First Look podcast: World Congress 2017 PBC plots path to maximize distribution NBA Turnstile Tracker Baseball returns to Kinston, N.C. David Stern investing in tech startups NBA regular season sees ratings drop Faces and Places at World Congress Are sponsors wary of outspoken athletes? On Deck With: Mike Unger, USA Swimming Labor & Agents: Rosenthal takes charge
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Rangers trying out price cuts
The Texas Rangers introduced a series of pricing and in-game initiatives under their new ownership group, led by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan. Some items at concession stands were reduced by as much as $2. The price of cash parking was reduced from $12 to $10, and the team’s new Family Value Retail Program reduces pricing from between $1 and $3 on select merchandise.
Toros moving to new arena
The NBA D-League Austin Toros are moving to Cedar Park Center for the 2010-11 season. The San Antonio Spurs’ affiliate played games at the Austin Convention Center the last five years. The multiuse Cedar Park Center opened last fall and has a capacity of 4,672 seats for basketball. It also is home to the AHL Texas Stars.
O’s extend with minor affiliates
The Baltimore Orioles extended working agreements with their minor league affiliates in Norfolk, Va.; Bowie, Md.; and Frederick, Md., through the 2014 season. The Class AAA Norfolk Tides are in their fourth season as an Orioles affiliate, and both the Class AA Bowie Baysox and Class A Frederick Keys have been affiliated with the O’s since their inaugural seasons in 1993 and 1989, respectively.
Inaugural Grand Prix dates shift
The inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix will now be raced over Labor Day weekend 2011 instead of during the first week of August. Labor Day posed some challenges with the Baltimore Ravens’ normal preseason schedule, but those kinks have been settled, said Baltimore Racing Development CEO Jay Davidson. The dates have been cleared with Baltimore city officials and the Indy Racing League, he said.
Heat-Celtics hot on secondary market
The Boston Celtics’ Oct. 26 home opener against the Miami Heat is a hot ticket on the secondary market. The average cost of a seat to the game is $460, according to a report in the Boston Herald. That’s the second-highest opening day ticket in the NBA behind the Heat’s Oct. 29 home opener against Orlando, which is selling for an average of $550, according to the report.
Golf meets baseball at Fenway next week
On Aug. 30, three grand prize raffle winners from the “Chipping in for the Red Sox Foundation” promotion will join Boston Red Sox hall of famer Jim Rice and step up to home plate at Fenway Park to hit a chip shot to a one-foot target in the outfield. If anyone hits the target, a $50,000 donation will be made by the Deutsche Bank Championship to the Red Sox Foundation in the winner’s name. Raffle tickets are available now through noon on Thursday for $25 each. The PGA Tour Deutsche Bank Championship takes place Sept. 3-6 at the TPC Boston in Norton, Mass.
Bills sponsor brings smiles
The Buffalo Bills have a new marketing partner in Aspen Dental. The sponsorship makes Aspen Dental the team’s exclusive ticket-back sponsor. The deal also provides for a Name that Smile promotion on game days that gives fans the opportunity to win prizes while they guess which player’s smile is projected on the in-stadium screen.
Photo store joins Bills website
The Bills also made moves recently to become what they’re touting as the first NFL team to add a photo store component to its website. Customers can purchase player action photographs, historic team shots, favorite game moments and stadium photos. The team said the service will continually add new and updated images for fans to choose from throughout the season.
Bobcats add first-time sponsors
The Charlotte Bobcats signed both CPI Security and Husqvarna to their first NBA team sponsorships. CPI’s deal includes in-arena signage, scoreboard videos, presence on the basket pole pads, concourse displays, ticket-back advertisements and radio spots. Husqvarna’s deal includes branding opportunities at Time Warner Cable Arena.
MAC tourneys stay at The Q
The Mid-American Conference and Quicken Loans Arena struck a six-year contract extension to host the FirstEnergy MAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Conference Tournament through 2017 at the arena. The contract extension guarantees the continuation of the conference tournament at the same neutral site since 2000.
