50 Most Influential: Introduction 50 Most Influential: No. 34 Ditching ’burbs for Detroit NHL brings doughnuts, signs Dunkin’ deal 50 Most Influential: No. 16 ‘Suite’ gifts, and even a few ugly ones Group builds platform for hockey award 50 Most Influential: No. 38 Alabama scores some serious bling Sports Media: NFL steps into esports
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Permanent concession stands planned
Four concession areas will replace mobile carts on the Hall of Fame level at Cowboys Stadium this season, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Mobile carts were used last season to determine demand and traffic patterns. A public filing indicated that the concession areas will total about 17,600 square feet and cost about $2.5 million to build, according to the report.
Dreams Inc. to manage Longhorns retail
Dreams Inc. signed a letter of intent to acquire Overland Park, Kan.-based Collegiate Marketing Services, which since 2005 has managed the retail, game-day and online merchandise operations of the University of Texas athletics program. Dreams also plans to launch a new official Longhorns store on its proprietary e-commerce platform upon the deal’s completion.
Excelyte to sponsor UT athletics
Excelyte Corp. will sponsor the University of Texas athletic department through 2012. Excelyte will serve as the exclusive sponsor in a new category of health-related and bacteria-preventative products that include disinfectants and hand sanitizers.
WEEI releases Android app
The WEEI Sports Radio Network released the “WEEI Live” Android application, giving fans of Boston sports access to live and on-demand audio, breaking news, stories, video and scores directly from their Android phones. “WEEI Live” is presented by AT&T and free to download in the Android Market.
Tour event generates $61 million
The Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass., last fall generated more than $61 million in spending impact for the region’s economy. The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau compiled its report from data and information provided by organizations involved in the event and from visitor spending models available to the bureau.
Bisons, Mets extend partnership
The Buffalo Bisons signed a two-year extension that will keep their player-development partnership with the New York Mets in place through the 2012 season. The Bisons became the Mets’ Class AAA affiliate two years ago following a longtime relationship with the Cleveland Indians.
Bengals check in with Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bank launched Bengals Checking to tie in with its sponsorship of the Cincinnati Bengals. The product features a Bengals-branded debit card and checks. Fifth Third is expanding its Bengals relationship after one year as the official sponsoring bank of the team.
Jackets, Medical Mutual renew deal
The Columbus Blue Jackets and Medical Mutual of Ohio renewed their corporate partnership. Medical Mutual of Ohio, which was aligned with the team for the 2009-10 season, will continue to be the official health insurer of the NHL club. The partnership calls for in-arena signage and premium hospitality.
Stars, station sign 4-year deal
KTXA-TV agreed to a four-year contract with the Dallas Stars to broadcast 15 regular-season games a season, plus select playoff games, beginning with the 2010-11 season. All of the telecasts will be in high definition. The broadcasts will air primarily on Saturday nights on the station, an independent that’s the sister station to the local CBS affiliate, and will include 30-minute pregame and postgame coverage.
NU touts ‘Big Ten Team’
Northwestern University launched an athletics marketing campaign intended to build brand awareness throughout Chicago while increasing ticket sales and fan interest. The campaign, titled “Northwestern, Chicago’s Big Ten Team,” will feature outdoor, transit, radio, print and online components.
Solar power lights up Patriot Place
A recently completed photovoltaic power system will generate about 525 kilowatts of renewable solar power at Patriot Place, the Kraft Group’s retail complex that’s adjacent to the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium home. Constellation Energy’s Projects & Services Group began installing the system in November. It now supplies approximately 30 percent of Patriot Place’s power and spans seven building rooftops at the facility.
Pats, RE/MAX launch essay contest
RE/MAX of New England and the New England Patriots kicked off their “Take You to the House” program. If the Patriots this year break their single-season record of 75 touchdowns, one fan will win $500,000 toward the purchase of a new home. Fans can submit a 500-word essay at remax-newengland.com stating how winning the prize will make a difference in their lives.
Group OKs rezoning around stadium
The Glendale Planning Commission voted 5-1 to recommend that the City Council rezone nearly 130 acres around University of Phoenix Stadium to make way for offices, hotels and apartments, according to a report in The Arizona Republic. The area is zoned for agriculture.
