SBJ/September 26-October 2, 2011/Coast to Coast

Baltimore Grand Prix looks ahead to 2012

POUYA DIANAT / ATLANTA BRAVES
Braves alumnus Otis Nixon (right) beat James Hayes in a 50-yard dash at last year’s camp.
ATLANTA

Murphy, Glavine going camping

Braves Hall of Fame members Dale Murphy and Tom Glavine have been added to the coaching staff for the second annual Atlanta Braves Fantasy Camp set for Jan. 24-29 at the team’s spring training facility at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, Fla. The camp gives fans the opportunity to learn from and play alongside Braves alumni. Murphy and Glavine will join the camp as “roving” instructors, each serving on the coaching staff for one day.

BALTIMORE
O’s thank fans on final homestand

The Baltimore Orioles are holding their annual Fan Appreciation Celebration today through Wednesday at Oriole Park. The three-day event during the season’s final homestand includes opportunities for fans to be randomly chosen to win prizes by “liking” the Orioles on Facebook or the team’s website. Prizes include a trip for two to spring training in Sarasota, Fla.

GETTY IMAGES
Race organizers were thrilled when Sunday crowds swelled to an estimated 75,000.
Grand Prix organizers need $1.5M

Baltimore Grand Prix organizers are looking to raise $1.5 million from current investors as they ramp up preparations for the racing event’s second year in 2012. Baltimore Racing Development has raised $423,000 for the offering, according to a Sept. 16 Form D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

BOSTON
Region to get Olympic trials pool

Charles River Aquatics and Myrtha Pools entered into an agreement to bring the 2012 Olympic trials competition pool to the Greater Boston area. The pool will be used for the 2012 Olympic trials swimming competition set for Omaha, Neb., next June to decide who will be representing the U.S. in London. The pool will be dismantled and reassembled in New England.

BUFFALO
Bills sign ophthalmology sponsor

Ophthalmology practice Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare is a new sponsor with the Buffalo Bills this season, and were designated as the preferred Lasik doctors for the team. At halftime of the Sept. 18 home opener, the Super Focus Fan Cam presented by Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare shot a high-definition, 5 billion-pixel panoramic image from the center of the field.

Sabres’ luncheon series returns
The Buffalo Sabres are bringing back the Power Play Luncheon for a third season. The three-part lunch series will take place in the First Niagara Center 100 Level Harbour Club, beginning Oct. 13. The series offers corporations and individuals an exclusive, firsthand look at the organization, with a portion of the proceeds from the event benefiting the Buffalo Sabres Foundation.

CARL MANTEAU / LAKE ERIE MONSTERS (2)
Bowler’s tattoo spells out “Cleveland” and “Monsters” depending on perspective.
CLEVELAND

Team hits targets, exec gets inked

Jeff Bowler, director of ticket sales for the Lake Erie Monsters, got an ambigram tattoo after his sales team hit certain goals. A three-month sales campaign put the Monsters among the leaders in new business in the 30-team American Hockey League. The tattoo was done at Voodoo Monkey Tattoo.

COLUMBUS
Weightlifting events scheduled

The Arnold Sports Festival will host the 2012 Olympic trials for weightlifting and the 2012
National Weightlifting Championships in Columbus, March 2-4. The Columbus Weightlifting Club will manage logistics for both events. Competition will be held in 15 body-weight categories as top Olympic hopefuls vie for berths on the 2012 U.S. team.

DOVER, DEL.
Yeley will drive for prize winner

The Delaware Office of Highway safety partnered with NASCAR Sprint Cup driver J.J.Yeley and Star Coach Race Tours to spread the word about driving sober. The partnership kicked off with an online contest leading up to the Sept. 30 NASCAR tripleheader weekend at Dover International Speedway. Part of the prize includes Yeley serving as the designated driver for the winner and a guest for the Friday evening leading up to the first race.

