SBJ/July 25-31, 2011/Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast: Wrigley rolls through Chicago

ARLINGTON, TEXAS
Cowboys sever ties with Maximum

The Dallas Cowboys severed a long-standing relationship with Maximum Sports Connection after complaints from out-of-town fans that the firm failed to secure tickets and hotel rooms, then delayed refunds or made only partial payments, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The team has since sold the official fan tour partner sponsorship to Star Sports Tours.

ATLANTA
Seats3D offers sight lines from every section.
Falcons put fans in control of seat views

The Atlanta Falcons launched a new virtual seat viewing system that provides fans with realistic 3-D seating visuals of the Georgia Dome to improve the ticket purchasing experience. Fans can see their game-day view, and buy season and half-season packages and single-game tickets. The system, created by Ballena Technologies, also features an interactive parking map.

Braves schedule alumni events
The Atlanta Braves Alumni Weekend is set for Aug. 12-15. The festivities begin with Bobby Cox’s induction into the Braves Hall of Fame and number retirement ceremony on Aug. 12. On Aug. 13, the Braves will celebrate the 20th anniversary reunion of the 1991 “Worst to First” team and host a Braves Legends baseball game.

Styx joins Braves’ concert series
The band Styx is coming to Turner Field on Sept. 17 as part of the Atlanta Braves’ 2011 Summer Concert Series presented by Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines. Fans who want special access to the band after the Braves-Mets game that day can also purchase VIP Field Passes for $20 at braves.com/styx.

AUSTIN, TEXAS
Panel votes to seek $25M for F1 race

The Circuit Events Local Organizing Committee voted on the city of Austin’s behalf to have $25 million from the state comptroller’s office be paid toward a proposed Formula One race in 2012, according to a report in the Austin American-Statesman. The comptroller now has 30 days to review the economic impact analysis.

EA Sports branch to bring 300 jobs
EA will open an EA Sports branch in Austin, part of an expansion that will bring 300 jobs to the area, according to a report in the Austin American-Statesman. Redwood City, Calif.-based EA currently employs about 450 people in the Austin area.

CHICAGO
The colorful mobile unit has brick accents and authentic Wrigley Field seats.
STEVE GREEN / CHICAGO CUBS (2)
Cubs roll out mobile marketing

The Chicago Cubs introduced a mobile marketing unit that tours throughout Chicagoland at parades, street festivals and sponsor locations. The Cubs Trolley is equipped with eight
CLEVELAND INDIANS
A young fan at Progressive Field is all smiles with a cold milk and a Crave Moohawk.
flat-screen TVs, two of which can be attached outside. It is decorated with signature Cubs landmarks and memorabilia, including authentic Wrigley Field seats, bats, a celebrity-signed home plate, replica foul poles and more.

CLEVELAND
Ballpark cracks open some Crave

The Cleveland Indians and Delaware North Sportservice invited the new dairy beverage Crave into its family of concession items. More than 5,000 kids and parents sampled the milk products at Progressive Field during the Cleveland Indians’ Kids Fun Day on July 10. Young fans also had the chance to be styled with a free Crave “Moohawk.”

COLUMBIA, S.C.
Under Armour alters USC uniforms

The University of South Carolina football uniforms this
COURTESY OF SOUTH CAROLINA ATHLETICS
season will feature the first update since Under Armour became the Gamecocks’ official football apparel provider in 2007, according to a report in The (Columbia, S.C.) State. The jerseys will include different lettering, numbers and striping, and the word “Carolina” across the chest. The players’ numbers have been changed to the typefaces introduced on the basketball jerseys last year.

LARAMIE, WYO.
Cowboys unfold uniform options

The University of Wyoming football team revealed its full line of 2011 uniforms, including nine jersey and pants combinations manufactured by Nike. A new brown helmet features a glossy brown bucking horse logo, trimmed in dark brown and white.

LEXINGTON, KY.
UK partners with XOS for control room

XOS Digital has a new partnership with the University of Kentucky athletics department to design and install a broadcast control room within Commonwealth Stadium. The control room will power the new in-stadium video boards being installed by Daktronics.

