season-ticket prices on 12,000 seats. The franchise hopes to sell 8,000 to 9,000 season tickets for next season after sliding to fewer than 7,000 last year.
Twins’ office will have stadium view
The Minnesota Twins later this year will move into office space in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis overlooking the club’s planned new-ballpark site. In addition to serving as the team’s headquarters for ballpark administrative functions, the team will use its auxiliary location as a temporary marketing center for the team to sell luxury suites and other elements of the new ballpark until it opens in 2010. A full-size mock-up of a luxury suite will be built, and suite sales for 2010 could start as early as January.
Vikings offer five-game packages
The Minnesota Vikings introduced a season-ticket program allowing fans to purchase five-game ticket packages rather than requiring them to buy a full season’s worth of games. Purple and Gold packages, which provide tickets to either the odd-numbered or even-numbered games, start at $200.
Vonage secures WNBA All-Star rights
Vonage agreed to a deal in advance of last week’s WNBA All-Star Game in New York making the company the first presenting partner of the game. The deal also made Vonage the official presenting partner of the All-Star MVP award and the game’s halftime ceremony, where the league honored its All-Decade team. Vonage was the presenting sponsor of ESPN’s telecast of the game as well.
Mets, MTA team for transit promotion
The New York Mets and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority launched a co-branded Mets MetroCard in an effort to encourage fans to take mass transit to games at Shea Stadium. The team will hold a “Ride Home on Us” promotion in which a fan will receive a MetroCard and team merchandise at all remaining games this season.
Sixers sell out $100K ticket packages
The Philadelphia 76ers sold out their 16 new all-inclusive seats for the upcoming season. Priced at $100,000, a seat package consists of two courtside seats next to the players’ bench and unlimited food and beverages during the game. In addition, a buyer gets VIP parking and two memberships to each of the arena’s three private clubs. The Sixers relocated media members to create the space for the 16 new seats, which team officials said sold out in less than eight weeks.
Eagles publish new magazine
The Philadelphia Eagles launched a new official team publication called Eagles Insider. The 42-page, full-color magazine will be published monthly for eight months starting with a pre-training camp issue this month. The new magazine replaces Eagles Digest, which started in 1989. Eagles Insider will be distributed free to season-ticket holders. Its one-year subscription price is $24.95.
The Phillies’ Ryan Howard wows the crowd in Pittsburgh.
The Philadelphia Phillies changed the name of a promotion scheduled for August from the Brett Myers Back to School Pack to the ShopRite Phillies Back to School Drawstring Backpack. Myers was placed on the Phillies’ inactive list last month after the pitcher asked for time off to deal with family issues. Myers was arrested on assault charges in Boston last month.
Howard’s hit worth big bucks to fan
Bert Brooks of Plum Borough, Pa., won MasterCard’s All-Star Game promotion when Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard’s final, event-winning home run in the Century 21 Home Run Derby hit the “Hit It Here — 500 Flights” target in right field. Brooks is opting for a $500,000 annuity spread over 30 years instead of the airline flights.
Pirates extend deal with Tickets.com
The Pittsburgh Pirates signed a seven-year extension agreement with Tickets.com. The agreement will allow the Pirates to continue to use Tickets.com’s ticketing services for Pirates games and other entertainment events at PNC Park.
Stanley Cup DVD premieres
The Carolina Hurricanes hosted 1,000 fans at the premiere screening of the official Warner Home Video Stanley Cup Champions DVD last Monday, one day before the DVD went on sale. Players Erik Cole and Eric Staal and general manager and president Jim Rutherford were joined by other Hurricanes personnel, and the Stanley Cup trophy, at the Meymandi Concert Hall inside the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.
River Cats continue fan loyalty portal
In their second year using a fan loyalty portal, the Class AAA Sacramento River Cats are giving fans an opportunity to interact with the club on a deeper level through new content and rewards. The portal is provided through a partnership with Comcast and South San Francisco-based SeaBridge Inc., a hosted software and engineering services provider for the sports and entertainment industries.
Niners employ Valpak in ticket effort
The San Francisco 49ers have begun selling season tickets using Valpak, a form of direct mail, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News. David Peart, vice president of marketing and sales for the 49ers, said the team does not discuss its renewal rate but added that it is better than last year’s rate, which came in at 90 percent, according to the report.
Giants, Class A affiliate extend deal
The San Francisco Giants agreed to extend their 19-year affiliation with the Class A San Jose Giants. The deal extends to 2008. San Jose State University and the city of San Jose struck a plan to modernize Municipal Stadium along with other facilities, but the city and university have not decided how to fund it. The Class A Giants are averaging 2,900 fans per game this season, up from 2,300 last year.
