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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Pats hold steady on season tickets
The New England Patriots will not raise prices on season tickets for next year, according to a report in the Boston Herald. The best seats will reportedly still cost $169. The team may raise prices on single-game tickets that come available in June, according to the report. The most recent price increase was after the team's 16-0 regular season in 2007.
Ducks, landscaper shoot for trees
The Anaheim Ducks started their Pinnacle Landscape Green Goal Shootout promotion. Each time the Ducks win in a shootout this season, Pinnacle Landscape will donate a tree for landscaping around the new tower being built at Children's Hospital of Orange County.
Atlanta Spirit lawsuit settled
The lawsuit among members of the Atlanta Spirit ownership group was settled. Michael Gearon and Bruce Levenson now will serve as managing partners of the Atlanta Hawks, Thrashers and Philips Arena. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hawks pick XCO for mobile app
The Atlanta Hawks selected XCO Sports-Link to provide their mobile application platform. The Hawks app will enhance fans' in-venue and out-of-venue experiences with behind-the-scenes content, team information, promotions, social networking and in-venue location features.
New Era acquires Brazil distributor
New Era Cap Co. is expanding its international presence by acquiring Brazil-based fashion maker MARC4. MARC4 designs, distributes and markets apparel and various accessories under licensed brands throughout the country. It has been Buffalo-based New Era's official distributor in Brazil since 2006.
Bobcats sign Blue Cross and Blue Shield
The Charlotte Bobcats have a new marketing partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. Blue Cross and Blue Shield will have designation as the presenting sponsor of the Bobcats Stay Active program and the Jr. Bobcats program. The partnership also includes courtside rotational signs, radio spots and an online presence.
Bulls streaming live pregame shows
The Chicago Bulls partnered with Harris Bank to launch "Harris Pregame Live," a simulcast of the Bulls Radio Network pregame show and "BullsTV Live" on the team's website. The show is the first of its kind, simulcasting a radio pregame show and live video streaming on a professional sports team's website.
Mammoth rolls out ticket initiative
The Colorado Mammoth launched its Kroenke Sports Charities Tickets from the Heart community relations initiative. The program provides fans with the opportunity to purchase discounted Mammoth tickets that will be donated to local schools and charitable organizations. The Mammoth opens the 2011 National Lacrosse League season at Pepsi Center on Saturday.
Astros warming up for Caravan
The Houston Astros 2011 Caravan begins on Jan. 13 with three full days of visits throughout the Houston area. The team will also make a two-day trip to Oklahoma City (Jan. 18-19), a three-day trip to Austin (Jan. 18-19) and San Antonio (Jan. 20), travel to Corpus Christi and Victoria (Jan. 21), and hit the road for three days in Temple (Jan. 24-26).
Cup race gets Kobalt name
Lowe's and its tool brand, Kobalt, signed a multiyear agreement as sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The event will be called the Kobalt Tools 400. Race weekend is March 4-6.
Knicks launch new fan site
The New York Knicks launched a first-of-its-kind professional sports online community, KnicksNow.com. The new site will provide fans with 24/7 access to everything Knicks, including exclusive video clips of players, coaches and fans, online chats, players' Twitter and Facebook feeds and more.
Carolina Mudcats heading south
Quint and Rishy Studer of Pensacola, Fla., bought the Carolina Mudcats, the Class AA affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The Mudcats will move from Zebulon, N.C., to Pensacola in 2012. The Pensacola franchise will remain in Minor League Baseball's Southern League.
Eagles advisory board established
The first members of the Philadelphia Eagles' 2011 Season Ticket Holder Advisory Board were selected. More than 800 season-ticket holders submitted essays with suggestions for the team. Of these applicants, 34 were chosen to form the board. The board will help the team maximize customer service and develop new initiatives based on fan input.
Union taps GroupM ESP
The Philadelphia Union hired GroupM ESP to serve as a strategic consultant in developing the team brand. GroupM ESP will support the overall Philadelphia Union organization in developing and extending its partnerships with the corporate community, both locally and nationally.
Chase Field readies for new displays
Daktronics was chosen to design, manufacture and install two large LED displays at Chase Field. Each 36-by-20-foot display will show team lineups and advertisements at Arizona Diamondbacks games.
PGA Tour event wants fans in green
The Waste Management Phoenix Open is having a "Green Out" on Feb. 5 during the third round of the tournament. For every person who wears green, the tournament host Thunderbirds will donate to Arizona Clean & Beautiful, a nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to preserving, maintaining and enhancing the beauty and environmental quality of Arizona.
MLS club partners with Providence
The Portland Timbers established a founding partnership with Providence Health & Services, Oregon. At the heart of the deal is Providence Sports Care Center, a 12,000-square-foot sports rehabilitation clinic that has been privately funded as part of the extensive renovation at PGE Park.
Maloofs roll out global skate effort
The owners of the Sacramento Kings launched a global initiative to use skateboarding to support youth and communities overseas. Over 10 months, Maloof Skateboarding and its initiative partners will donate shoes, decks and skate gear to enable poor South African children to take up skateboarding. The initiative will lead up to the first Maloof Money Cup World Skateboarding Championships in South Africa from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.
Kings get behind fitness program
The Sacramento Kings partnered with the Sacramento City Unified School District and The California Endowment to create Get Fit with the Kings, a program meant to improve community health. The program includes investments by the Kings in gyms and athletic fields, school health clinics and ticket incentives for meeting nutrition and fitness goals.
City receives trees via NASCAR
The city of Vallejo received a donation of 74 trees through NASCAR Green Clean Air — an initiative that neutralizes all the carbon produced by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events. The NASCAR Green Clean Air effort plants trees for every green flag waved during a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event.