SBJ/January 30-February 5, 2012/Coast to Coast

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  • Coast to Coast: Breeders' Cup moves to NBC

    ARCADIA, CALIF.
    Breeders’ Cup moves to NBC

    NBC signed the Breeders’ Cup to a multiyear media rights deal beginning this November. The Breeders’ Cup still had two years left on its deal with ESPN, but the Disney-owned network allowed the race to move to NBC. NBC will carry the Nov. 2-3 event at Santa Anita Park.

    ATLANTA
    Braves offer big discounts

    The Atlanta Braves are offering a 33 percent concession discount to their season-ticket holders starting this season. The discount, for those holding season-ticket plans of 20 or more games, will be offered on food and beverage at all fixed stands and in-seat service and will exclude alcohol.

    Developers eye Olympic tennis venue
    Local developers want to turn the former Olympic tennis venue near Stone Mountain into a sports, commercial and residential complex that would host young athletes from across the country, according to a report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Plans submitted to Gwinnett County indicate that the 207-acre complex would include a 7,000-seat arena, 33 sports fields, 700 hotel rooms, 915 town homes and 180,000 square feet of commercial space.

    BALTIMORE

    Opening Day in 1992 greets visitors to the site.
    O’s mark anniversary with new website
    The Baltimore Orioles launched their new website, CamdenYards20.com, at their annual fan fest Jan. 21. Centered on the team’s 20th anniversary at Camden Yards, it highlights the building of Oriole Park at Camden Yards and its most memorable moments. Meanwhile, the Orioles submitted a request to MLB to host the All-Star Game in 2016. The game would celebrate the team’s 25th season at the ballpark.

    BOSTON
    Celtics On Demand starts anew

    Comcast started another season of Celtics On Demand in partnership with the Boston Celtics and Comcast SportsNet. Highlighting Celtics On Demand this season is a new series of instructional videos hosted by Celtics players and coaches, produced by Element Productions, with whom the team is partnering to deliver original content.

    New Balance helps clear the way
    New Balance is planning wintertime events and product giveaways along the river.
    New Balance renewed a sponsorship agreement with the state Department of Conservation and Recreation to ensure area joggers and walkers have clear and safe running paths along the Charles River this winter. New Balance has pledged to provide funding to support the department’s snow removal efforts along the 17-plus mile Charles River Reservation and its pathways.

    Shawmut starts sports division
    Boston-based Shawmut Design and Construction launched a sports venues division. The division will be overseen by Randy Shelly, who joined Shawmut in 2002. The sports venues division is managing a series of capital improvement projects at TD Garden, home of the Boston Celtics and Bruins.

    BUFFALO
    Sabres ready to rent shoes

    The Buffalo Sabres will hold a “Bowl-A-Rama” celebrity tournament that will include players, alumni and broadcast personalities. Each bowling team will have an opportunity to bowl with a celebrity Sabres guest. The tourney will have three levels of sponsorship: lane sponsor ($5,000), lounge sponsor ($2,500) and team ($1,000). The Feb. 26 event will be sponsored by Verizon with proceeds to benefit the Buffalo Sabres Foundation.

    CINCINNATI
    Bengals move camp to stadium

    The Cincinnati Bengals will hold their 2012 training camp at the team’s facility at Paul Brown Stadium. The team ended a 15-year run of conducting training camp at Georgetown College in Kentucky, and this year will be the first time the team has held camp at its home facility. Training camp will run from late July through mid-August.

    CLEVELAND
    Cavs renew with Kia Motors America

    The Cleveland Cavaliers renewed their marketing partnership with Kia Motors America. Kia’s partnership with the NBA and its teams represents its largest U.S. sports marketing effort to date. Elements of the Cavs’ partnership with Kia are its community outreach programs, highlighted by the Cavaliers Surprise Gas Giveaway fueled by Kia.

    COLUMBUS
    Crew helps promote organ donation

    The Columbus Crew teamed up with Lifeline of Ohio for a second season. Lifeline is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes and coordinates the donation of human organs and tissue for transplantation. The partnership aims to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation.

