SBJ/September 5-11, 2011/Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast: Mad dash for Bruins gear

ANAHEIM
Ducks adjust ticket pricing system

The Anaheim Ducks for the coming season have reduced their average individual game ticket purchase price, with the team introducing “all in pricing.” Tickets sold at AnaheimDucks.com, Ticketmaster.com and the Honda Center box office will have no additional fees, and fans will not be charged for mail or TicketFast delivery. The new pricing structure will reduce the average individual ticket cost by 12.6 percent when purchased online.

ATLANTA
Falcons campaign wins Effie

The Atlanta Falcons’ “Rise Up” marketing campaign, featuring a TV commercial with actor Samuel L. Jackson, received a bronze Effie Award in the entertainment category of the awards program. The 43-year-old program distinguishes ad campaigns from across the country.

BALTIMORE
CSN Mid-Atlantic gets behind Ravens

After expanding its TV partnership with the Baltimore Ravens last month, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic is rolling out a massive ad campaign. The ads promote the network’s new official pregame show, “Ravens Kickoff,” and its postgame show, “Ravens Post-Game Live.”

BOSTON
GETTY IMAGES
A Cup-raising championship season puts game-worn apparel in high demand.
Game-used Bruins gear will be hot

This year’s sale of game-used Boston Bruins equipment could turn into a mad dash for collector’s items, according to a report in the Boston Herald. The Saturday event at Pure Hockey’s store in Braintree, Mass., will include player-worn practice and game-used equipment from the Bruins’ 2010-11 championship season, including skates, helmets, gloves, sticks and locker nameplates. This is the first year that Pure Hockey is hosting the sale, which previously was held at TD Garden, according to the report.

Red Sox pick technology partner
The Boston Red Sox selected Avaya as the team’s provider of unified communications solutions. Avaya partner Carousel Industries will install and manage the systems for the team.

PGA Tour stop gets community aid
The PGA Tour’s Deutsche Bank Championship partnered with Covidien to support local children’s programs. Covidien helped launch The First Tee of Massachusetts’ Nine Core Values and Nine Healthy Habits children’s program at a local YMCA branch on Aug. 25. In addition, last Wednesday was dedicated as Community Wellness Day presented by Covidien. The tournament was scheduled for this past weekend. Last Thursday, State Street Corp., representatives of the Stop & Shop/Giant Family Foundation and the PGA Tour Wives Association coordinated the Healthy Packs program, which provided about 2,000 snack bags to children in need throughout the local area.

BUFFALO
Bills partner with National Guard

The Buffalo Bills have a new partnership with the New York Army National Guard that includes title sponsorship of the Bills’ high school coach of the week program. Each winning coach receives a $1,000 donation to his school’s football program along with a signed certificate from the Bills and the NFL.

First Niagara renames HSBC Arena
HSBC Arena is now First Niagara Center. The name change for the Buffalo Sabres’ arena is connected to Buffalo-based First Niagara earlier this summer agreeing to purchase 195 branches of HSBC Bank across upstate New York and Connecticut. As part of a 15-year deal with the Sabres, First Niagara now becomes the team’s official bank, and it gains category exclusivity in the arena’s seating bowl, interior and exterior signage and branding, and on-site ATM presence.

Kelly to promote TWC, Bills
Time Warner Cable struck a deal with Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills to use the hall of fame quarterback as its ambassador for the 2011 season. Kelly will promote the company’s brand throughout upstate New York. The agreement is part of a larger sponsorship package between Time Warner and the Bills.

CHICAGO
COURTESY OF CHICAGO CUBS (2)
Ricketts joins cyclists on 100-mile trip

The Wrigley Field Road Tour on Aug. 27 attracted 650 bicyclists from 22 states in the event’s second year. Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts joined the pack on the 100-mile journey from Wrigley Field to Miller Park, where the Cubs were playing the Milwaukee Brewers. The more than $400,000 raised went to benefit local Cubs Charities  organizations as well as World Bicycle Relief.

COLUMBUS
Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts speaks to riders before hitting the road in Chicago.
Blue Jackets plan free fan fest

The Columbus Blue Jackets are hosting Blue Jackets FanFest, presented by Boehringer Ingelheim Roxane Laboratories, at Nationwide Arena on Friday. The event begins with a plaza party on the Front Street Plaza, and the event is free and open to the public.

