50 Most Influential: Introduction 50 Most Influential: No. 34 Ditching ’burbs for Detroit NHL brings doughnuts, signs Dunkin’ deal 50 Most Influential: No. 16 ‘Suite’ gifts, and even a few ugly ones Group builds platform for hockey award 50 Most Influential: No. 38 Alabama scores some serious bling Sports Media: NFL steps into esports
SBJ/August 1-7, 2011/Coast to CoastPrint All
Tablet computers for rent at ballpark
T-Mobile is partnering with the Los Angeles Angels on a new tablet computer rental program at Angel Stadium. T-Mobile has been fine-tuning the company’s network inside the stadium, running a beta program with fans providing feedback on their experience, and building partnerships with content providers. The tablet rentals are $10 a game.
ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Michigan partners with StubHub
StubHub will become the official fan-to-fan ticket marketplace of University of Michigan athletics. The partnership was facilitated through two existing relationships: Michigan’s tie-in with Paciolan and the school’s multimedia rights deal with IMG College. Michigan for the first time this fall will offer print-at-home ticket delivery for home football games.
Bills’ foundation awards $200K in grants
The Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation awarded more than $200,000 in grants to 58 local charitable organizations. The foundation was established in 1986 and has awarded more than $3 million to local charitable organizations to support the Western New York community.
Sabres near perfect on renewals
The Buffalo Sabres said a record 99 percent of the team’s season-ticket holders have renewed for the 2011-12 season. Season-ticket sales have accounted for 15,200 seats in the 18,690-seat HSBC Arena. The Sabres capped season-ticket sales at 15,200 for the season, approximately 100 more than last season.
Blackhawks renew with deodorizer
OMI Industries’ Fresh Wave brand renewed its deal as the official deodorizer for the Chicago Blackhawks. This marks the second straight year for the partnership.
New Browns radio show debuts
“Cleveland Browns Daily,” a new hourlong sports talk show, debuted last week on ESPN Radio 850 Cleveland. The show will air Monday through Friday year-round and will be streamed live on ClevelandBrowns.com and ESPNCleveland.com.
OhioHealth has dasherboard signage behind the nets at Nationwide Arena.
Jackets, OhioHealth renew partnership
The Columbus Blue Jackets and OhioHealth renewed their multiyear corporate partnership. The extension, which ensures the partnership through the 2015-16 NHL season, is highlighted by naming rights to the team’s attached practice facility, the Ice Haus, as well as the group of suburban Chiller Ice Rinks, and the addition of an OhioHealth logo patch on the team’s practice jerseys.
Crew partners with Medical Mutual
The Columbus Crew signed Medical Mutual to an integrated multiyear corporate partnership. As official health insurer of the Crew, Medical Mutual also becomes a presenting sponsor of the Crew’s weekly radio show, “Inside the Crew,” on 1460 ESPN Columbus. Medical Mutual also will support the Crew Soccer Foundation’s Kicks for Kids program.
Pearl Izumi sponsoring cycling event
Sports apparel company Pearl Izumi, which has its U.S. headquarters in Louisville, Colo., signed on as the latest sponsor of the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge and will produce jerseys to be given to riders for various feats. The cycling competition will be Aug. 22-28 in Colorado.
CHRIS GRAYTHEN / GETTY IMAGES FOR TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Shuttle pilot Doug Hurley (left) accepts the flag from TMS President Eddie Gossage before liftoff of the shuttle’s final mission.
Speedway flag went around the world
The Atlantis space shuttle touched down safely at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on July 21 and marked the return of the Texas Motor Speedway “No Limits” flag that was on board for that historic final mission. Atlantis pilot Doug Hurley, a big NASCAR fan and a season-ticket holder at Texas Motor Speedway, honored the speedway by taking the 4-by-6-foot flag on the 13-day mission to the International Space Station.
BTN lands on standard cable tier
The Big Ten Network will be available on Time Warner Cable’s standard service tier for customers in Nebraska beginning Aug. 23. Every University of Nebraska regular-season football game will be available live on Time Warner Cable for the team’s inaugural season in the Big Ten.
Dodgers dedicate latest Dreamfield
The Dodgers Dream Foundation, in partnership with the LA84 Foundation and the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, unveiled a new Dodgers Dreamfield at Pan Pacific Park. Renovations to the field include a refurbished backstop, fencing, outfield turf and infield. This is the fifth of 10 Dreamfield dedications that are expected to take place in 2011.
Marlins implementing fan suggestions
The Florida Marlins are using at least seven fan suggestions in building their new ballpark, according to a report in The Miami Herald. The most significant suggestion the Marlins will implement was to have a clear view of the city beyond the outfield seats. Other ideas to be implemented include a giant video board outside the stadium, maintaining a Little League baseball field in the parking lot, and the burying of a time capsule.
