Breeders’ Cup signs Aston Martin DTI Management gets $75M funding Shared goals: EA Sports, MLS renew deal Sponsored backdrops by league Van Wagner adds WCC, three schools NBPA spending on employees up 40 percent Sutton Impact: Sleepless nights USOC works to ramp up college connection The Sit-Down: Ashley Merryman From The Executive Editor: Faith & sport
SBJ/June 20-26, 2011/Coast to CoastPrint All
Michigan, ND go retro
Adidas unveiled retro-style football uniforms for Michigan and Notre Dame to wear Sept. 10 to celebrate what will be the first night game ever played at Michigan Stadium. It will be the first prime-time meeting between the Wolverines and Irish since a 1990 matchup in South Bend, Ind. ESPN will broadcast the game nationally.
Arena creates network for partners
Philips Arena created the Philips Arena Partner Network presented by SunTrust, providing a platform to help more than 200 corporate partners and suite holders connect with one another. The network aims to facilitate networking and develop events for Philips Arena partners and suite holders.
Bills rename practice facility
The Buffalo Bills partnered with BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York to rename the Bills’ fieldhouse The Bills Healthy Zone. The Bills’ charging buffalo logo and the BlueCross BlueShield logo will accompany the wording on new signs on the facility. The Bills and BlueCross BlueShield have been partners since 1998.
Sylvester Stallone and Mike Tyson were big draws at the induction ceremony.
Boxing hall draws big crowd
A record crowd attended the June 12 International Boxing Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canastota, N.Y., according to a report in the Philadelphia Daily News. The 2011 class included Mike Tyson and “Rocky” actor Sylvester Stallone. One official estimated the turnout at more than 7,000, which exceeds the previous high of 4,000-plus in 1997, when Sugar Ray Leonard led the list of inductees.
Fired Blazers GM lands with Bobcats
The Charlotte Bobcats hired Rich Cho as their new general manager and promoted Rod Higgins from general manager to president of basketball operations. Cho was fired last month by the Portland Trail Blazers, 11 months into his tenure as their general manager.
Panthers seek high school makeovers
The Carolina Panthers are sponsoring a high school weight room makeover grant program in which four high schools will be given equipment the Panthers have been using for several years, according to a report in The Charlotte Observer. The report quoted Riley Fields, team director of community relations: “We thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to assist some deserving high schools in our region.”
Captains fire up phone app
The Lake County Captains, Class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, released a free smartphone application through the Android app store. An iPhone app is in the works. Fans will be able to keep up with team news, promotions and events, buy tickets, and see game stories. Critical Technologies Group developed the app.
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.
Triathlon academy joining curriculum
The Elite Triathlon Academy will debut this fall at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with national-level support from USA Triathlon and the U.S. Olympic Committee. The ultimate goal of the program is to develop potential Olympic triathletes into medal contenders.
MAJOR LEAGUE GAMING
The event drew more than 16,000 fans and 1,300 competitors, making it the largest Pro Circuit event in the league’s nine-year history.
Gaming event sets online record
Major League Gaming set a new league record with 22.5 million video streams of its live online coverage of its Columbus Pro Circuit competition, June 3-5. The online consumption for the professional competitive video game property involved viewers from 164 different countries and 2.2 million hours of total consumed video.
City to own arena by end of summer
Dallas Chief Financial Officer Jeanne Chipperfield said that American Airlines Center should be paid off and owned by the city before summer’s end, according to a report in The Dallas Morning News. The Dallas City Council will vote on Wednesday to retire $10.45 million in remaining bonds.
Mammoth marking 10 years in NLL
The Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League unveiled plans to mark the 2012 season as the club’s 10th anniversary in Denver. The plans call for an anniversary logo, the naming of an all-decade team and a newly designed team uniform. The Mammoth is generally credited with the statewide increase in youth and high school lacrosse participation, as well as the westward expansion of the NLL. In 2009, Inside Lacrosse named Denver the Best Overall Lacrosse Town and Best Pro Lacrosse Town in the country.