Jackets renew with Ohio Lottery
The Columbus Blue Jackets renewed their corporate partnership with Ohio Lottery, a team partner since the 2002-03 season. The deal provides for a variety of in-game promotions and signage within Nationwide Arena.
‘BroncosRide’ back on the streets
Denver’s Regional Transportation District was scheduled to launch its seasonal BroncosRide bus and light-rail service this past weekend. The additional service will operate for all Denver Broncos exhibition and regular-season home games at Invesco Field at Mile High. Round-trip fares range from $4 to $9, depending on distance. Season passes range from $28 to $63.
Arkansas starts decade-long effort
Razorback Athletics officials launched a multifaceted, decade-long fundraising initiative. The first step of the Answer the Call effort will be the Razorback Seat Value Plan, or RSVP, an updated seat equity plan to enhance annual support for student athletes at the University of Arkansas.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS
TCU rolls out $105M stadium plan
Texas Christian University announced plans for a $105 million renovation of Amon G. Carter Stadium, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The plans call for adding 24 suites and up to 2,300 club seats on the stadium’s west side, along with a new press box and upgraded concession stands.
Moss creating online show
New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss is teaming with a newly formed company called Vumanity to create an online television show under the Moss Network brand, according to a report in the Boston Herald. The show’s topics of discussion will range from fantasy football to how to train for an NFL season to connecting with youth.
Flyers align with ECHL Road Warriors
The Philadelphia Flyers entered into a minor league affiliation agreement with the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL for the 2010-11 season. Greenville replaces the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Wings, which served as the Flyers’ ECHL affiliate last season. The Road Warriors are entering their first season playing out of Greenville’s Bi-Lo Center.
Royals’ run/walk fundraiser Sept. 4
The Kansas City Royals’ second annual Royals 5K Run/Walk will be held Sept. 4 at Kauffman Stadium. The event benefits the Autism Alliance of Greater Kansas City and Royals Charities. The fundraiser will also feature a one-mile Autism Awareness Walk around Kauffman Stadium. Both events take place before an evening game for the Royals against Detroit.
Arena gets more sponsors
Louisville Arena Sports and Entertainment Properties announced seven new sponsorship deals for the KFC Yum! Center totaling more than $1 million. The new deals bring the number of sponsors for the arena, which opens this fall, to 31. The new sponsors are: Sarasota, Fla.-based Boar’s Head Provisions Co., Louisville-based B.F. Cos., MillerCoors, Yellow Cab Co. of Louisville, Kentucky Lottery Corp., Creation Gardens of Louisville and Welders Supply of Louisville Inc.
‘Ride’ debuts next month
Texas Tech University on Sept. 4 will debut a 38-episode reality show called “The Ride” that is designed to give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the school’s athletic program. The 30-minute program will be shown locally on Lubbock’s ABC affiliate, KAMC-TV, as well as on FS Southwest, Fox College Sports and Cox Sports Network.
Team offers ‘All You Can Heat’
The Miami Heat began selling what it is calling the All You Can Heat Partial Ticket Plan, which allows fans to select 10 games of their choice for seats in the first three rows of AmericanAirlines Arena’s upper level. The ticket plans start at $430 per seat and are available only online via the team’s new and proprietary interactive online ticket sales platform, HEAT SeatPick.
UWM, Time Warner Cable extend deal
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Time Warner Cable’s Sports32 agreed to a multiyear extension of their agreement that maintains the channel as the official television partner for UWM Panthers athletics. The agreement, in place since 2007, includes live coverage of men’s and women’s basketball games and coaches shows.
Modell’s offers same-day Yankees tix
The New York Yankees and Modell’s Sporting Goods partnered for Modell’s flagship store in Times Square to become the only store with a Yankees ticket booth offering same-day game tickets for prices that are up to 50 percent off face value. The tickets will be limited to four per person, per game.