    DES PLAINES, ILL.
    Discover renews with Illinois Swimming

    Discover renewed its sponsorship agreement to remain the preferred card of Illinois Swimming for the third consecutive year. Illinois Swimming has more than 17,000 registered athletes and 2,000 coaches and officials representing 114 swim clubs. The one-year sponsorship renewal will provide Discover with advertising, signs and announcements at all swim meets.

    DETROIT

    Pistons honor community champs

    The Detroit Pistons rolled out their “Come Together” program, which is aimed at recognizing citizens and groups for their service to the community and volunteer efforts. Michigan municipalities are now eligible to receive up to 100 tickets to Pistons home games to celebrate the community champions.

    EVANSTON, ILL.
    Northwestern athletics signs BMO

    BMO Harris Bank entered into a multiyear partnership agreement to become the official banking and investment partner of the Northwestern University athletics department. BMO Harris Bank will have a greater brand presence on the court and throughout Welsh-Ryan Arena.

    FORT WAYNE, IND.
    Parkview Field is part of the Harrison Square revitalization project downtown.
    Photo by: CHAD RYAN / FORT WAYNE TINCAPS
    TinCaps’ ballpark ranked No. 1

    Stadium Journey, a sports travel publication and website, released its top 100 list of sporting venues. Parkview Field, home of the Fort Wayne TinCaps, was ranked as the No. 1 ballpark in all of Minor League Baseball and the No. 13 venue in all of professional sports in the Best of 2011 publication. The TinCaps are a Class A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

    HOUSTON
    Astros offer rebates, allow food

    The Houston Astros have several new fan initiatives under the management of new owner Jim Crane. Fans are allowed to bring clear containers of food and water into Minute Maid Park for games. Also, the team will issue 5 percent rebates to full-season and 27-game season-ticket accounts that are renewed by Tuesday. Additionally, more than 5,000 seats will see a reduction in ticket prices. Certain outfield deck seats will be $5 for adults and $1 for children ages 3-14.

    INDIANAPOLIS
    Auction aligns with Super Bowl

    Hunt Auctions is partnering with NFL Auction and NFL Players to produce The Super Bowl XLVI Live Auction and Appraisal Fair at the NFL Experience presented by GMC in Indianapolis. Highlighted items at Saturday’s live auction include a Baltimore Colts Certificate of Membership to the NFL circa 1953 ($20,000-$40,000 estimated value); a Tom Brady Oct. 16, 2011, game-worn New England Patriots jersey with “MHK” patch (pre-event bidding was approaching $30,000 last week); and the personal collection of
    The rare certificate of membership is
    signed by NFL Commissioner Bert Bell.
    Photos by: HUNT AUCTIONS
    former wide receiver Don Beebe.

    LOS ANGELES
    Moreno wins top executive award

    Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno will be presented the 2011 Sports Executive of the Year award during the seventh annual L.A. Sports Awards presented by AT&T U-verse on March 15 at Club Nokia at L.A. Live. Moreno signed star players Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson to long-term free agent contracts on the same day this past offseason.

    MIAMI
    Heat renew with automaker Kia

    The Miami Heat renewed its existing partnership with Kia Motors America. The major component of the renewal is the designation of Kia as the official and exclusive vehicle of the Miami Heat and AmericanAirlines Arena. Other elements of the multiyear partnership include advertising on radio, in print and online, in-arena signage, and a Kia car display on the main concourse of the arena.

    MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL
    Club space gets newsworthy sponsor

    News and information service Thomson Reuters secured a multiyear deal with the Minnesota Twins to serve as title sponsor of the Champions Club at Target Field. Thomson Reuters will receive signage throughout the premium-seating area, as well as on the batting cage viewable from the club. Branding also will appear on tickets, schedules and team publications.