AHL’s Team Business

Services awards

recognize best in sales,

fan experience

   The American Hockey League announced its annual Team Business Services awards, recognizing outstanding achievements in a variety of categories including ticket sales, community service and fan experience.
   The AHL honored one club from each conference for top revenue growth in four areas during this past season: season-ticket sales, group-ticket sales, overall ticket sales and corporate sales. The season-ticket sales winners were the San Antonio Rampage (Western) and the Hershey Bears (Eastern). Winners for group-ticket sales were San Antonio and the Worcester Sharks (Eastern). San Antonio and the Providence Bruins (Eastern) earned the awards for overall ticket sales growth, and the Abbotsford Heat (Western) and Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Eastern) were recognized for their corporate sales growth.
   Additionally, teams from each conference were selected for excellence in the areas of community service and fan experience. The Hamilton Bulldogs (Western) and Charlotte Checkers (Eastern) earned the nods for their exceptional community service efforts, while the Lake Erie Monsters (Western) and Hershey were rewarded for their outstanding fan experience at home games.

LOS ANGELES
Matches see little impact from 405

The closure of Interstate 405 had little effect on the two soccer events in the Los Angeles area on July 16, according to a Los Angeles Times report. A crowd of 56,211 attended the Real Madrid-MLS Galaxy friendly at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. An estimated crowd of 14,000 attended the Red Bulls-Chivas USA match at The Home Depot Center.

MEMPHIS
Nike signs lease for distribution center

Nike’s merchandising deal with the NFL is still a year away, but the company’s preparations are well under way. Nike signed a five-year lease for 400,000 square feet of industrial property in Memphis solely to serve as a distribution center for its NFL-related apparel.

MONTREAL
MLS Impact moves stadium opening date

The Montreal Impact will not start its inaugural MLS season at Saputo Stadium, team officials announced last week. Due to unsatisfying results regarding proposal bids, the team has pushed the opening of the stadium — which is set to grow from 13,000 to 20,000 seats — from March 2012 until midsummer.

Impact partners with Quebecor
Quebecor Media and the Montreal Impact announced a five-year agreement that gives the team a wide-ranging relationship covering sponsorship, media and technology, according to a report in The (Montreal) Gazette. The key component of the agreement, for which no financial figures were given, is that TVA Sports, a property of Quebecor’s TVA Group division, becomes the Impact’s official broadcaster.

NEW YORK
Arena lease details unknown

The exact conditions of the lease between Nassau County and the operator of a new arena for the New York Islanders won’t be final before the Aug. 1 referendum on a $400 million bond issue to build the arena and a new ballpark, according to a Newsday report.

Jeter signs memorabilia after 3,000th
A day after Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit, he signed 500 balls and 400 photos for Steiner Sports, according to a New York Times report. Those balls are selling for $699.99 and the photos range from $599.99 to $799.99. Steiner Sports Chairman Brandon Steiner said that “this was a relatively small signing to meet the immediate demand,” according to the report.

ORLANDO
Magic to pay arena with or without games

The Orlando Magic’s contract with the city of Orlando for the Amway Center calls for the team to pay for the facility even if games are canceled, according to an Orlando Sentinel report. The city would be buffered from losses caused by an NBA lockout, but Amway Center workers, such as ushers and ticket-takers, are not paid if they don’t work.

PASADENA, CALIF.
Rose Bowl project faces $2.2M shortfall

The Rose Bowl’s $152 million renovation project faces a $2.2 million shortfall after construction bids exceeded estimates, bringing the total financing gap to $14 million, according to a report in the Pasadena Star-News.

PHILADELPHIA
Stadium selected for U.S. soccer friendly

U.S. Soccer selected Lincoln Financial Field as the site for an Aug. 10 exhibition match between the U.S. men’s national team and Mexico. The two teams last played in June’s Gold Cup final, which was won 4-2 by Mexico. The game will be televised on ESPN2, Univision and ESPN3.com.

Elton Brand co-producing Tupac film
Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand signed on to co-produce a film, with Morgan Creek Productions, about the life and death of hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur. Brand is the co-founder of Gibraltar Films.

