Faces and Places Shiffrin heats up sponsor market First Look podcast: Opening Day and more Raveling ‘an information reservoir’ F1 players accelerate growth in U.S. Instagram expands its student program Plugged In: Amy Trask Venue lockers deliver merch, food SunTrust Park brew steeped in the game Teams to get millions in relocation fees
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Isotopes, Dodgers extend partnership
The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Class AAA Pacific Coast League’s Albuquerque Isotopes extended their partnership through the 2012 season. Last season marked the Dodgers’ return to an affiliation with the Isotopes after an eight-year hiatus.
Regions Financial replacing Jeld-Wen
The 2011 Regions Tradition will be played at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Ala., May 2-8. The Champions Tour tournament is the first of five major championships on the tour’s 2011 schedule. Regions Financial becomes the event’s title sponsor, taking over for Jeld-Wen.
UAB considering campus stadium
University of Alabama at Birmingham officials have ramped up discussion to build a football stadium on campus, and an announcement could come in the next six months. A source who asked to remain anonymous said UAB officials are eyeing two locations near Interstate 65 for a stadium that would hold up to 40,000 fans.
Sabres, Bandits end in-store ticket sales
Tickets.com said it will no longer sell tickets for all Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bandits home games at the company’s 63 outlets operated by Tops Markets throughout Western New York and Pennsylvania. Team officials cited a change in the ticketing system software implemented by Tickets.com for HSBC Arena, where the NHL Sabres and NLL Bandits play home games, as the reason for ending in-store sales.
Twitter faithful get uniform party
The Cleveland Cavaliers held a tweet-up recently for their Twitter followers to unveil the team’s new uniforms for the 2010-11 season. The Adidas home and road authentic uniforms reflect the colors and style elements from the earliest years of the Cavs.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS
Hooks, Astros extend contract
The agreement between the Houston Astros and the Class AA Texas League’s Corpus Christi Hooks was extended through the 2016 season. Before the Hooks’ inception in 2005, the Astros’ current Class AAA affiliate in Round Rock, Texas, served as Houston’s Class AA club.
Kroenke, Altitude reach radio deal
Kroenke Sports Enterprises and Altitude Sports & Entertainment reached a three-year agreement with Mile High Sports Radio to continue as the flagship radio partner for the Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets. The new deal involves both of Mile High Sports Radio’s stations, KCKK-AM and FM, as well as a pair of Lincoln Financial Media’s stations, KRWZ-AM and KKFN-FM.
Jags tickets back in city budget
The city of Jacksonville will pay $43,000 to buy Jacksonville Jaguars football tickets this year and use the tickets primarily for local charities, according to a report in The Florida Times-Union. The tickets were cut from the budget last year, but Jacksonville City Council President Jack Webb said that “not having the city buy tickets sends a bad message about Jacksonville’s commitment to the team,” according to the report.
Jaguars sign Radiant for systems
Radiant Systems reached a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars to implement the Quest Venue Management software and hardware in the concession stands and restaurants of EverBank Field. The Jaguars will outfit the facility with Radiant’s Quest point-of-sale software and hardware.
MMA event to be televised
Bellator Fighting Championships will bring another nationally televised fighting event to Louisville’s Fourth Street Live entertainment district Sept. 23. The event will be shown live on Fox Sports Net. Details of the event have not been announced by The Cordish Co., which owns and operates Fourth Street Live.
Arena’s suites mostly sold
Gary Friedman, University of Louisville senior associate athletic director for development, said that all but 10 of the new KFC Yum! Center’s 71 suites are spoken for, according to a report in The (Louisville) Courier-Journal. The university’s lease allows it to market all 71 suites and keep 88 percent of the revenue, according to the report.
Regents OK Adidas-UW deal
The University of Wisconsin athletic department and Adidas received approval from the UW System board of regents to sign a new five-year deal that will outfit the school’s 23 athletic teams, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
First Tennessee Bank, Tigers renew deal
First Tennessee Bank renewed its sponsorship deal and will continue as the official bank of the University of Memphis Tigers. Tiger Sports Properties is a Learfield Sports entity.
Duffy’s gains official status
Duffy’s Sports Grill formed a strategic partnership with the Florida Marlins. Duffy’s has been designated as the official sports grill of the team. Elements include co-branded marketing initiatives, giveaways and special event activities at all 22 Duffy’s locations and Sun Life Stadium through October 2011.
Marlins offer 3-D seating tool
The Florida Marlins launched a new online product that allows for interactive seating views of the Marlins’ new ballpark. The team partnered with Ballena Technology to develop the virtual tour using Seats 3-D technology.
Favre moves more tickets
The Minnesota Vikings sold 800 season tickets in the 48 hours after Brett Favre decided to return to the team, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The Vikings have only limited single-game tickets remaining and plan to cut off season-ticket sales this week.
Twins raise some ticket prices
The Minnesota Twins announced season-ticket pricing for the 2011 season, and 40 percent of available seats at Target Field increased in price by $1 or less a game. There will be a $2 increase in price for 31 percent of seats, and 39 percent will remain at $22 or less.
Genting has big racino plans
Genting New York, the group lobbying to operate the racino at Aqueduct Racetrack, hopes the track will expand into a destination resort that would include upscale hotels and attract international travelers, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Singapore-based Genting has been eyeing U.S. gaming opportunities in Las Vegas, California and Massachusetts, according to the report.
YES to use online Meebo toolbar
YES Network partnered with social media company Meebo to install Meebo’s online toolbar at the bottom of YESNetwork.com. The toolbar enables easy sharing of content onto Facebook and Twitter, and chatting directly on the page through a variety of instant messaging platforms.