Isles partner with Hall’s Carpet
The New York Islanders designated Hall’s Carpet as an official sponsor of the team for next season. The New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based company will complete all carpeting during the renovation of locker rooms and suites at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Hall’s will also receive digital dasherboard signage and other media components.
Nike laces up borough editions
Nike released its limited-edition Air Force 1 Borough Pack, which features shoes honoring the five boroughs, according to a report in The New York Times. The shoes, priced at $135, feature different colors, logos and laces for each borough.
Website for new arena relaunched
The Orlando Magic relaunched AmwayCenter.com, the official website for information on the team’s new arena, opening this fall. New features include comprehensive information regarding everything from the facility’s upcoming acts to an A-to-Z guide that will provide fans with everything they need to know about the building.
‘Phanatic’ statues ready for auction
The popular lineup of 25 Phanatic Around Town statues will be available via an online auction at www.phillies.com/phanaticaroundtown. The auction, scheduled to start Friday, will give Philadelphia Phillies fans the chance to bid on a variety of Phanatic statues each week. The auction will conclude Sept. 30, and net proceeds will be directed to Phillies Charities Inc.
Scouts earn patch with Independence
The Philadelphia Independence and Girl Scouts of America teamed up for a promotion Aug. 15 when the WPS team played the Atlanta Beat. All Girl Scouts at the game received a special Independence patch to recognize their participation in an event with professional athletes.
New firm for Greenberg
Chuck Greenberg, the Pittsburgh lawyer who is the new managing partner and CEO of the Texas Rangers, is moving his legal practice to Reed Smith LLP and will be affiliated with the firm as counsel. Greenberg resigned his post as a partner in the Pittsburgh office of Pepper Hamilton late last month to concentrate on the Rangers deal.
RCB giving up control of Muckdogs
The Batavia (N.Y.) Muckdogs of the New York-Penn League will need a new operator after the 2010 season. Rochester Community Baseball plans to give up control of the St. Louis Cardinals Class A affiliate after this season, following three years of operation. The Muckdogs have been plagued by low attendance. Batavia is 30 miles southwest of Rochester.
Kings start ticket effort early
The Sacramento Kings gave fans an early opportunity — for 36 hours — to buy tickets for the first two games of the 2010-11 season. From 10 a.m. Aug. 13 until 10 p.m. Aug. 14, the team sold the Kings Tip-Off Two-Pack, which included a Tyreke Evans rookie-of-the-year bobblehead with the tickets. This was the first time the Kings had offered tickets in August.
Silver Stars auction pink jerseys
The San Antonio Silver Stars raised $42,000 in support of breast health awareness efforts at their annual jersey auction Aug. 13 at AT&T Center. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Systems Mobile Mammography Unit. Each Stars player auctioned her game-worn pink jersey in a live postgame auction.
Stadium upgrades included in vote
The San Antonio Independent School District board voted 6-1 last week to call for a Nov. 2 bond election on a $515 million campaign that would provide $35 million for improvements to Alamo Stadium and the Convocation Center along with renovations to 22 schools, districtwide technology and security upgrades. The approval came after rejection of a motion that would have made renovations to the athletic facilities a separate proposition, according to a report in the San Antonio Express-News.
Spurs to use SAS analytics
The San Antonio Spurs signed a deal with SAS Institute to use the software maker’s SAS Visual Data Discovery system to analyze player and team statistics. Terms were not disclosed. SAS is headquartered in Cary, N.C.
Baylor effort includes billboards
Baylor University is using a marketing campaign tagged “Rise Up” to drum up interest for the coming football season, according to a report in the Waco Tribune-Herald. The campaign includes billboards along Interstate 35 featuring quarterback Robert Griffin and a series of commercials featuring coach Art Briles and other players.
WEST POINT, N.Y.
Army aims for shorter lines
In partnership with Paciolan, the Army Athletic Association will use scanners and digital tickets for the 2010 football season at Michie Stadium. The upgrades are intended to shorten lines at stadium gates and allow fans to print tickets from home.Send your Coast to Coast news to: CoastToCoast@sportsbusinessjournal.com
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