HP to rename Milk House
Walt Disney World has sold the naming rights to one of the main venues at its ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to Hewlett-Packard as part of a new sponsorship agreement with the computer maker, according to a report in The Orlando Sentinel. The formerly named Milk House will be renamed with an HP brand and receive a number of high-tech updates, according to the report.
Hard Rock partners with PBR
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will be the official hotel of the Fan Zone and Marketplace for the 2010 PBR World Finals, scheduled for Oct. 20-24 at the Thomas and Mack Center. The hotel also will host the bull draft and official after party as well as the Finals awards banquet on Oct. 24.
Dodgers extend with affiliates
The Los Angeles Dodgers extended their player-development contracts with the Class AA Chattanooga (Tenn.) Lookouts and the Class A Great Lakes (Mich.) Loons. Both extensions will run through 2014.
Farm Aid set for Miller Park
Farm Aid’s 25th anniversary show will be held at Miller Park on Oct. 2. Jason Hartlund, Brewers Enterprises vice president, said the show will not produce a great deal of revenue for the MLB Brewers, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, but he did not disclose financial details. The Brewers will help promote the event.
Vikings aim for 60,000
The Minnesota Vikings reported a season-ticket renewal rate of 94 percent, their highest since 2005, and will continue to sell season tickets through September, with a goal of getting near 60,000, according to a report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Vikings season-ticket sales at the Metrodome have been in the high 50,000s the past few years, according to the report.
Backstrom to wear teen’s design
Fifteen-year-old Peter Best of Plymouth, Minn., won the Minnesota Wild’s online contest to design a mask to be worn by goaltender Niklas Backstrom during the 2010-11 season. Best’s creation features the skylines of Minneapolis and St. Paul and is adorned by wolves, the Finnish flag and the team’s 10th anniversary mark.
Wolves, Target Corp. negotiating
The Minnesota Timberwolves are in negotiations with Target Corp. about the naming rights to Target Center. The current deal will expire in September 2011. Target has held naming rights to the venue since its opening in 1990.
NFL plans women’s boutique
The NFL on Saturday plans to open in New Orleans the NFL Shop For Women, a first-of-its kind temporary boutique geared specifically to women, according to a report in The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune. The shop, at 3239 Magazine St., is timed to coincide with the Sept. 9 Saints-Vikings NFL regular-season opener and is scheduled to remain open until Sept. 18.
Islanders riding with Tran-Star
The New York Islanders added Tran-Star Executive Transportation Services as a corporate partner. Tran-Star joins the organization as the official limousine service of the Islanders, the Long Island Marriott and Nassau Coliseum. Hotel guests will have the ability to use shuttle service to and from the Long Island Marriott before, during and after home games.
Thunder partners with FS Southwest
The Oklahoma Thunder and FS Southwest agreed on a multiyear partnership that makes Fox Sports Oklahoma the sole local and regional TV home for the team’s games, according to a report in The Oklahoman.
New UFL team reaches TV deal
The Omaha Nighthawks and KMTV-TV reached an agreement to become broadcast partners for the upcoming United Football League season. KMTV, the local CBS affiliate, will host a weekly show featuring Nighthawks coaches, players and staff as the team begins its inaugural season.
Magic signs Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz signed a three-year naming-rights deal with the Orlando Magic to sponsor a premium club at the team’s new Amway Center. The deal for the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge, a 13,000-square-foot hospitality space at event level, is valued in the mid-six figures annually, according to Magic COO Alex Martins.
Flight Night draws 31,124
A crowd of 31,124 attended the Philadelphia Eagles’ second annual Eagles Flight Night at Lincoln Financial Field. The open practice is designed to let fans who don’t typically attend Eagles homes games see an event at the stadium. Tickets were $10. Proceeds from the event, estimated at more than $1 million, went to Eagles Youth Partnership programs.
Phillies partner with Steak-umm
The Philadelphia Phillies signed Steak-umm Co. as a marketing partner for the remainder of the 2010 MLB season. The Reading, Pa., company will be promoting its products on digital billboards behind first and third base at Citizens Bank Park. The ads are the first run at the Phillies’ ballpark by Steak-umm, which is best known for its frozen Philly cheesesteak products.