Raptors, Dodgers extend contract
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Ogden Raptors reached a four-year extension of their player development contract, making the Raptors the Rookie-Advanced Pioneer League partner of the Dodgers through 2014.
Thunder sees healthy ticket trends
The Oklahoma City Thunder has sold roughly 12,500 full-season tickets and is only 500 from the club’s self-imposed limit, according to a report in The Oklahoman. The team scored a 93 percent season-ticket renewal rate for the coming season and sold nearly 3,000 new full-season tickets this summer, according to the report.
Ford Center upgrades scheduled
Construction on the new grand entry on the southwest side of Ford Center will begin in the fall and could be completed in time for the 2011-12 NBA season, according to a report in The Oklahoman. The report notes that a new restaurant on the 100 level is in the plans, along with bars and other social areas, such as a kids fun zone.
Phillies reach sellout milestone
The Philadelphia Phillies recorded their 100th consecutive sellout at Citizens Bank Park during a recent homestand against San Francisco. The Phillies have sold out slightly more than half of the regular-season games played at Citizens Bank Park since it opened in 2004.
Blood drive draws big crowd
The Phillies hosted what the team said was the largest blood drive in American Red Cross history earlier this month at Citizens Bank Park. Nearly 1,700 people came to the ballpark to give blood. The team gave donors a special Chase Utley T-shirt, a tour of Citizens Bank Park and photo opportunities with the 2008 World Series trophy.
AT&T seeks better ballpark reception
AT&T activated a distributed antenna system at Citizens Bank Park to improve cell phone coverage. The system consists of several strategically placed antennas — the equivalent of nearly three cell towers — that distribute AT&T’s wireless network coverage throughout the ballpark, more efficiently managing the network’s capacity.
Eagles plan new TV shows
The Philadelphia Eagles are unveiling a lineup of new television shows, three of which will air on broadcast partner WPVI-TV starting in September and featuring local personality Tony Luke and former Eagles player Vince Papale. The shows are “Tony Luke’s Eaglemania,” “Eagles Confidential” (with Papale) and “The Eagles Players Show.” Also new this year is the animated “Fandemonium with Ray the Rant,” to air on WPHL-TV.
Spurs ask fans to ‘Suit Up’
The San Antonio Spurs unveiled their new marketing campaign, carrying the tag line “Suit Up.” The effort aims to engage fans not only at games but also within the community. Created by Spurs advertising agency The PM Group, the campaign will continue throughout the season in print, radio and broadcast.
ChivaClásico set for Sept. 14
The second ChivaClásico event will take place at Petco Park on Sept. 14. Chivas USA of MLS and Club Deportivo Guadalajara of the Mexican First Division will square off for the second straight year. The match is presented in partnership with Chivas USA and Soccer United Marketing.
Kraft campaigns toward bowl game
Kraft Foods began a campaign to promote its sponsorship of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park on Jan. 9, according to a report in The New York Times. Kraft plans for the day of the game to serve as the climax of the campaign, which seeks to donate the monetary equivalent of 20 million meals to Feeding America.
SANTA CLARA, CALIF.
Sports law on stage at forum
An all-day forum Sept. 16 at Santa Clara University School of Law will tackle sports law issues, including steroid use, concussions and player-image rights. Attendees will hear from current and former players, team officials, union leaders, sports marketing executives, and academic experts.
Ballpark highlights gluten-free fare
Seattle Mariners fans with gluten intolerance or Celiac disease will have the chance to indulge in some traditional ballpark fare at a game against the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field on Tuesday. Fans who eat a gluten-free diet will get a discount on tickets in a group section, and there will be a concession stand stocked with food items that fit their strict dietary restrictions.
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, PA.
Hilton signs with Little League
Hilton Worldwide agreed to a three-year deal making it the official hotel partner of Little League Baseball and Softball. Little League families, friends and volunteers can receive a 15 percent discount year-round at Hilton properties. The deal came on the eve of this year’s Little League Baseball World Series, which was played in South Williamsport.
STATE COLLEGE, PA.
Spikes, Pirates extend affiliation
The Pittsburgh Pirates extended their working affiliation agreement with the short-season Class A State College Spikes for two years, through 2012. The Pirates have been affiliated with State College since the beginning of the 2007 season.
Chiefs sign 2-year deal with Nats
The Class AAA Syracuse Chiefs signed a new two-year player development contract with the Washington Nationals. The Chiefs had been affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays for 30 years until 2008, when they signed on with Washington.
Ballpark improves financial outlook
The Lucas County board of commissioners announced a significant reduction in debt on Fifth Third Field, home of the Toledo Mud Hens. Thanks to $4.3 million of additional rent paid to Lucas County by the Class AAA club, and a debt refinancing at 3 percent, the commissioners were able to shorten the repayment period on the ballpark by five years, to 2016 from 2021.
Marlies refurbish community rink
The AHL Toronto Marlies, RONA home improvement and the town of Whitby finished upgrades and refurbishments to the Luther Vipond Memorial Arena in Brooklin, Ontario, as part of the MLSE Team Up Foundation Rink Refurbishment Program. Marlies players and employees, RONA, and the Team Up Foundation put the final touches on the arena.
WEST POINT, N.Y.
Army, NeuLion relaunch site
The Army Athletic Association and NeuLion relaunched the Army official athletic website, goarmysports.com. The new site brings video to the forefront with a modernized appearance and innovative design elements.Send your Coast to Coast news to: CoastToCoast@sportsbusinessjournal.com
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