SBJ/August 22-28, 2011/Coast to Coast

'Snow Days' to be bigger, better, colder

BOISE, IDAHO
‘Be True’ program returns

The Commercial Tire “Be True to Your School” program will return this fall for a second season with the ECHL Idaho Steelheads and the NBA D-League Idaho Stampede. The program, run in conjunction with Commercial Tire and Cooper Tires, gives high schools in the region an opportunity to win $1,000 for their athletic departments by nominating a deserving coach.

BOSTON
RED SOX PHOTOS
Hall of famer Jim Rice chipped into Fenway Park’s outfield at last year’s fundraiser.
Red Sox draw for Fenway chippers

An event dubbed Chipping in for the Red Sox Foundation will help kick off the Deutsche Bank Championship, the PGA Tour playoffs event next week at TPC Boston. On Aug. 29, three raffle winners will step up to home plate at Fenway Park to chip golf balls into the outfield. Anyone hitting a one-foot-diameter target in center field will win a $5,000 prize and a $50,000 donation to the Red Sox Foundation in the winner’s name. Raffle tickets for $25 each are available through Thursday at www.redsox.com/golf.

BUFFALO
Bills name PrimeSport for packages

Buffalo Bills away games against Washington, Miami, and San Diego have been selected as official Bills fan and corporate travel games for 2011 through PrimeSport, the official fan travel partner for the team. Details are available at primesport.com/buffalobills.

CLEVELAND
Ice rink coming to Snow Days
The Cleveland Indians are bringing back Indians Snow Days this year after a successful first season. “Snopening Day” for the winter-themed transformation of Progressive Field is Nov. 25, and the event runs through Jan. 16. One addition this year will be The Frozen Diamond, a regulation-sized ice rink on the infield, with a hockey game between Ohio State University and the University of Michigan — a game labeled The Frozen Diamond Faceoff — scheduled for Jan. 15.

Browns launch smartphone app

The Cleveland Browns have launched a mobile application for smartphones. The free app is available for iPhone and Android devices and provides instant access to team news, information, live and archived video and audio streams, as well as photos.

COLUMBIA, MO.
Mizzou, National Guard partner

The University of Missouri and Mizzou Sports Properties struck an expanded deal with the Missouri Army National Guard, the third consecutive year of the partnership. The deal will see seven Mizzou sports teams feature a National Guard patch on their practice jerseys. The Missouri Army National Guard will also receive venue signage, hospitality and on-field ceremonies.

Mizzou Digital Network to launch
The University of Missouri is moving ahead with plans to launch its Internet-platform Mizzou Digital Network, according to a report in The Kansas City Star. Athletic Director Mike Alden said school officials have been concentrating on the Internet format with the intention of using as resources the University of Missouri School of Journalism, university-owned KOMU-TV, and live event and archival sports content.

DENVER
Sports Authority gets naming rights

The Denver Broncos and the Metropolitan Football Stadium District approved a tentative deal with Sports Authority to have the Colorado-based sporting goods company replace Invesco in the field name of Mile High Stadium. Sports Authority Field at Mile High is expected take effect in time for the season opener on Sept. 12.

DETROIT

Verlander pitches for veterans

Pitcher Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers teamed up for Verlander’s Victory for Veterans Program. Verlander will host veterans during each of his home starts from the John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Detroit and the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System. These veterans have sustained injuries or illness in Iraq or Afghanistan.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.
Stadium team store wins awards
   
New Meadowlands Stadium’s team store has won seven retail design awards tied to its ability to quickly rebrand the facility for its prime tenants, the New York Jets and Giants. Six of the seven awards are from national retail design organizations, with three coming from the Association for Retail Environments. Delaware North Sportservice operates the store. The stadium opened last year.

EUGENE, ORE.
PATRICK E. MCCARTHY (2)
The team store at New Meadowlands Stadium rebrands itself to each home team.
SportsOne to produce Trials fan fest

SportsOne was selected to produce TrackTown Village, a 10-day interactive fan experience and official entertainment plaza at next year’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials for track and field, June 22 to July 1. SportsOne will produce the fan event in collaboration with the Oregon Track Club and TrackTown USA’s Local Organizing Committee.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIF.
USA Water Polo gets nutty

American Pistachio Growers has partnered with USA Water Polo to become the official snack of the national governing body. A newly created logo recognizing pistachios as the official snack of Huntington Beach-based USA Water Polo will appear on packaging and in promotional materials internationally.

IOWA CITY, IOWA
Hawkeyes, Farm Bureau collaborate

The University of Iowa athletics department and the Iowa Farm Bureau will collaborate on efforts to help consumers understand farmers’ challenges and opportunities. The initiative, “America Needs Farmers,” was undertaken by former Iowa football coach Hayden Fry in the 1980s and is embraced by current Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz.

KANSAS CITY
Ford sponsoring Chiefs elements

Midwest Ford Dealers will serve as the Kansas City Chiefs’ official car and truck partner this season. Ford becomes the title sponsor of the Ford Fan Experience at Arrowhead Stadium and will bring a text-to-screen program to ArrowVision during home games. Ford also becomes the title sponsor for the pregame and Monday night radio shows on team broadcast partner WHB-AM.

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL
Vikings flagship swaps signals

Minnesota Vikings flagship station KFAN-AM has swapped signals with Clear Channel sister-station KTLK-FM, which has a conservative politics format, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. KFAN this fall will also begin carrying Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Gophers football games.

Groups analyze Arden Hills proposal
The Metropolitan Council and Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission started their evaluation of a proposal to build a $1.1 billion Minnesota Vikings stadium on contaminated land in Arden Hills, according to a report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The agencies hope to finish the analysis by mid-October. The location is the targeted site for a new stadium in a plan being supported by the team.