FORT WAYNE, IND.
TinCaps spread tree awareness

The Fort Wayne TinCaps partnered with Trees Indiana on an awareness campaign. Trees Indiana provided Parkview Field with two Rambo apple trees, grown from the last living apple tree known to have been planted by John Chapman, aka “Johnny Appleseed.” The TinCaps are the Class A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

FOXBORO, MASS.
Patriots debut $2 lottery ticket

The Massachusetts State Lottery and the New England Patriots are teaming up on a new instant ticket. The $2 game is Massachusetts’ second Patriots-branded offering since the two organizations unveiled the nation’s first licensed NFL lottery ticket in 2009.

GREEN BAY
Gin maker renews with Packers

New Amsterdam Gin renewed its sponsorship with the Green Bay Packers. The deal includes pouring rights at Lambeau Field, plus the use of team marks and logos for consumer retail promotions.

HIDALGO, TEXAS
Killer Bees sign presenting sponsor

Bert Ogden Dealership Group and Fiesta Chevrolet will be the presenting partner of Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees hockey for the 2011-12 season. The Killer Bees of the CHL are affiliated with the NHL Florida Panthers and AHL San Antonio Rampage.

HOUSTON
WILF THORNE / HOUSTON DYNAMO
A recent photo shows the progress at the MLS team’s stadium just east of downtown.
Dynamo’s stadium on schedule

The Houston Dynamo’s new 22,000-seat soccer stadium is on target to be completed May 5, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle. Within the next two months, around 450 workers will start the finishing process, which includes painting, electrical and plumbing work, according to the report.

KANSAS CITY
Self-defense class held at stadium

Royals Charities partnered with 99.7 The Point and The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation to host the second T.A.K.E. Defense self-defense class of the season on the field at Kauffman Stadium on Sept. 24. The free class was open to all girls and women age 12 and older.

LOS ANGELES
Dodgers look to hire PR firm

The Los Angeles Dodgers filed a motion to hire New York-based PR firm Kekst & Co. to aid with corporate communications during their bankruptcy process. Kekst also represented former Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks during that club’s recent stint in bankruptcy.

Honda, State Farm sign with Rose Bowl
The newly renovated Rose Bowl agreed to new sponsorship deals with Honda and State Farm. Honda’s deal is being called a “crown signage” partnership, which includes a 42-by-5-foot sign atop the stadium’s video board in the north end zone. State Farm will have signage throughout the facility, including video boards, scoreboards, press box, club level and concourses, and will place two interactive kiosks inside the stadium.

LOUISVILLE, KY.
Churchill Downs to end guild payments

Churchill Downs will stop paying The Jockeys’ Guild, according to a report in The (Louisville) Courier-Journal. The current agreement between the two entities expires at the end of the year and provides per-starter and per-race-day fees to the guild.

MIAMI
Marlins playing final games at stadium

The Florida Marlins will be playing their final game at Sun Life Stadium on Wednesday. Closing Day will feature celebrations and fan entertainment. To commemorate 19 seasons as the Florida Marlins in that stadium, the club will host a special postgame on-field ceremony, during which the Florida Marlins All-Time team will be introduced, as selected by the fans in an online voting campaign. The team will evolve into the Miami Marlins on Nov. 11 and officially open the doors to the New Marlins Ballpark in Miami in April.

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL

Wild schedule includes 22 prizes

The Minnesota Wild are in the midst of “Countdown to Opening Night,” where 22 prizes are being given away over 22 days, culminating on opening night, Oct. 8. Current season-ticket holders, and fans who renew or purchase a season-ticket plan, are automatically eligible to win. This week’s prizes include a $500 Hockey Lodge shopping spree, a trip for two on a Wild road trip, and lunch for four with team owner Craig Leipold.

NEW YORK
Jets partner with Kumho Tire

The New York Jets and Kumho Tire USA formed a new partnership, making Kumho the official tire of the team. The partnership includes a “Lead the Team Out of the Tunnel” sweepstakes to be run through the Jets Facebook page, and promoted through @nyjets via Twitter as well as newyorkjets.com.

Millrose Games picks Shamrock agency
Shamrock Sports & Entertainment signed as the agency of record for the 105th Millrose Games. Shamrock will work to establish corporate partnerships on behalf of the indoor track meet, scheduled for Feb. 11 at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in Upper Manhattan.