    Wild, others fight for player’s recovery
    The Minnesota Wild, Fox Sports North and Wells Fargo announced that fundraising, including a telethon and online auction, that was a part of the sixth annual Hockey Day Minnesota 2012 on Jan. 21, raised more than $130,000 for the Jack Jablonski Trust Fund. Benilde-St. Margaret’s hockey player Jack Jablonski suffered a spinal cord injury in a game last month.

    Legislation seeks nullification
    Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chairman Ted Mondale said that Minnesota Vikings stadium legislation will seek to nullify a Minneapolis charter provision that requires voter approval if the city pays $10 million or more for a sports facility, according to a Minneapolis Star Tribune report.

    NEWARK, N.J.
    T-Mobile calls on arena’s Digital Zone

    T-Mobile BlackBerry branding dominates the Digital Zone at Prudential Center.
    Photo by: RICH GRAESSLE / PRUDENTIAL CENTER
    T-Mobile USA unveiled its sponsorship of the Prudential Center’s Digital Zone at Prudential Center. The pavilion, adorned with new T-Mobile BlackBerry signage, will showcase T-Mobile device demos, featuring BlackBerry smartphones and a number of applications created for the fans. T-Mobile USA is the official wireless sponsor for the New Jersey Devils’ 2011-12 season.

    League may help Devils with cash flow
    The NHL is in talks with the Devils to advance the team money so it can continue to operate through the season, according to a New York Post report. Sources said that under the league’s plan, Devils Chairman and managing partner Jeff Vanderbeek would continue to run the team while he pursues a long-term financing solution.

    NEW ORLEANS
    Something fishy in arena name?

    The Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board is mulling a proposal to purchase naming rights for the New Orleans Arena, according to a report in The Houma Courier. The marketing board’s executive director, Ewell Smith, said that the Hornets could soon play in the Louisiana Seafood Arena, according to the report.

    PHILADELPHIA
    MLS All-Star Game coming to town

    PPL Park will stage this year’s AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 25. The game will be shown on ESPN2, Galavision or TeleFutura and TSN or TSN2. ESPN International will provide live coverage of the event in more than 100 countries.

    Event co-chairs Nadine Coburn (left) and Lauren Pronger.
    Photo by: LEN REDKOLES / GETTY IMAGES
    Flyers wives walk runway

    The spouses of Philadelphia hockey players hit the runway earlier this month for an event billed as the first Flyers Wives Fashion Show. The event was held at the Hyatt at the Bellevue’s Grand Ballroom. Proceeds from ticket sales went to Comcast-Spectacor Charities. The Flyers wives modeled styles by designer Nicole Miller. Miller’s spring line, “Artelier,” which features the Flyers Orange color, was showcased.

    Agassi cuts ribbon at school
    Former tennis great Andre Agassi was in Philadelphia last week for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the first charter school opened through a for-profit investment fund he created last year in partnership with Los Angeles-based Canyon Capital Realty Advisors. KIPP Philadelphia Elementary Academy opened in a converted warehouse in North Philadelphia.

    PROVIDENCE, R.I.
    Author R.A. Salvatore created the story and Todd McFarlane provided art direction.
    Schilling’s studio releasing new game

    Providence-based 38 Studios, founded by former pitching great and avid gamer Curt Schilling, is releasing its first video game next month, “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.” Schilling launched 38 Studios in 2006 when he was playing for the Boston Red Sox.

    SACRAMENTO

    Kings backer seeks donation boost

    The Sleep Train, one of the original 33 sponsors that collectively pledged $10 million last spring to keep the Sacramento Kings in town, is using its sponsorship to increase donations to its foster children program. The
    bedding retailer will use signs and billboards within the arena to boost awareness of its foster kids program as well as holding game-day donation events at the arena.

    SAN FRANCISCO
    Giants to have alternate road jersey

    The San Francisco Giants will introduce an alternate road jersey for Sunday games that is inspired by the club’s “Will Clark era,” according to a San Jose Mercury News report. The gray jersey will feature the “SF” logo on the left chest with black piping down the center and the Giants logo on the sleeve.




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

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