SBJ/April 11-17, 2011/Coast to CoastPrint All
Rattlers shake up mobile app
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, a Class A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, have a new mobile application. The app was created by St. Paul-based Accelerated Innovations. Most in-game functions were available to fans on Opening Day last week; live video streaming will be phased in during the season.
Braves highlight lighter side
The Atlanta Braves have created a scripted TV advertising campaign with Blue Sky Agency. The ads, available via www.braves.com/commercials, were shot during spring training in Florida and feature players in situations that highlight their personalities and show off a lighter side of the game.
Turner Field upgrades wireless coverage
AT&T is installing Wi-Fi capability at Turner Field after putting new antennas at the ballpark a few months ago, according to a report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Dawn Benton, AT&T corporate communications director, said the offering will be a free service to fans at the facility.
Logo marks Longhorn Network
ESPN and the University of Texas formally unveiled the name and logo of the Longhorn Network, the new 24-hour TV outlet devoted to UT sports. The logo — to be used in print, online and on-air mentions — incorporates the familiar Longhorns silhouette and UT orange color.
New Balance signs up at Fenway
The Boston Red Sox and New Balance agreed to a multiyear deal that recognizes New Balance as the official footwear and apparel sponsor of the team. The team and New Balance unveiled an illuminated sign at Fenway Park as a result of the deal. Designed by Ashton Design and constructed by Triangle Signs, the sign is 70 feet long and almost 8 feet tall.
Bank, Gonzalez commit $1K per homer
For every home run this season by Adrian Gonzalez, the Red Sox first baseman and Eastern Bank will donate $1,000 to Habitat for Humanity affiliates serving eastern Massachusetts. Eastern Bank will donate $500 for each home run, and Gonzalez and his wife, Betsy, will match each donation.
Sox debut sixth lottery ticket
The Massachusetts Lottery and the Red Sox last week released the $2 Red Sox Instant Ticket lottery scratch game. The game marks the sixth Red Sox-branded offering since 2006.
Birdair completes Argentina project
Birdair Inc. completed the installation of a cable structure and roof over La Plata Stadium in Argentina. Birdair, based near Buffalo, placed a fiberglass membrane-designed roof above the 53,000-seat stadium, one of the host venues for the 2011 Copa America soccer tournament for South American national teams.
MLL team needs a name
Charlotte’s expansion Major League Lacrosse franchise began a public campaign to name the team and define its geographic boundary: Charlotte, or the Carolinas at large. OrthoCarolina is sponsoring the name-the-team effort. The campaign will end with the name and logo unveiling on June 21.
Indians start brand campaign
The Cleveland Indians launched a campaign dubbed “Creating Memories. Connecting Generations. Celebrating Families.” The campaign, resulting from months of research by the Indians and Magid Media Group, was produced by the Indians marketing and creative production team. The first two of five total TV spots have begun to run in the local Cleveland market.
Crew to play Newcastle in exhibition
The Columbus Crew will play host to an international exhibition against Newcastle United FC of the English Premier League on July 26 at Crew Stadium. Individual advance ticket prices start at $24 and will go on sale April 20 after the completion of an exclusive presale offer to Crew Soccer Nation members.
Royals add, extend with partners
The Kansas City Royals marked the start of the 2011 season with the addition as corporate partners of Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, Ivy Funds, Jose Pepper’s, Missouri Lottery, The University of Kansas Hospital and U.S. Toy. The team’s returning partners include Blue Cross Blue Shield, John Deere, Kansas City Area Chevy Dealers and Teva Neuroscience.
The KC Ribeye Stack is a ribeye steak sandwich with applewood bacon, cheddar cheese, sauteed mushrooms, onion rings and barbecue sauce.
The Royals and Aramark are asking fans to vote, via www.royals.com/sandwich, for a Kansas City-themed signature sandwich to add to the Kauffman Stadium menu this year. The sandwiches will be available for purchase throughout the first half of the season at the stadium. The winning sandwich will be announced after the All-Star break and remain on the menu for the rest of the season. The candidates are the Royal Pork T and the KC Ribeye Stack.