ORLANDO
GARY BASSING
Team ambassador Nick Anderson had fun with campers at the Magic’s field day.
Magic fills backpacks for field day

The Orlando Magic participated in a field day with 200 campers at the Englewood Neighborhood Center earlier this month. Nick Anderson, Bo Outlaw and the Magic dancers served lunch and delivered supply-filled backpacks to students. MetroPCS and UnitedHealthcare were sponsors.

PHILADELPHIA
PPL Park transit stop studied

Public transit authority SEPTA is studying a proposal to add a train station near PPL Park, home of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission compiled a report that examines the feasibility of creating a new stop in Chester, Pa., which could be used by soccer fans attending Union home games.

WPS team renews with stadium
The Philadelphia Independence, eyeing a possible permanent move to PPL Park in 2013, renewed its partnership with Widener University to play its 2012 home games at Leslie Quick Stadium in Chester, Pa. The WPS club scored its first sellout at Widener last month.

PHOENIX
COURTESY OF THE WM PHOENIX OPEN
Left to right: Mike McQuaid, Thunderbirds president; Steve Neff, WM VP of strategic business development; David Aardsma, WM SVP of sales and marketing; and tournament chairman Alex Clark.
PGA Tour event raised $4 million

The Thunderbirds, host of the PGA Tour Waste Management Phoenix Open, will distribute more than $4 million to local charities through proceeds raised from the 2011 tournament in February. Since October 2003, when the tournament first brought on a title sponsor, The Thunderbirds and the tournament have raised more than $46.4 million for charities.

Suns mark successful charity season
With more than $1.36 million in grants to 178 different charitable organizations throughout Arizona this year, Phoenix Suns Charities marked a milestone of more than $11.6 million in donations since its 1988 inception. It also marks the most successful season in Phoenix Suns Charities’ 23-year history of funding community projects for children and families.

D-backs hold prices steady
Arizona Diamondbacks season-ticket prices will remain flat next season. Nearly 75 percent of the 48,633 seats at Chase Field are priced at $25 or less. Perks for Diamondbacks season-ticket holders include early entry to watch batting practice, participation in town hall meetings with front office executives and behind-the-scenes tours.

SACRAMENTO
Arena group targets public for designs

Sacramento’s arena committee is turning to the public to design a portion of the proposed arena complex that would be the new home of the NBA Kings. Think Big Sacramento launched a design competition in which participants are asked to submit ideas for public spaces within the arena. Citizen-architects can submit ideas for spaces no bigger than 3,500 square feet. Submissions will be judged on feasibility and viability, design and creativity, regional pride, and sustainability.

SAN ANTONIO
DARREN ABATE
Fan Stacy Brunson (left) won guard Danielle Robinson’s gear with an $8,000 bid.
Team raises breast health awareness

The WNBA San Antonio Silver Stars raised $61,200 in support of breast health awareness by way of their annual jersey auction after the team’s home game against Tulsa on Aug. 6. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Systems Mobile Mammography Unit.

SAN DIEGO
Mayor, advisers tour stadium districts

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and three advisers last week did a three-day tour of downtown sports and entertainment districts, according to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune. The group visited Indianapolis, Kansas City and Denver to get stadium ideas for what might work locally, according to the report.

SEATTLE
Teams make ‘It Gets Better’ video
The four major professional sports teams in Seattle joined together to create a video message for the It Gets Better Project. Players from the WNBA Storm, MLS Sounders, NFL Seahawks and MLB Mariners are featured in the video. It Gets Better was launched in Seattle last fall in response to the number of teen suicides and bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens.

NEIL ENNS
The team honored Barbara Trask (left) for
her dedication to medical research.
Storm honors Women of Inspiration

A teen helping girls in Africa, a pioneer for equal rights, a cancer researcher changing lives, and the promoter of healing after war are the Seattle Storm’s 2011 Women of Inspiration, presented by Moss Adams LLP. During halftime on Aug. 5, the Storm honored Jessica Markowitz, Grethe Cammermeyer, Barbara Trask, and Jerilyn Brusseau with the recognition.

ST. LOUIS
Bryan Cave starts sports group

International law firm Bryan Cave LLP, based in St. Louis, launched a sports, sponsorship and event venue group. The group will represent teams, owners, players and sponsors in MLB and in the NBA, NFL, NHL.

TOLEDO, OHIO
ECHL Walleye still swimming for Wings

The ECHL Toledo Walleye will remain the Class AA-level affiliate for the Detroit Red Wings this coming season. The Walleye have served in this capacity since the team’s inaugural 2009-10 campaign. They open their season Oct. 15.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
AT&T title sponsors annual game

AT&T signed a multiyear deal to title sponsor the Nation’s Football Classic, an annual football game between historically black colleges at RFK Stadium. The inaugural game, now called the AT&T Nation’s Football Classic, is scheduled for Sept. 10, featuring Howard University and Morehouse College.

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.
Track names official tequila

Watkins Glen International reached a deal for 3 Amigos Tequila to become the track’s official tequila. Founded by Arizona resident Santiago Gonzalez and his family in 2007, the 3 Amigos Tequila product is made from agave grown at the family farm in Mexico.

WHEELING, W.VA.
Nailers mine presenting sponsor

National Gold & Silver Refinery will be the official presenting sponsor for the ECHL Wheeling Nailers’ 2011-12 season. The refinery is also the official sponsor of the local WTOV-TV High School Football Game of the Week and has been the presenting sponsor this year of the independent league Washington (Pa.) Wild Things’ 10th anniversary season.

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


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