Rockets partner with BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass signed a multiyear agreement to be an official partner of the Houston Rockets, continuing its expansion into the sports arena. An NBA league-level sponsor, BBVA Compass will be the presenting sponsor of ToyotaCenterTix.com and will also help design and develop a new booth at the Toyota Center. The bank has 81 branches in the Houston metro area.
Astros, Skyview sign multiyear deal
The Houston Astros signed a multiyear broadcast contract with Skyview Networks beginning this season. Skyview Networks provides play-by-play broadcast systems. The new affiliation marks Skyview’s 16th partnership for broadcast services across MLB.
SFP to sponsor 2012 truck race
Agricultural company SFP signed a multiyear deal to sponsor the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway starting in 2012. Headquartered in nearby Leawood, Kan., SFP was named the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year for 2011.
Officially licensed store will bank on the
history of the 1980 ‘Miracle On Ice.”
USA Hockey Store opening
USA Hockey launched its first officially licensed USA Hockey Store in this upstate community, which hosted the 1980 Winter Olympics and was the site of the U.S. hockey team’s “Miracle On Ice.” The store, owned and operated by Psyche Sport, will offer USA Hockey merchandise that includes apparel and branded items.
BlueClaws hold Troop Supply Drive
The Lakewood BlueClaws, a Class A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, will hold their annual Troop Supply Drive on Military Appreciation Night at their Thursday game, a night that also features an appearance by the Phillie Phanatic. Fans are encouraged to donate sweets, sunblock, socks, batteries and various toiletries. BlueClaws players and coaches will be wearing camouflage jerseys, as well.
New partners join KFC Yum! Center
Louisville Arena Sports and Entertainment Properties completed $250,000 in new sponsorship agreements with the addition of three new partners for the KFC Yum! Center. The partners are Absolut Vodka, Community & Aztec Limousine, and Los Aztecas and Sol Aztecas Mexican restaurants. The new partners bring total sponsorship revenue to more than $50 million.
School aims for $10M for new facility
The University of Memphis kicked off of a capital campaign to raise $10 million for an indoor football practice facility and for additional renovations to the football complex, according to a report in The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. The renovations are part of a universitywide $250 million capital campaign.
Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey reels in a fish on the ediets.com boat.
FinsWeekend raised $600K for charity
The Miami Dolphins Foundation held its largest annual event, FinsWeekend, earlier this month. The three-day event, June 9-11, featured golf, fishing and celebrity appearances, with more than $600,000 being raised for the foundation.
McCartney to be Target Field’s first
A Minnesota Twins spokesperson confirmed that the team has been negotiating with Paul McCartney’s agents for the musician to play at Target Field on Sept. 1, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It would be the first concert at the year-old stadium.
Ballpark tabbed as StormReady Supporter
The National Weather Service designated Target Field as a StormReady Supporter. The ballpark is the first sports facility in Minnesota to achieve the designation, which recognizes the venue for having on-site monitoring of weather conditions and an established emergency plan in place, including training for personnel. The StormReady program started in 1999 and aims to help community leaders and emergency managers strengthen local safety programs.
Canadiens’ radio rights shifting
Bell Media’s Team 990 radio is set to acquire Montreal Canadiens radio rights, a deal that would see the team leave CJAD-AM, according to sources cited in a Montreal Gazette report. The Canadiens-Team 990 partnership won’t be announced until after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final at the earliest, according to the report.
Kia replaces EA as NBA draft sponsor
Kia will be presenting sponsor of this year’s NBA draft, which will be aired live on ESPN and NBA TV on Thursday. The Korean automaker replaces EA Sports, which was presenting sponsor of the last two NBA drafts. Kia will have ads in both broadcasts of the draft, which will be held at Prudential Center.
Cyclones ready for ‘Hangover’ night
The Brooklyn Cyclones, a Class A affiliate of the New York Mets, are scheduled to host what’s been dubbed “The Hangover Night” at MCU Park on Wednesday. Based loosely on the popular “Hangover” movie franchise, highlighted segments of the promotional effort are expected to include In-Game Baby Bjorn Olympics, The Tooth Fairy, Tattoo You! and Beard Bash, a best-beard contest.
ED MAHAN / PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Eagles owner and CEO Jeffrey Lurie adds to the mural at the school playground project.