Jackets active on sponsor renewals
The Blue Jackets have renewed several corporate partnerships for the coming season. Medical Mutual will continue as the official health insurer of the team and will have custom branding on the “Hockey To Go” truck, a fully equipped team vehicle used for instructional presentations, street hockey clinics and special events. A renewed partnership with Coldwell Banker King Thompson calls for in-arena messaging to highlight real estate agents of the month and open house opportunities. And a renewed agreement with Columbia Gas includes in-arena messaging and a contest in which one fan will win an all-inclusive trip to see the Blue Jackets on the road.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS
TCU adds to stadium renovation plans

Texas Christian University’s Amon G. Carter Stadium is getting an additional face-lift, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The ongoing $143 million renovation to the 81-year-old stadium will now include work on the east side stands, as well. Construction will begin after the Frogs’ regular-season finale Dec. 3. The first phase of the stadium project began in November, and the entire project is expected to be completed next summer.

FOXBORO, MASS.
GETTY IMAGES
Patriots coach Bill Belichick was wired by NFL Films for the entire 2009 season.
Belichick documentary on NFL Network

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick will be featured in a two-part documentary that will air on NFL Network Sept. 15 and Sept. 22, according to a report in The Boston Globe. Belichick in 2009 became the first coach to be wired for an entire season by NFL Films, and that footage will be included in a two-part series called “Bill Belichick: A Football Life.”

HOUSTON
Texans tackle starts online network

Houston Texans tackle Eric Winston has co-founded TheBus Entertainment, an online sports and entertainment network that will develop and produce programs for the Internet. The flagship show, titled “Not Your Ordinary Sports Show,” is scheduled to debut Sept. 12, with the show streaming live each week during “Monday Night Football” on YouTube.com/thebus.

ITHACA, N.Y.

Cornell debuts hospitality course

Centerplate is collaborating with Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration on a new course offering this fall. Hospitality strategist John Sergi, Centerplate’s chief design officer, and Rupert Spies, a senior lecturer at the school, will coordinate the seven-week course, called Strategic Hospitality Planning in Sports.

JACKSONVILLE
Jags, EverBank likely to get plenty of “likes.”
EverBank promotes Jags with big prize

EverBank is offering Jacksonville Jaguars fans the chance to win $250,000 toward their mortgage payment — if the Jags return their opening kickoff for a touchdown. One contestant will be picked via Facebook before each Jaguars home game and will receive two premium tickets to the game, a parking pass and two pregame sideline passes ahead of the kickoff-related opportunity. The bank is the team’s naming-rights partner at EverBank Field.

JOLIET, ILL.
Movie titles truck series race

Universal Studios’ “Fast Five” will title sponsor the Sept. 16 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. The sponsorship aims to promote the movie’s scheduled Oct. 4 DVD release. “Fast Five” stars Tyrese Gibson and Jordana Brewster will serve as grand marshals for the Fast Five 225, and Gibson will sing the national anthem.

KANSAS CITY
Royals ‘knead’ fans for record

The Kansas City Royals and Massage Envy are partnering to
make a run at a Guinness World Record at Kauffman
NBAE / GETTY IMAGES
The four-time Olympic gold medalist retired in 2009 after 12 seasons with the Sparks.
Stadium on Sept. 17. The goal is the record for most people receiving massages at the same time and place. Five hundred fans are being sought, and the team is offering a $25 ticket package that includes a yoga mat and a ticket for the game against Chicago. The current record is 263.

LOS ANGELES
Leslie joins Sparks’ ownership group

Former Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie joined the WNBA team’s ownership group, which already includes Paula Madison, Kathy Goodman and Carla Christofferson. Leslie becomes the first former WNBA player to invest in a team.

Dodgers’ Colletti hosting fundraiser
The Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills and KABC 790 TalkRadio are coordinating a fundraiser to benefit the Guide Dogs of America and The Foundation Fighting Blindness. The Oct. 22 event will be hosted by Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. KABC will donate 100 percent of all ticket sales to the beneficiaries.
Mercury offers free Bruins tickets in promo.

