SBJ/September 19-25, 2011/Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast: More sandwich voting!

ARLINGTON, TEXAS
BRAD NEWTON / TEXAS RANGERS
Fans packed an area outside the stadium to watch Intocable perform a postgame concert.
Rangers mark Hispanic heritage

The Texas Rangers are marking Hispanic Heritage Month at Rangers Ballpark. The team and supporting sponsors recognized elected officials from across the state along with Hispanic players in a pregame ceremony Sept. 10. Tejano music group Intocable performed a postgame concert presented by Head & Shoulders, Coca-Cola and Ozarka Water.

ATLANTA
Spirit, law firm settle lawsuit

Atlanta Spirit and law firm King & Spalding settled a legal malpractice lawsuit the sports ownership group filed against the firm early this year, according to a report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The lawsuit contended that King & Spalding cost the group almost $200 million through a contract negotiation that prevented Atlanta Spirit from selling the money-losing NHL Thrashers for more than five years.

Falcons designate heart rate system
The Atlanta Falcons named Polar USA’s Polar Team2 Pro product the team’s official heart rate training system. The team will use heart rate-based training sessions to optimize players’ fitness levels, to prevent overtraining and to help eliminate injuries. Coaches can individually assess players’ energy output and recovery times.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.
City lands AHL All-Star Classic

The 2012 AHL All-Star Classic will be held at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, Jan. 29-30, marking the first AHL all-star event held outside an AHL city. The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Caesars Entertainment and the AHL partnered on bringing the event to Atlantic City.

 
The Baltimore Dip (left) is shaved prime rib with aged cheddar, roasted pepper relish, horseradish sauce, and crab dip au jus. The Pigskin is slow-roasted pork in a mango and jalapeño glaze, with red cabbage slaw, roasted garlic mojo and manchego cheese.
BALTIMORE

Ravens put sandwiches to vote

The Baltimore Ravens and team concessionaire Aramark are asking fans to vote for their favorite of two new sandwiches available at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Fans can vote for either the Baltimore Dip or the Pigskin at RavensSandwich.com. The winner — determined by totalsandwiches sold and online votes — will be announced prior to the Ravens’ Nov. 24 game against San Francisco.

Under Armour picks agency for hoops division
Under Armour selected MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter & Bogusky to oversee the creative advertising work for its basketball division. CP&B, with U.S. offices in Miami, Los Angeles and Boulder, Colo., is charged with crafting Under Armour’s campaign for television, print and digital media. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

BOSTON
Tourney seeks Red Sox all-timer

Boston.com last week launched the Greatest Red Sox Ever Tournament, an online bracket-style tournament featuring 64 of the best players in team history. The winners of all matchups will be determined by fan voting.

Marathon staggers registration
Registration for the 2012 Boston Marathon began last week, with the Boston Athletic Association rolling out new registration procedures for the April 16 race. New this year is a slightly shortened qualification window and a priority on fast times, according to a report in The Boston Globe. The first two days of registration was for runners who ran at least 20 minutes faster than the designated qualifying time for their age and gender.

BUFFALO
Bills partner with Subway, USAF

The Buffalo Bills and Subway agreed to a partnership. The sandwich chain will receive ad spots on the “Bills All-Access” TV show, print collateral and team website advertising. A coupon in the Bills game-day program will provide fans with a free Subway sandwich if the team scores 20 or more points at home games, and a cookie if the Bills fail to reach 20 points. In addition, the U.S. Air Force will receive Ralph Wilson Stadium signage and online inventory at buffalobills.com through a new partnership with the team.

CHARLOTTE
Duke Energy talks naming rights

Locally based Duke Energy is in talks with the Class AAA Charlotte Knights for naming rights at a proposed city baseball stadium. A naming-rights deal would mark a major milestone for the long-running campaign to bring the team to Charlotte and a new downtown ballpark. The Chicago White Sox affiliate currently plays in nearby Fort Mill, S.C.

CHICAGO
Bears call on Verizon

The Chicago Bears and Verizon agreed to a multiyear partnership that designates Verizon as the team’s official wireless provider. The agreement includes sponsorship of the mezzanine concourse at Soldier Field and sponsorship of the team’s media backdrop. The team and Verizon also are developing a Bears smartphone app to launch in the fall.

COLUMBUS
JARED WILLIAMSON (3)
Mayor Michael Coleman received team jerseys from Columbus Crew head coach Robert Warzycha (left); John Browne, senior vice president and CMO for the Columbus Blue Jackets (middle); and Ken Schnacke, Columbus Clippers general manager.
Teams, commission launch campaign

The NHL Blue Jackets, MLS Crew and Class AAA Clippers, in partnership with Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, launched a fan engagement campaign called “Game On Columbus.” The initiative will be tied into Columbus’ bicentennial celebration in 2012, and the teams will promote the effort with a seven-month outdoor digital billboard campaign.

Jackets partner with pizza maker

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Papa John’s Pizza struck a new multiyear partnership. Papa John’s will be the exclusive pizza sold at Nationwide Arena. The deal also provides for in-market and in-game promotions, as well as traditional in-arena messaging elements.  

FOXBORO, MASS.
JetBlue targets Pats’ online show

The New England Patriots and JetBlue were in talks for an agreement that would make the airline the title sponsor of the team’s new pregame show that airs on Facebook. The deal would mark JetBlue’s first association with the Patriots.