Players couldn’t help with playground
The Philadelphia Eagles continued their annual tradition this summer of building a playground for local youth, but this year, the charitable activity led by the Eagles Youth Partnership took place without the players. Front-office staff worked on the project in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. Eagles players, however, are barred from taking part in team activities because of the ongoing lockout.
WPS team hosting UAE program
The WPS Philadelphia Independence is collaborating with the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Washington, D.C., to host the UAE women’s soccer program for a visit this summer. The 21-day delegation visit will include a program of joint coaching and training sessions, visits to several area youth clubs, and community service activities in and around Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
PPL Park wins new facility award
PPL Park won the inaugural NCS4 Facility Achievement Award. The award was created by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security. The 18,500-seat stadium in Chester, Pa., opened in June 2010. The award will be presented at the NCS4 annual conference in New Orleans in August.
Suns holding private draft party
The Phoenix Suns, in partnership with Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies and the Arizona Biltmore, will hold an NBA draft viewing party on Thursday at the Arizona Biltmore’s Paradise Pool. The private event is for media, Suns marketing partners, season-ticket holders and a limited number of contest winners.
Chamber won’t support arena
The Natomas Chamber of Commerce declined to lend its support to a new arena project for the Sacramento Kings. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson had asked the Natomas chamber to write a letter of support for the proposed arena to be collected with letters from the region’s other chambers of commerce. The team’s current Power Balance Pavilion is in the Natomas community in northern Sacramento, while the proposed new arena would be in downtown Sacramento.
Kings name new ambassadors
The Sacramento Kings named the leaders and members of their ambassadors program, which is now in its third year. The program was designed to strengthen the bond between the team and the community. The honorary chairmen of this season’s leadership council are Kings forward Donté Greene, former guard Doug Christie and Kings TV play-by-play announcer Grant Napear.
Actor’s son returns as RB
Actor Denzel Washington’s son is returning to play with the Sacramento Mountain Lions this season. John David Washington is one of a dozen additional players who recently signed with Sacramento’s UFL team, which is coached by former NFL coach Dennis Green.
Raceway partners with Amyris
Infineon Raceway and Amyris entered into a multiyear partnership that will make the Emeryville, Calif.-based company a Leadership Partner in the raceway’s Accelerating Sustainable Performance program. Amyris is a renewable products company focused on alternatives to petroleum-sourced products.
MLSE will sell for Goal.com
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment agreed to a sales representation deal with Goal.com. MLSE’s media sales team will sell Canadian advertisements for the soccer-specific website, which provides international soccer news, commentary and entertainment.
Aquarium using ‘Stanley’ in campaign
The Vancouver Aquarium is hoping to build part of its fundraising efforts around a killer whale named Stanley, who’s been hailed as something of a good luck charm for the Vancouver Canucks, according to a report in the Toronto Star. The aquarium is offering photographs of the whale, among other items, in return for donations, which will help cover the cost of research expeditions, according to the report. The whale was first seen last month near the aquarium, which is located in Stanley Park.
At center, between members of the Nat Pack:
Andy Feffer, Nationals COO; Jeff Flug, Union Square Hospitality Group president; Randy Garutti, Shake Shack COO; David Swinghamer, Shake Shack CEO; Mark Maynard-Parisi, Blue Smoke managing partner; and Ron Parker, managing director of business development for USHG events.
Nationals debut Scoreboard Walk
The Washington Nationals held an invitation-only VIP reception to open their new Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk, built in collaboration with Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. The area is part of a multiyear concessions deal between the team and USHG, and features Blue Smoke, Shake Shack, El Verano Taqueria and Box Frites.
City gets lacrosse franchise
The first team in the North American Lacrosse League was awarded to Wilkes-Barre. The startup club’s ownership group consists of Joe DeLuca, Jim Jennings, John “Jack” Manzella, Aaron Musselman, Anthony “Chip” Santye, Ron Costello and Tom Cataldo. Six to eight franchises are expected to compete in 2012.
Send your Coast to Coast news to: CoastToCoast@sportsbusinessjournal.com or phone (704) 973-1436.