Kimball Medical names club space
Kimball Medical Center is the new sponsor of the Champions Club at FirstEnergy Park. The club is a new, triple-box party room that overlooks the
The Royal Pork T is a crispy pork tenderloin sandwich with caramelized onions, fried pickles and barbecue sauce.
Upgraded store has Opening Day
The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory opened its 3,000-square-foot renovated store at the museum. The upgraded store carries collectibles, apparel and spirit items. The museum last year set an attendance record, with 234,771 visitors.
Open breaks attendance mark again
A record crowd of 14,625 attended the Sony Ericsson Open men’s singles final on April 3, and a record total of 316,267 fans overall attended the tournament this year, marking the fourth time in the last five years the event has broken its all-time attendance record.
Heat promotes sponsor sweeps
The Miami Heat launched the 2011 Miami Heat Sponsor Package Sweepstakes. The grand prize package includes in-arena advertising, promotion, a kiosk on the main concourse of AmericanAirlines Arena, radio advertising and two lower-level tickets for each home playoff game — a combined potential value of more than $100,000.
SCOTT PAULUS / MILWAUKEE BREWERS
Uecker (center) considers this season’s headwear with Brewers owner Mark Attanasio (right) on Opening Day.
Uecker continues Opening Day streak
Milwaukee Brewers announcer Bob Uecker was back in the radio booth March 31 for his 56th consecutive Opening Day as a player and broadcaster, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Uecker missed time last year with two heart surgeries.
Twins add wireless network
The Minnesota Twins are adding a free Wi-Fi network throughout Target Field that was expected to be fully functional for the team’s home opener this past Friday. The ballpark is expected to have more than 100 access points that cumulatively should handle up to 4,000 fans on the Wi-Fi network at once, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Saints win Shorty Award
The New Orleans Saints were named the Shorty Award winner for the best sports Twitter account at the 2011 Shorty Awards ceremony at the TimesCenter in New York City. The Shorty Awards honor the best people and organizations producing short-form, real-time social media content. The Saints content is available @Official_Saints.
Red Bulls, MSG extend deal
The New York Red Bulls and MSG Networks struck a new multiyear agreement. MSG Networks, consisting of MSG Network and MSG Plus, has held the telecast rights to the team since 1996 and will telecast 24 of club’s 32 regular-season games this season, up from 22 games last year.
Storm Chasers flush with ideas
The Omaha Storm Chasers are taking the plunge April 21 in a promotion to benefit the March of Dimes. All fans attending that night’s game will receive a dime, matching the amount of the national toilet paper tax idea floated by Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle as a means to pay for sewer projects. Fans will be able to keep their dime or drop it in the toilet donation station just inside the front gate, with those proceeds going to the Nebraska Chapter of the March of Dimes. The Storm Chasers are the Class AAA affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Summit to welcome UNO
The University of Nebraska at Omaha accepted an invitation to become a member of the Summit League. UNO will begin league competition during the 2012-13 academic year. The school is currently part of the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association.
Golf Channel combining headquarters
Golf Channel will spend $5 million to $10 million on consolidating its headquarters in southwest Orlando, with renovation work to be completed by fall 2012. Golf Channel signed an 11.5-year lease agreement in January for 123,000 square feet at Sand Lake West Business Park.
The new Phanavision board at Citizens Bank Park weighs in at more than 42 tons.
Phillies fire up giant video board
The Philadelphia Phillies’ new Phanavision video board made its debut March 29 for the team’s exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. The 76-by-97-foot board is almost triple the size of the old board, which was moved to the team’s spring training facility at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. The installation was part of a $10 million technology upgrade at Citizens Bank Park.