GREEN BAY
Finley promoting reading software

Renaissance Learning entered into an endorsement partnership with Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley. Finley, who used the company’s Accelerated Reader program as an elementary school student in Diboll, Texas, will help promote the software and awareness of the importance of reading. The effort calls for him to be featured in a national ad campaign in several education trade publications.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.
Lendl academy picks training site

The Ivan Lendl International Junior Tennis Academy named Port Royal Racquet Club as its official training facility. Full-time student athletes in grades five through 12 will use the Hilton Head Island complex, which has 14 tennis courts, for daily training. In related news, Junior Golf Corp. — operator of the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy and International Junior Golf Tour — changed its name to Junior Sports Corp., reflecting its recent opening of the Ivan Lendl academy.

KAPALUA, HAWAII
PGA Tour to manage Kapalua event

The PGA Tour will take over management and marketing operations of the $5.6 million Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Maui until a new board and executive director are in place. Andy Pazder, PGA Tour executive vice president and chief of operations, said a team from the tour’s championship management division has been assigned to oversee the annual season-opening event at Kapalua.

KISSIMEE, FLA.
ESPN complex, Genesis sign deal

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Genesis Communications Radio Broadcast Co. reached a broadcast marketing agreement for sports facilities at Walt Disney World Resort. Genesis’ ESPN radio stations will stage regular live remote broadcasts from the Disney sports complex throughout the year, and ESPN 1080 will be the official Orlando affiliate for Atlanta Braves spring training games at the complex.

LOS ANGELES
DAKTRONICS
The new display dominates the top of the seating bowl.
Daktronics completes stadium board

Daktronics manufactured and installed a new high-definition video display for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The 40-by-150-foot display is among the largest in college sports. Also included in the project is the company’s new Show Control software system.

Taiwan first lady warming up arm
Mei-Ching Chow, the first lady of the Republic of China (Taiwan) will visit Dodger Stadium for the first time on Wednesday. Chow will throw out a ceremonial first pitch as part of her visit. She is an avid baseball fan and a graduate of New York University Law School. Chow serves as an ambassador of Taiwanese arts and culture.

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL
Vikings toast new tequila deal

Familia Camarena Tequila began a three-year sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings, coinciding with the start of the NFL season. The spirits brand will receive rights to the team’s logos and in-stadium exposure during home games.

WNBA Lynx signs playoff sponsor
Medica signed on as presenting sponsor for the Minnesota Lynx’s 2011 postseason. Medica’s logo will be incorporated into all Lynx playoff marketing collateral, including tickets, in-arena and exterior signage, in-arena promotions, team marketing videos, and online and social media mentions. Medica is a Minnetonka, Minn.-based health insurance provider.

NEWARK
Devils dispute bankruptcy report

Both the New Jersey Devils and the NHL insisted last week that the team is not facing bankruptcy, disputing a New York Post report. The team in a statement said ownership is close to finalizing an agreement that would lead to a buyout of the share of the company held by Brick City, the group led by Ray Chambers. Jeff Vanderbeek is the Devils’ managing partner.

NEW YORK
FRED / SUSAN MULLANE (2)
Navratilova joined Tennis Channel’s Bill Macatee in the broadcast booth for a slice of Two Boots. All proceeds from the pizza were donated to Harvey Milk High School.
Pizza chain promotes with Tennis Channel

Two Boots Pizza did a tie-in promotion with Tennis Channel during the recently concluded U.S. Open. Two Boots promoted the channel’s tournament coverage by stickering 7,000 pizza boxes with Tennis Channel/U.S. Open tune-in information, and offered a limited-time-only vegetarian pizza called “The Martina Navratilova.”

OTTAWA
Sens add ticket plan flexibility

The Ottawa Senators are introducing a ticket policy this season intended to provide more flexibility for fans, according to a report in the Ottawa Citizen. Working with company Hidden Truths, the Senators learned that their fans were more compelled to buy tickets based on the experience in the arena than the game itself. The team added flexibility both in the ticket packages and in payment terms.

Arena upgrades hospitality, signage
The Senators completed a series of enhancements at Scotiabank Place this summer. Changes to the food service at the venue are accompanied by renovation of the Molson Canadian Brew Pub. The Sens Store, powered by Reebok, also has been revamped and enlarged, and the building’s exterior received a facelift, with new signage on the front of the main gates.

PHOENIX
Media members to drive new oval

Phoenix International Raceway and the Richard Petty Driving Experience have invited local media members to drive PIR’s new, 1-mile oval on Sept. 30. As part of the drive-the-track event, media are invited to watch Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer drive a Chevy Camaro pace car. Fans will be able to drive the new PIR the next day, Oct. 1, as part of the track showcase.

PITTSBURGH
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury high-fives a fan on his delivery route.
Penguins deliver season tickets

Pittsburgh Penguins players, including Marc-Andre Fleury and Sidney Crosby,  dropped off tickets to more than 30 randomly selected season-ticket holders last week, according to a USA Today report. The coming season marks the Penguins’ second season at Consol Energy Center.

RALEIGH
Hurricanes owner adds investors

Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos said he has secured a group of a half-dozen individuals to invest more than $20 million in the team in exchange for a collective 8 percent ownership stake. Karmanos declined to identify the investors, noting that their deals were pending approval from the NHL.

SACRAMENTO
Arena group finishes funding plan

Sacramento’s arena committee concluded in its funding option plan that a proposed $387 million arena could be paid for without broad-based consumer or business taxes. The arena, which would be home to the NBA Kings, would get one-third of its funding from each of public dollars, private funds and arena users/beneficiaries.

TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG
Bucs roll out mobile app

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a new mobile phone application. Real-time news updates, injury reports, player statistics, team standings, scores and other content are available for free on the smartphone app, which was designed in partnership with Pittsburgh-based YinzCam.

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.
City reaches extension for race

Virginia Beach secured a five-year partnership extension for the Dodge Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon. This year’s event was held during Labor Day weekend. An economic report on the 2010 event estimated that the half-marathon generated $41.7 million in total impact.

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




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