Caterpillar gives away 10,000 tickets
The Milwaukee Brewers and Caterpillar Global Mining formed a new corporate partnership, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Caterpillar, which moved into the Milwaukee market with its acquisition of Bucyrus International, reportedly purchased 10,000 Terrace Level Reserved tickets to two games against the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park last week, and made them available to fans for free.
Metrodome turf project begins
Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission awarded a contract to CG&B Enterprises to start the installation of new turf at the Metrodome today at a cost of $476,984 and with a completion date of Aug. 18, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Metrodome will have an open house — free to the public — on Aug. 20, when Minnesota Vikings players will test the turf, according to the report.
Soccer, football stars help rec center
MLS and Manchester United players and executives took part in an MLS W.O.R.K.S. event last week at the Highbridge Pool and Recreation Center in Washington Heights. The volunteers helped to build a Splash House Pavilion, which will provide outdoor changing and locker and shower areas for the center.
Wang says new arena necessary
New York Islanders owner Charles Wang wants to keep the franchise in Nassau County, but he said that without a new arena, the team cannot stay after its lease with the county expires in 2015, according to a Newsday report. Nassau residents today will vote on whether to approve a $400 million bond issue to finance a new Nassau Coliseum and ballpark.
The Orlando Magic is teaming up with Florida Hospital to encourage the residents of Central Florida to live to a Healthy 100 with the “Get Fit With Nick” program. The program will join former player and current Orlando Magic Community Ambassador Nick Anderson with three people on an eight-week fitness journey. The Magic and Florida Hospital will be hosting auditions for the three spots in the program this week at the RDV Sportsplex.
WPS players take calls for tickets
The Philadelphia Independence of the Women’s Professional Soccer league held a promotion that enabled fans to purchase tickets directly from players. The team posted direct line numbers where fans could call and speak with Independence players Tasha Kai, Val Henderson and Lauren Fowlkes to order tickets.
Items range in price from $19.95 to $499.95. A genuine track piece (above) is $99.95
Jostens, PIR offer track mementos
Phoenix International Raceway, in conjunction with Jostens, is offering a line of limited edition memorabilia containing actual track pieces from the track’s one-mile oval. Fans and collectors can own a piece of racing history after the 2011 repaving project by visiting www.jostens.com/phoenix. The installation of a new track surface is in progress, with a series of changes designed to promote side-by-side racing.
Knighthawks set season-ticket goal
The National Lacrosse League’s Rochester Knighthawks are doing a “Drive for Five in Fifty Five.” The campaign aims to sell 5,000 season tickets for the 2012 Knighthawks season in 55 days. The Knighthawks’ season-ticket base for the past two years has hovered around 2,400.
Masters event pumps millions into economy
The World Masters Athletics Championships, a two-week track and field event last month featuring 4,300 competitors from 93 countries across six sites, is estimated to have brought between $12 million and $20 million to the Sacramento region. This was the first year since 1995 that the games have been held in the United States.
Navy OKs UNC-MSU game on carrier
The U.S. Navy gave final approval for the Morale Entertainment Foundation to stage the Carrier Classic basketball game between the University of North Carolina and Michigan State University on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson on Veterans Day, according to an Associated Press report. It is estimated that it will take about 10 days to install the court and temporary stadium seating for 7,000 spectators, and fewer than four days to dismantle it, according to the report.
State Farm title sponsoring the ‘Battle’
State Farm Insurance signed on for a new three-year agreement to become the title sponsor of State Farm Battle in Seattle. The Battle is an annual made-for-television college basketball game with Gonzaga University in Seattle’s KeyArena. This year’s men’s game will feature the Bulldogs taking on the University of Arizona on Dec. 17.
Bowl game picks PR firm
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg tapped Trifecta Team to serve as its public relations agency of record and to manage the event press operations. The fourth edition of the bowl game features a Big East Conference team against a Conference USA team at Tropicana Field.
Canucks raise record $4.2M for charity
The Vancouver Canucks’ charitable arm — Canucks for Kids Fund — announced the recipients of grants for the 2010-11 season, having raised a record $4.2 million, according to a report in the Vancouver Sun. The core recipients are the fund’s longtime partners Canucks Autism Network, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and BC Children’s Hospital.
Jets’ new logo takes off
The Winnipeg Jets unveiled their new logo — a silhouetted CF-18 Hornet atop a stylized red maple leaf. The design for the new logo, which was developed in partnership with Reebok and the NHL, was inspired by the logo of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
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