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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Cowboys roll out apparel line
The Dallas Cowboys started Nineteen60, the team’s new apparel line. It debuted last week at the Dallas Apparel Market and will be available in stores in September. The Cowboys said that Dallas Cowboys Merchandising is the only major sporting brand to design, manufacture and distribute its own apparel.
Arbella presenting Celtics’ playoff run
Arbella Insurance will be the presenting sponsor of the Boston Celtics’ 2011 playoff run for the second consecutive season. The sponsorship will integrate Arbella into all facets of the playoffs and will activate with the tag line “It’s All About 18, presented by Arbella Insurance.” The Celtics are seeking their 18th NBA championship.
New Balance has a T-shirt collection designed for Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, with proceeds helping his charity of choice, according to a report in the Boston Herald. New Balance is selling the shirts for $20 to $25, and 5 percent of proceeds will go to the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program.
Pirates, boosters build special field
Pirates Charities, the philanthropic arm of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Bradenton Boosters partnered with the Miracle League of Manasota to help build a Miracle League Field for Manatee and Sarasota counties. Pirates Charities committed $50,000 toward the construction of the baseball field, designed for children with special needs.
Bisons to have 51 games on TWC
The Buffalo Bisons, Class AAA affiliate of the New York Mets, announced a TV broadcast lineup of 51 games during the 2011 season, all on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. The schedule — 36 home, 15 away — begins on Opening Day, April 7, against the Syracuse Chiefs. The slate of games also includes five games on SportsNet New York.
Sabres add pregame show on MSG net
The Buffalo Sabres added a 30-minute pregame show to their broadcasts on MSG Network for the remainder of the 2010-11 season. “Degree Game Night” will be hosted by broadcaster Kevin Sylvester.
Cubs sign United in club deal
The Chicago Cubs signed United Airlines to a naming-rights deal for the Stadium Club at Wrigley Field. The multiyear agreement for the 235-person United Club takes effect this season at the 97-year-old facility. This deal is the first naming-rights deal for the members-only restaurant in the ballpark’s right-field corner.
Indians, KeyBank launch Glove Drive
The Cleveland Indians and KeyBank launched the 2011 Glove Drive to benefit the Cleveland Baseball Federation and Akron Area YMCA. Fans can donate new or slightly used baseball or softball gloves or make a $20 donation at Progressive Field until Aug. 28. Donors receive a ticket for the Aug. 28 game and a voucher for an autograph event.
Cuban still studying Stars possibilities
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban continues to do exploratory work on the possibility of buying the Dallas Stars, according to a report in The Dallas Morning News. The report quoted Cuban: “I’ll help anybody who gives me a better shot at the rest of the arena.”
Team wants to ‘Lacrosse Out Cancer’
The Colorado Mammoth joined “Lacrosse Out Cancer” as part of a leaguewide initiative in the National Lacrosse League to raise funds to support cancer research and awareness. Mammoth players Ilija Gajic and Nick Carlson, Wild Bunch dancers, and team mascot Wooly last week delivered Bags of Fun (bagsoffun.org) to patients at HealthOne’s Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS
Gossage points to Daytona for ticket surge
Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage announced that ticket sales are on the rise for the April 9 Samsung Mobile 500, the first night Sprint Cup race at the track, according to a report in the San Antonio Express-News. Gossage said that season-ticket sales have increased 31 percent from one year ago and he related the surge to the popular season-opening Daytona 500.
Astros organizing annual FanFest
The Houston Astros and the Astros In Action Foundation will hold the team’s annual FanFest April 9-10 at Minute Maid Park. Events include autograph sessions and seminars with Astros broadcasters and staff. Admission is free each day with the purchase of a game ticket to the April 9 or April 10 game.
The 36th edition of the BNP Paribas Open was the most successful in its history.
BNP Paribas Open sets attendance mark
The BNP Paribas Open men’s and women’s finals drew 16,754 fans to Indian Wells Tennis Garden, giving the tournament an attendance record of 350,086 fans for the 12-day event, according to a report in The (Palm Springs) Desert Sun. The previous record was 339,657, set last year.
Marlins, Cardinals to stay through 2027
The Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals reached an agreement with Palm Beach County that could keep both teams at Roger Dean Stadium for the next 16 years, according to a report in The Palm Beach Post. A proposed lease agreement to keep the teams in Jupiter for spring training through 2027 provides an escape clause if the New York Mets or Washington Nationals leave Florida’s east coast, according to the report.
Dodgers, El Zarco say cheers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are partnering with El Zarco Tequila for the 2011 season. El Zarco will be the Dodgers’ official tequila partner, and will receive signs at Dodgers Stadium, branding and VIP hospitality and experiences for select customers.
Cubs’ golf event raises $25,000
The inaugural Chicago Cubs Charities Celebrity Golf Tournament raised $25,000 for charitable organizations in Mesa. Proceeds will be shared between Chicago Cubs Charities, Sunshine Acres Children’s Home, Banner Cardon Children’s Medical Center and the Mesa HoHoKam Foundation.
AmericanAirlines Arena entered into a partnership with Tonino Lamborghini Energy Drink. Through a one-year partnership, the arena will offer the energy drink in its concession stands during all events and help promote the beverage through arena advertising.
Heat sells out 2011-12 season tickets
The Miami Heat sold out season tickets for next season and launched the new Heat Priority Access Club, an annual fee-based membership club, which provides fans with various benefits and ticket offers. Fans were able to buy memberships, ranging from $50 to $250, to the club beginning March 18 on Heat.com.