Arena signs going up soon
Comcast-Spectacor said it expects to have new signs up for what will be known as the Wells Fargo Center by Sept. 14, in time for a Lady Gaga concert at the 21,000-seat arena that serves as the home for the NHL Flyers and NBA 76ers. Workers recently took down the facility’s old Wachovia Center signage at the venue.
Spanish-language sports radio debuts
ESPN Deportes Radio launched in the Philadelphia market this month on Beasley Broadcast Group’s WWDB-AM 860. The station previously carried financial news, information and talk shows.
Front Row to market for Soul
The Philadelphia Soul reached an agreement with Front Row Marketing Services to have the company handle sponsorship sales for the Arena Football League team, which is set to join the resurrected AFL next season. The Soul and Front Row, a subsidiary of Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment firm Comcast-Spectacor, previously worked together from 2004 to 2008.
D-backs raising some ticket prices
The Arizona Diamondbacks are raising some season-ticket prices next season, with many sections at Chase Field getting increases between 50 cents and $2 a ticket per game, according to a report in The Arizona Republic. However, 80 percent of seats in the ballpark will see an increase of $1 or less or won’t increase at all, according to the report.
Spurs celebrate Facebook milestone
The San Antonio Spurs late last month marked the milestone of having 100,000 fans on the team’s official Facebook page. The page debuted in May 2008. Special giveaways, including tickets to the Spurs’ Oct. 16 preseason game against Caja Laboral of Spain at AT&T Center, were given to fans who helped the Spurs reach the 100,000 mark.
Padres streaming away games
The San Diego Padres will make select games available online and free of charge within the team’s home broadcast territory, starting with two away games this week against the Chicago Cubs. The streams will feature video and commentary from the opposing teams’ broadcasts, as the games are not scheduled for local TV broadcast.
AT&T property blocks A’s
Before the Oakland A’s make a desired move to San Jose, the city will have to move a $12 million-plus AT&T field operations center that sits in the middle of the proposed 14-acre ballpark site, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle. AT&T California spokesman Ryan Rauzon said that the center is vital “to making sure we take care of our customers,” according to the report.
SANTA CLARA, CALIF.
49ers spent $4.9M on Measure J
The San Francisco 49ers spent close to $5 million to win the election to build a new stadium in Santa Clara, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News. The backers of Measure J, the Santa Clara stadium ballot measure, disclosed they spent about $4.5 million this year and close to $400,000 last year, according to the report.
Rock ’n’ Roll races set for 2011
The Competitor Group is bringing the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series to Savannah next year. Between 15,000 and 20,000 participants are expected for the inaugural Rock ’n’ Roll Savannah Marathon & Half Marathon on Nov. 5, 2011.
UW picks stadium team
University of Washington officials selected the developer-led team of Wright Runstad & Co., designer 360 Architecture and builder Turner Construction to renovate Husky Stadium. The team submitted a proposal estimating a project cost of $250 million to build 25 suites, 25 loge boxes and 2,500 club seats.
Artigue forming new PR firm
Former Phoenix Suns marketing executive Ray Artigue stepped down as president of Barclay Communications and is forming his own public relations and marketing firm, the Artigue Agency. The Scottsdale-based agency will provide marketing and public relations services to sports, entertainment and environmental companies, as well as the higher-education and nonprofit sectors.
Speedway to add seats, campgrounds
Speedway Motorsports Inc. will spend between $90 million and $100 million to expand and improve Kentucky Speedway after the track landed its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, according to a report in the Kentucky Enquirer. Plans are to add 50,000 more seats, add more rest rooms and elevators, and clear 200 more acres for camping, according to the report.
UConn, SNY sign TV deal
SportsNet New York and the University of Connecticut agreed to a multiyear partnership that makes SNY the official TV home of the Huskies’ football and men’s basketball programs. Beginning in September, SNY will feature 300 hours of UConn programming annually as part of a push to expand its UConn sports coverage.Send your Coast to Coast news to: CoastToCoast@sportsbusinessjournal.com
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