Sueño MLS stop scheduled
The Philadelphia Union will be the final host team, April 23-24, for Sueño MLS 2011, sponsored by Allstate. Sueño MLS is a nationally televised search for the best young soccer talent in the United States. Sueño MLS 2011 was scheduled to make its first stop at this past weekend, with FC Dallas, and will visit the Chicago Fire this coming weekend.
Union starts pledge program
The Union launched the Union Fans Assist program, a charitable pledge program that encourages fans to donate to one of four nonprofit organizations when the club scores a goal or holds an opponent scoreless. Fans can choose pledge increments ranging between $1 and $50 for each Union goal and shutout throughout the 2011 season.
Phillies accept Kalas statue
The Philadelphia Phillies accepted a fan-funded gift of a 7-foot bronze statue of Harry Kalas for placement at Citizens Bank Park. Mike Stiles, the team’s senior vice president for administration and operations, said the statue was presented to the Phillies as a gift from Dear Harry Inc., a fan-based group organized solely to create a statue dedicated to the memory of the Phillies Hall of Fame broadcaster.
WMCN to carry Soul games
The Philadelphia Soul and WMCN-TV entered into an exclusive local television carriage deal that covers the remainder of the 2011 Arena Football League season. The independent station will air six games live between this past weekend and July 2. The Soul also will be featured in three NFL Network games to a national audience. Financial terms of the local deal were not disclosed.
A day at Chase Field is easiest on family finances in a Fan Cost Index survey.
D-backs top affordable list
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Fan Cost Index of $120.96 is the lowest in Major League Baseball for the fifth consecutive season, coming in more than $70 under the league average of $197.35. The Fan Cost Index, a product of Team Marketing Report, aims to provide a look at the cost for a family of four to attend an MLB game. The average price of a Diamondbacks game ticket is $15.74, bested only by the San Diego Padres ($15.45) and the Pittsburgh Pirates ($15.30).
Hunt Auctions opens store at PNC Park
PNC Park has a new vendor this season: the Memorabilia Store by Hunt Auctions. The store has game-used jerseys, autographs, vintage baseball cards, programs and tickets. Additionally, flat-panel TVs have replaced the previous tube TVs throughout the stadium, and energy-efficient lights have been installed, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Pirates honoring former manager
In honor of former manager Chuck Tanner, the Pittsburgh Pirates will wear a patch on their right jersey sleeve throughout the 2011 season. The black-and-gold patch will feature Tanner’s jersey number 7 enclosed in a Stargell Star, named for former Pirates player Willie Stargell. Tanner, who died Feb. 11 at age 82, led the Pirates to the 1979 World Series championship.
Padres’ away games on big screen
The San Diego Padres will show every televised road game this season on the big screen at the Park in the Park at Petco Park, according to a report in the North County Times. All of the elements of the public park will remain open for the Away at the Park offerings, including Picnic Hill, the beach area and the youth baseball field.
America’s Cup opens office space
America’s Cup officials opened their San Francisco office April 1. The 17,000-square-foot office is two blocks from the waterfront and about seven blocks from Piers 27-29, which will serve as the America’s Cup Village, a congregation point for race-goers to watch the event, shop and eat. The event authority said it plans to hire as many as 120 people in its San Francisco office over the next two years, leading up to the event in 2013.
Hospital to present Sharks’ playoff run
El Camino Hospital will serve as the presenting sponsor for the San Jose Sharks’ 2011 playoff campaign.
Voters oppose stadium tax extension
A majority of Seattle voters are against extending the taxes that paid for Safeco Field once the stadium bonds are paid off this year, according to a recent Elway Poll. Of the 405 people surveyed, 57 percent said they would vote against extending the stadium tax. An extension has been suggested as a means of funding other projects, such as a convention center expansion or affordable housing.
A patch on the Seattle Mariners’ right sleeves this season will honor longtime broadcaster Dave Niehaus, according to a report in The Seattle Times. Niehaus died in December. The patch is a black oval with “DAVE, My Oh My!” stitched in white, along with the image of an old-time microphone. Proceeds from the sale of the $10 patches to the public will benefit the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.
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