SLU sets arena groundbreaking date
Saint Louis University said groundbreaking for its new $80.5 million multipurpose arena will take place Aug. 28. The arena is scheduled to open in March 2008. St. Louis-based Clayco is the general contractor.
State Farm renews with Panthers, arena
State Farm Insurance Cos. renewed its multiyear partnership with the Florida Panthers and the BankAtlantic Center. State Farm will sponsor an automobile service patrol unit at all BankAtlantic events. The State Farm Service Patrol will monitor the arena parking lot, providing immediate response and assistance to any patrons experiencing car trouble.
Panthers club takes tequila name
Patron Tequila agreed to a multiyear marketing partnership with the Panthers and the BankAtlantic Center. The organization also unveiled the new Patron Tequila Platinum Club located on the arena’s Lexus Suite Level. The club is available for full-season seat holders, all suite holders and Private Club members.
Members of the Boys and Girls Club of the
Suncoast get a sneak peek at the rays.
South Florida Lexus dealers will continue to sponsor the Lexus Lot VIP Parking promotion for all BankAtlantic Center events. The Lexus Lot encompasses the 250 most-convenient parking spots on the BankAtlantic Center property and is available exclusively to Lexus vehicle owners. South Florida Lexus Dealers is an inaugural Pillar Partner and has been a marketing partner of the Panthers and the BankAtlantic Center since the building opened in 1998.
Marine life swims at Tropicana Field
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays this week are scheduled to unveil a 10,000-gallon tank with 30 live cownose rays above the outfield fence at Tropicana Field. The Rays Touch Tank experience is presented by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Convention and Visitors Bureau and will be free to all fans attending home games beginning this Friday. For every ball hit into the tank during a game by a Devil Rays player, the team will donate $5,000 to charity — with $2,500 going to the Florida Aquarium and $2,500 going to that player’s charity of choice. The rays were caught in Tampa Bay last month and cared for by the Florida Aquarium.
Rays plug in with AMTC
Applied Media Technologies Corp. has partnered with the Devil Rays to provide a state-of-the-art sound system for Tropicana Field’s Mountain Dew Extreme Zone and The House of Dew. Fans will be able to experience pregame music and live broadcasts of the play-by-play action from the New York City street scene-styled fan experience recreation area.
Terre Haute, Ind.
ISU joins motorsports consortium
Indiana State University has become the first institution outside the United Kingdom to join the Motorsport Knowledge Exchange, an academic consortium that provides education and training to the motorsports industry at a variety of levels. The exchange is based in the Motorsport Valley, a south-central region of England that is home to some 4,000 motorsports companies, including six Formula One teams and dozens of suppliers to teams in major series.
Incoming Nationals President Stan Kasten
unveils the “Red” campaign last week.
TSN hockey show going HD
The Sports Network’s popular daily 30-minute hockey magazine show will be delivered in high definition when it begins its 12th season in September. “Molson That’s Hockey” will join in-house production “SportsCentre” in making the transition to HD on Sept. 5. TSN projects that by this fall, nearly 50 percent of its 24-hour broadcast schedule will be presented in high definition.
Nats owners plan Fan Fest
The Washington Nationals are planning a fan celebration — a “Paint the Town Red” campaign — for their coming weekend series with the Chicago Cubs. The offering comes from the Nationals’ new ownership group, which has pledged a greater focus on the fan experience at Nationals games. The party will begin with a Fan Fest on the Armory Mall two hours before each game. Also, the team will reduce the price of 2,000 upper-deck seats, some to as low as $3 each, according to a report in the Washington Post.
Wizards, WTEM reach multiyear deal
The Washington Wizards and WTEM-AM 980 reached a multiyear broadcast agreement. SportsTalk 980 will carry all Wizards regular-season and playoff games on the 50,000-watt station. As part of the agreement, WTEM will work toward developing a regional network of affiliates that will enable the Wizards Radio Network to stretch throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
West Lafayette, Ind.
Purdue favoring renovation of arena
Purdue University Athletic Director Morgan Burke said the school is close to scrapping a long-range plan to build a new facility. Instead, a major renovation of 14,123-seat Mackey Arena is more likely. Estimated cost of the renovation would be $70 million, funded by private donations. Burke said school officials hope to have designs finalized and begin a fundraising campaign during the first three months of 2007. The primary architect is HNTB.
West Point, N.Y.
Army athletics site deals with XOS
XOS Technologies Inc. will provide a customized platform of interactive fan services for the Army Athletic Association as part of a deal reached between the parties. Black Knights fans can visit www.goarmysports.com to view news stories and live game-day statistics, purchase official team merchandise, and register for events.