UCLA signs insurance sponsor
Mercury Insurance signed an agreement with the UCLA athletics department to sponsor the school’s football and basketball teams. The company is running a deal through Oct. 30 called Get a Quote, Get a Pair of Bruins Tickets and is using Facebook and Twitter to reach fans.

LOUDON, N.H.
Plumbing company titles race

The F.W. Webb Co. will be the title sponsor for this month’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The F.W. Webb 175 will be part of a planned tripleheader on Sept. 24 that also will include the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the American-Canadian Tour Invitational.

LOUISVILLE, KY.
Derby, Oaks logos released

Churchill Downs released the official event logos for the 138th runnings of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. The track also has begun selling officially licensed apparel and gift items featuring the new marks at KentuckyDerbyStore.com. The logos were designed by New York City-based SME Branding.

ORLANDO
Magic wins diversity award

The Orlando Magic was honored with the Corporation of the Year award from the Florida Minority Supplier Diversity Council at the group’s annual conference. The award recognizes a company for its efforts of partnership and collaboration with minority-owned business enterprises.

PETERSBURG, VA.
RacingJunk.com sponsoring race weekend

RacingJunk.com will be the presenting sponsor of the IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals Oct. 14-16 at Virginia Motorsports Park. The event is slated to be the biggest sportsman weekend in IHRA history, with more than $200,000 in prize money disbursed among three planned races.

PHILADELPHIA
Union, Red Cross plan blood drive

The Philadelphia Union and the American Red Cross are teaming to hold their second annual blood drive on Sept. 24 at PPL Park. All blood donors will receive a commemorative 2011 Philadelphia Union Blood Drive scarf, two tickets to a practice session on Oct. 5 and a chance to win two suite ticket vouchers to the Union’s final home game against Toronto FC on Oct. 15.

Flyers shoot movie scene
Philadelphia Flyers Ian Laperriere, Matt Carle, Scott Hartnell and James van Riemsdyk recently flew to Los Angeles to shoot a scene for Judd Apatow’s latest movie, whose working title is “This Is Forty.” The appearance by the players is a result of Laperriere’s friendship with Apatow, who wanted a group of hockey players for the movie. The movie is scheduled for a December 2012 release.
STR Marketplace operates the Eagles site.

Eagles site lets fans buy, sell seat licenses
The Philadelphia Eagles launched a website through which fans can buy and sell their personal seat licenses, which the Eagles call Stadium Builder Licenses. STR Marketplace designed and operates the site, the ninth it has done for an NFL club.

SACRAMENTO
Arena group OKs local work

Sacramento’s arena committee reached an agreement that Mayor Kevin Johnson said would keep construction jobs local if a planned new arena for the NBA Kings is built. Representatives from labor groups joined in support of the project, including the Sacramento Central Labor Council, AFSCME International, and Sacramento-Sierra’s Building & Construction Trades Council.

UFL team holding kickoff party
The Sacramento Mountain Lions are holding a free kickoff party for fans a couple of weeks before the United Football League team’s season opener. At Tuesday’s planned event, fans will be able to watch practice, get autographs and hear a presentation by coach Dennis Green. The team’s opener is Sept. 17.

SEATTLE
NEIL ENNS
From left: Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson, Le’coe Willingham and Ashley Robinson.
Storm stars sign Wheaties boxes

The Seattle Storm teamed with local grocery store QFC to host a Wheaties box autograph session on Aug. 14. The box features the Storm’s 2010 WNBA championship. Players and coaches were on hand to meet fans and sign boxes, with more than 300 boxes signed within an hour.

SONOMA, CALIF.
Raceway names official craft beer

Infineon Raceway named Wunder Beer the official craft beer of the facility in a three-year partnership. A product of Casa Fuego Spirits Co., Wunder Beer will be the exclusive craft beer at all Infineon Raceway major-event weekends in 2012, including the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events.

SPARTA, KY.
SMI investing $7.5M in parking project

Speedway Motorsports Inc. acquired a 143-acre parcel of land that will be used to expand Kentucky Speedway parking and hired Veteran’s Security and Patrol Co. to manage vehicle and pedestrian traffic during venue event days. SMI will invest an estimated $7.5 million in its service and parking improvements.

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


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