Marlins’ roof framework complete
The Florida Marlins’ new ballpark reached a milestone last week with the installation of the last major structural piece of steel for the retractable roof. The steel piece was to be signed by more than 800 construction workers as well as Marlins executives, Miami-Dade County officials, and city of Miami officials.
A Metrodome roof replacement is planned after a December snowstorm cave-in.
MSFC expects $22.7M for roof
The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission said it will receive $22.7 million from its insurer, Affiliated FM, to replace the roof at the Metrodome, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. MSFC Commissioner Paul Thatcher said that aside from the $25,000 deductible, that sum should cover the expense of replacing the roof and paying consultants.
Racino legislation introduced
Racino legislation that would expand gambling by allowing slot machines at Minnesota’s two horse tracks was introduced last week. State Sen. Dave Senjem (R-Rochester) and Rep. Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) are sponsoring the bill that they say will create jobs and fund economic development throughout the state.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
The Devils Army monitors the team at the digital command hub at Prudential Center.
Devils start ‘Mission Control’ project
The New Jersey Devils began a social media project they call Mission Control in which fans and volunteers monitor social media sites and hockey-related websites for news and information related to the Devils, according to a report in The New York Times. The group, dubbed the Devils Army, then passes the items along through Twitter and Facebook.
Benson eyes adjacent land for stadium
New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson is planning to build a 5,000- to 6,000-seat stadium on land between Saints headquarters and Zephyr Field, home of the Class AAA New Orleans Zephyrs, according to a report in The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune. The Saints would make the planned practice field, which Benson envisions opening in 2012, available for high school games, according to the report.
Giants not requiring ticket payments
The New York Giants are the only team in the NFL not to require a payment from their season-ticket holders during the ongoing lockout, according to a report in the New York Post. The report quoted Giants President and CEO John Mara: “We’ve asked an awful lot of our season-ticket holders over the last few years in connection with this new stadium,” he said, in reference to New Meadowlands Stadium, which opened last year.
One dollar of every ticket sold for Sunday’s Oakland Athletics-Seattle Mariners game — featuring Japanese baseball stars Hideki Matsui and Ichiro Suzuki — will be donated to the Red Cross for relief efforts in Japan. The game also is Japanese Heritage Day at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Other fundraisers will go toward helping victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, as well.
A’s bring back ‘Green Collar’ campaign
The A’s and ad agency Hub Strategy are introducing the second season of their Green Collar Baseball campaign, which features TV, radio, print, outdoor and digital ads. The slogan Green Collar Baseball will be integrated throughout the team’s marketing and advertising efforts this season.
City expects $15M impact from wrestling
Philadelphia officials expect that hosting the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships earlier this month will generate a $15 million economic impact for the region. The event, held at the Wells Fargo Center, was sold out. About 15,000 people from 45 states attended the championships and were responsible for 10,000 hotel room nights, according to the Philadelphia Sports Congress, a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Philadelphia 76ers forward Evan Turner has joined forces with XCO SportsLink to develop a smartphone application that will provide fans with access into his life off the court. “ET Mobile” features a behind-the-scenes look at various aspects of Turner’s life, from basketball to appearances to life on the road.
Steelers, WDVE extend flagship deal
The Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to a five-year contract with WDVE-FM for it to remain the team’s flagship station. WDVE has been the Steelers’ flagship since 1998. Sister station WBGG-AM will also continue to air games.
Zazzle titling 100th Bay To Breakers
Online retailer Zazzle agreed to a deal that makes it title sponsor of the annual 12K Bay to Breakers race, which will hold its 100th running in May, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Quakes sign beverage, insurance partners
The San Jose Earthquakes reached partnership deals with 7Up Bottling Co. of San Francisco and Farmers Insurance. 7Up Bottling’s beverages will be sold at all Earthquakes home games, and the company will also receive other serving rights, such as the placement of beverage sampling and booth displays inside Buck Shaw Stadium.
Mariners matching donations to Japan
The Seattle Mariners plan to dedicate the six-game opening homestand of their 2011 season to Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. The club will make a donation to the Red Cross to match all Mariners front office employee and fan contributions, with a guaranteed donation through Mariners Care of $100,000.
Missouri, Illinois baseball meets at Busch
The third leg of the “Braggin’ Rights” battle between the University of Illinois and the University of Missouri is scheduled for Tuesday, when the schools’ baseball teams square off at Busch Stadium. All tickets for the game are priced at $10.
Rays, fans donate to Japanese relief effort
Volunteers from the Red Cross will collect donations from Tampa Bay Rays fans for Japanese disaster relief efforts during the season-opening series against Baltimore this weekend. The Rays will make a $10,000 donation to Save the Children to benefit the Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund and match up to $15,000 of donations made by fans.
Grey Cup names entertainment producer
Patrick Roberge Productions was named entertainment producer for the Canadian Football League’s 99th and 100th Grey Cup games. PRP will work with the CFL to produce the 99th Grey Cup at the newly renovated BC Place Stadium in Vancouver this year and begin the countdown to the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto in 2012.
Nats honoring D.C. hall of famers
The Washington Nationals will honor the six newest members of the Washington D.C. Sports Hall of Fame prior to the team’s 2011 season opener against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday. The inductees are James Brown, Dominique Dawes, Brian Mitchell, Willie Stewart, Michael Wilbon and Morgan Wootten.
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