SBJ/January 2-8, 2012/Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast: Hawks ride with reindeer

ATLANTA
Reindeer delivered Harry the Hawk, Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia to the event.
Photo by: JENNIFER BOXLEY
Hawks spread holiday cheer

The Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 21 surprised patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston by bringing the holidays to the hospital. Atlanta Hawks players Al Horford, Zaza Pachulia, Jerry Stackhouse, Jason Collins and Magnum Rolle delivered toys that arrived by reindeer and sleigh. Patients and their families were invited to a holiday party where they participated in arts and crafts, played games with the Hawks players and took photos with Harry the Hawk.

BUFFALO
UB starts concussion study program

A new collaborative program to deal with childhood concussions, particularly relating to sports, was launched by the University at Buffalo and the Dent Neurologic Institute. Officials will draw on research and clinical resources from the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences as well as sports medicine experts.

DALLAS
Pizza Hut opts out of stadium deal

Pizza Hut Park will officially be rebranded FC Dallas Stadium on Sunday. Pizza Hut is opting out of its 20-year naming-rights deal, which started in 2005. Already seeking a jersey sponsor, FC Dallas will now add a stadium sponsor search, as well.

DETROIT
Wings nix service charges for online tickets

The Detroit Red Wings and Ticketmaster closed out the year with a six-day special on 2012 tickets, as fans were able to buy tickets online without service charges for all regular-season home games through April. The deal started Dec. 26 and ran through Dec. 31 at 11:59 p.m.

GREEN BAY
Sales tax distribution surpasses 2010 mark

Sales tax distribution for 2011 was the second highest in the 11-year history of the tax supporting the 2003 renovation of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, according to a Green Bay Press Gazette report. Distribution to the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District was $20.96 million, the most since 2008, and 6.27 percent more than in 2010.

HARTFORD, CONN.
PGA Tour event earns marketing award

The Travelers Championship earned an award for Best Marketing Plan during the 2011 tournament at TPC River Highlands. The PGA Tour award was presented to the Travelers Championship for exceeding its marketing goals and objectives for the year.

INDIANAPOLIS
MainGate to do merch at Super Bowl hotels

MainGate will be the exclusive retail and merchandising company for the hotels the NFL will use at Super Bowl XLVI. The agreement, which formally begins at Super Bowl XLVI in February, positions MainGate to operate merchandise sales at 10 hotels in downtown Indianapolis and one location at the NFL House in Union Station.

JOPLIN, MO.
Southern Bleacher helps restoration

The Southern Bleacher Co. completed its role in the restoration effort in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., as one of the sponsors and donors behind the 200th-anniversary “Big Build” episode of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” slated to air this month. Southern Bleacher donated and installed bleachers as part of the reconstruction of an outdoor basketball court in historic Cunningham Park.

MEMPHIS
Grizzlies name wireless partner

The Memphis Grizzlies and C Spire Wireless struck a multiyear sponsorship agreement making the company the official wireless partner of the team and FedEx Forum. The Grizzlies will offer the carrier exclusive category rights for marketing promotions and technology development.

MILWAUKEE
Brewers hit million mark early

The Milwaukee Brewers sold 1 million tickets for next season by late last month. The previous record for the earliest date when 1 million tickets were sold was on Jan. 19 of 2010 and 2009, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report.

NEWARK, N.J.
Devils welcome new sponsors

The New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center signed a record number of top-tier corporate sponsors. Five new companies have signed deals and 98 percent of corporate sponsors have renewed for 2012. New sponsors include the New Jersey Lottery, T-Mobile, The Parking Spot, Pfister Energy and the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism.

PHILADELPHIA
Union signs Goldenberg’s as partner

The Philadelphia Union added Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews as a corporate partner. The integrated partnership provides Goldenberg’s with various marketing elements at PPL Park, including signage, video board promotions and on-site sampling on game days.

Non-tweeting teammates of Max Seibald will be required to have Twitter accounts.
Twitter names for Wings jerseys

The Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League are replacing the names normally found on the back of players’ jerseys with their Twitter handles for the team’s Feb. 12 game against the Buffalo Bandits. The Wings will require each player on the team to create or maintain a Twitter account, and will be holding a formal Twitter training session prior to the start of the season.

PHOENIX
Suns name former WNBAer as reporter

The Phoenix Suns named former WNBA player Kayte Christensen the team’s new social media sideline reporter, the first position of its kind for the franchise. Christensen will join the team’s home game broadcasts on FS Arizona and KTAR-AM to share comments from fan discussions through social media.

PGA Tour event wins sponsor award
The Waste Management Phoenix Open earned the PGA Tour award for Best Title Sponsor Integration during the 2011 tournament at TPC Scottsdale. Waste Management showcased many of its compost products and services on-site, providing incentive coupons to tournament fans.

Suns, CenturyLink team up for third assist
The Phoenix Suns and CenturyLink partnered to launch the third annual Team Assist program, a community outreach initiative designed to provide new basketball equipment to two Arizona high school varsity basketball programs. Online entry forms must be submitted by Jan. 16. Two high schools will be selected as recipients of a $5,000 donation courtesy of CenturyLink.

SACRAMENTO
Company buys Power Balance assets

Hanyang purchased the assets of Power Balance and plans to continue operating the company that makes the wristbands made popular by star athletes. Hanyang is continuing conversations with the owners of the Sacramento Kings about keeping the Power Balance name on the Sacramento arena.

SONOMA, CALIF.
Raceway tops 58 tons of recyclables

Infineon Raceway collected more than 58 tons of recyclable materials during the 2011 Big O Tires Racing Season. The raceway partnered with the Conservation Corps North Bay to collect 116,881 pounds of materials last year.

TEMPE, ARIZ.
ASU hires Aspire Group

Arizona State University hired The Aspire Group to manage its ticketing sales and marketing. Aspire will embed a 30-person staff within the Sun Devils’ athletic department to work on ticket renewals, new sales, premium seating sales and group tickets.

TORONTO
Raptor red will take a back seat to camouflage.
Photo by: TORONTO RAPTORS
Raptors to don camo uniforms

The Toronto Raptors will wear a special Canadian Forces jersey later this season. The camouflage-style jersey is the first of its kind in the NBA. It will make its in-game debut during the team’s annual Canadian Forces night on March 21 at Air Canada Centre.

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