Sixers switch D-League affiliation
The 76ers will have a new affiliate in the NBA Development League next season. The team has switched affiliations to the Maine Red Claws from the Springfield (Mass.) Armor. The Boston Celtics and Charlotte Bobcats are also affiliated with the Red Claws.

GETTY IMAGES
Regional survey showed fans in their 20s favored the Penguins over the Steelers.
PITTSBURGH

Young adults prefer Penguins

A wide-ranging survey of 545 Pennsylvanians by Public Policy Polling found that the Pittsburgh Penguins were the state’s most popular team among fans ages 18 to 29, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Penguins received 27 percent of the vote in the demographic, with the Steelers second at 22 percent.

RALEIGH
Karmanos offers investor update

Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. said that it is possible an investment group of nine to 10 people may collectively buy a 15 to 20 percent stake in the NHL team, according to a report in The (Raleigh) News & Observer. Karmanos in February said that he hoped to have as many as 20 or 30 new partners, each investing $1 million to $3 million.

SACRAMENTO
Arena committee spreads the word

In an effort to drum up support for a new arena, Sacramento’s arena committee hit the road on an all-day bus tour of the region’s four counties. During the tour, Think Big Sacramento released the findings of a new impact report that found that 75 percent of attendees at events at the current arena come from outside the city.

SALINAS, CALIF.
Jackson Motorsports sponsors Cup

Jackson Motorsports Group will sponsor the Rennsport Reunion Cup race that will take place at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, Calif., Oct. 14-16. As part of its sponsorship, Greenville, S.C.-based Jackson Motorsports will supply Michelin race tires and provide tire specialists to support the participating teams.

SAN ANTONIO
Unsold AT&T food finds home

Spurs Sports & Entertainment and Aramark teamed with St. Vincent de Paul to donate prepared but unsold concessions food to St. Vinny’s Bistro at Haven for Hope, a local nonprofit organization in San Antonio. After every event held at the AT&T Center, Aramark employees will package all unsold hot dogs and pretzels and prepare them for St. Vinny’s Bistro.

SAN FRANCISCO

Comcast seeks timely Giants baby

Comcast SportsNet launched “The Search for the World Championship Baby” quest to find the future San Francisco Giants fan born closest to 7:54 p.m. on Aug. 1, which will mark the nine-month anniversary of the San Francisco Giants World Series win on Nov. 1, 2010. Expectant parents are required to sign up at CSNBayArea.com before July 31.

WFC ticket sales stumble
An announced crowd of 11,250 attended the Herbalife World Football Challenge match at AT&T Park on July 16, falling short of expectations, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News. Promoters had hoped for a big walk-up demand for tickets for the Manchester City-Club America friendly, but it never materialized.

SEATTLE
NEIL ENNS / SEATTLE STORM
Doppler, the Seattle Storm mascot, poses with ring winner Robyn Campbell at KeyArena.
Storm awards fan replica ring

In a contest that combined video, text messaging, in-arena and televised elements, the WNBA champion Seattle Storm awarded one fan a replica championship ring. The ring was custom created by Seattle-based jeweler Blue Nile. The promotion had fans submit a photo, essay, or video to Blue Nile explaining why they should win the championship ring.

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, PA.
Uganda team packs for LLWS

A youth baseball team from Uganda will be the first from the continent of Africa to compete in the Little League World Series, according to an Associated Press report. The team from Kampala won the Middle East and Africa region, which had been won by the Saudi Arabian team for the last 11 years.

TACOMA, WASH.

Facilities conference scheduled

A $30 million renovation was recently completed at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium. The venue is the site for the fifth annual Northwest Center for Sport Business Conference on “Sport Facility Design and Development.” It will be held Thursday from 2 to 5 p.m., hosted by the Tacoma Rainiers, at the Cheney Stadium Summit Club.

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON, PA.

Shamrocks picked for NALL team

Team owners and the Wilkes-Barre community last week announced the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lacrosse team’s name. The North American Lacrosse League’s new team name, the Shamrocks, draws on the area’s Irish background and culture. The team unveiled three logos at a press conference at the Woodlands Inn & Resort.

Send your Coast to Coast news to: CoastToCoast@sportsbusinessjournal.com or phone (704) 973-1436.


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