OAKLAND
GETTY IMAGES
The A’s played the Red Sox in their opening series in 2008 at the Tokyo Dome.
A’s have sights set on Japan

The Oakland A’s could be making a return trip to Japan to open the 2012 regular season, according to a report in The Oakland Tribune. Team general manager Billy Beane confirmed that there have been discussions with the league about the A’s crossing the Pacific for the second time in five years to play their opener.

PHILADELPHIA
Comcast-Spectacor signs auto insurer
Comcast-Spectacor signed a partnership with CURE Auto Insurance under which the former AT&T Pavilion located on the 11th Street side of the Wells Fargo Center will become the CURE Insurance Club. CURE also signed a
Artwork features great moments in Phillies history.
deal to be the title sponsor of all Phillies “Post Game Live” shows on Comcast SportsNet, the halftime report for all 76ers games during CSN and TCN broadcasts as well as CSN’s live coverage of the Andy Reid press conference during all Eagles “Post Game Live” telecasts.

Giant Phillies mural planned
The city of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and the Philadelphia Phillies unveiled design plans for a massive new mural. The Phillies Mural — designed by artist David McShane — will be created along the banks of the Schuylkill River at the base of the Walnut Street Bridge. Started in 1984, the city’s Mural Arts Program has created more than 3,500 murals and works of public art.

Eagles extend Lehigh camp deal
The Philadelphia Eagles and Lehigh University signed a contract extension that will keep Eagles training camp at the Lehigh Valley college campus next summer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Eagles have held their summer training camp at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., since 1996.

Squash finals tourney gets title sponsor
Philadelphia asset management firm Delaware Investments reached an agreement to serve as title sponsor for the U.S. Open Squash Championships, which will be held at Drexel University from Sept. 30 to Oct. 6. The tournament will take place at Drexel’s Daskalakis Athletic Center in West Philadelphia.

SAN DIEGO
Group pushes for renovation, not rebuild

A team of local architects is proposing a Qualcomm Stadium renovation instead of a new facility, according to a report in The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retired architect Jack Carpenter said that a major remodel would cost about $250 million, a fourth of the cost of a new stadium, according to the report.

Quicken sponsoring Carrier Classic
Quicken Loans will be the title sponsor of the Nov. 11 Carrier Classic Michigan State-North Carolina men’s basketball game on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson. An on-site audience of 7,000 is expected for the game, to be played in San Diego Harbor and televised by ESPN.

SAN FRANCISCO
Yorks part of theme park buyout 
  
San Francisco real estate firm JMA Ventures and the York family — owners of the San Francisco 49ers — are buying the Great America theme park for $70 million, according to a report in the Contra Costa Times. The deal will end the park’s lawsuit against the city of Santa Clara. Cedar Fair, which bought the park in 2006, has had a contentious relationship with the city over parking and other issues.

SANDUSKY, OHIO
Group plans national sports hall of fame

The Robinson Global Sports & Entertainment Group is developing The National Sports Hall of Fame Museum, a venue dedicated to the celebration of sports and their cultural significance. The facility has plans to open by late 2013 near Cedar Point Amusement Park.

SEATTLE
Seattle University signs ticket sales firm

Seattle University signed a multiyear agreement with Collegiate Consulting, and its partner Hands On Sports, to manage athletics ticket sales and service responsibilities. Collegiate Consulting will hire a staff of four, including a general manager and assistant general manager, to support the university’s ticket sales efforts.

TORONTO
Leafs practice with Purolator

Courier service Purolator will be the Toronto Maple Leafs’ practice jersey sponsor for the 2011-12 season. Purolator has been the official courier service of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment for the past six years. Purolator will retain exclusivity in the courier and freight categories, and will continue to deliver all season tickets for teams under the MLSE umbrella.

WINNIPEG

Jets using random draw for game tickets

The Winnipeg Jets are opting for a random draw to sell what few tickets remain to their games for the 2011-12 season, according to a report in the Winnipeg Free Press. The team sold 13,000 season tickets in June and took a waiting list of 8,000 for the 15,003-seat MTS Centre. The team anticipates an average of 600 tickets will be available through the drawing for each game, according to the report.

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


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