SBJ/February 20-26, 2012/Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast: Braves back after 23-city tour

ATLANTA
Caravan returns after 23-city tour

The Atlanta Braves Country Caravan, presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, finished its two-week tour around metro Atlanta and the Southeast. It traveled more than 3,000 miles and visited 23 cities. The caravan also visited Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, youth baseball camps, children’s hospitals, schools and a metro Atlanta fire station, with more than 6,000 autographs signed along the way.

AUSTIN, TEXAS
Weather hinders F1 track progress

Recent rains delayed the construction schedule at the planned Circuit of the Americas Formula One track, according to an Austin American-Statesman report. Scott Kahler, senior superintendent at general contractor Austin Commercial, expects lost time on the $300 million project to be made up in the coming months. Kahler estimated that 85 percent of the excavation has been completed. The track’s debut F1 race is scheduled for November.

BALTIMORE
O’s bring marketing in-house

The Baltimore Orioles will be handling their marketing in-house this season. The club’s marketing had previously been handled by the Baltimore-based Leffler Agency. Greg Bader, the team’s director of communications, noted that the team could look for a new advertising agency soon. “We’ll consider that on a year-by-year basis. Even a month-by-month basis is not out of the question,” Bader said.

BOSTON
Wally the Green Monster spreads his wings under the colorful tail of the plane.
Photo by: MIKE IVINS / BOSTON RED SOX
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine enjoys the view at Logan Airport.
Photo by: MIKE IVINS / BOSTON RED SOX
JetBlue flies Red Sox colors

The Boston Red Sox and JetBlue took the wraps off an Airbus A320 plane decorated with a custom Red Sox theme. The plane features a gray paint scheme, blue wing tips, and the team’s dangling socks logo. It also features a banner commemorating this year’s 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. JetBlue has been a Red Sox sponsor since 2008.

CHICAGO
Fire partners with Nicor Gas
The Chicago Fire and Nicor Gas, a subsidiary of AGL Resources, agreed to a multiyear partnership. The MLS club and the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program created a campaign called “Take the Pledge” in which Nicor customers, contractors, Fire partners and fans pledge to reduce the ways they consume energy in their daily lives.

Demand strong for Ryder Cup chalets

Hospitality sales for the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club are tracking at a record level, according to the PGA of America. An initial offering of 53 chalet and clubhouse packages has been increased to 76. Almost 250 international, national, regional and local companies have committed to hospitality involvement at the biennial event, scheduled for Sept. 25-30.

CLEVELAND
Indians name official drugstore

The Cleveland Indians have partnered with Discount Drug Mart, naming the company as the official drugstore of the team for the 2012-14 seasons. The Indians and Discount initiated elements of the partnership last season, with promotional and ballpark signage at Progressive Field and Discount being the presenting partner of the Perfect 10 Flex Pack ticket plan.

COLUMBUS
Study shows Crew’s impact

A recently released economic impact study commissioned by the Columbus Crew shows that the MLS team and Crew Stadium have generated more than $384 million in direct spending during their time, helping to create hundreds of area jobs and produce millions in tax revenue. Texas-based CSL International conducted the survey for the team. The Crew began play in 1996; Crew Stadium opened in 1999.

GREEN BAY
Packers raising ticket prices

The Green Bay Packers plan to increase ticket prices for the 2012 season at Lambeau Field at a range of $3 to $5 per game, depending on seat location. Invoices sent to season-ticket holders include a letter from team President and CEO Mark Murphy that reads in part, “Our goal each year is to be at the league average in terms of ticket prices.”

HAMILTON, ONTARIO
Nike to outfit Marauders

McMaster University agreed to a five-year deal with Nike to supply the southern Ontario college with uniforms, travel gear, shoes and practice attire for its basketball, football, soccer, track and cross country teams. Athletic department personnel will also be attired in Nike gear. Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.
Enrollment triples at tennis academy

Spring enrollment at the Ivan Lendl International Junior Tennis Academy has tripled from its inaugural semester last fall. The new semester began Jan. 16 and features students from Canada, New Zealand, Russia and the United States. Meanwhile, the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy introduced a spring class of students representing 27 countries across five continents. Both academies are owned by Junior Sports Corp.

HOUSTON
Astros tour closes with hometown stops

The Houston Astros 2012 CAREavan wrapped up its winter road trip with stops in Katy, Texas, on Feb. 10. The annual tour this year made 47 stops in 13 cities over eight days, traveling more than 3,500 miles. More than 35 Astros players, alumni, coaches and front-office staff participated.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIF.
USA Water Polo partners with Nestlé

Nestlé Nesquik was named the official flavored milk and recovery drink of Huntington Beach, Calif.-based USA Water Polo. Nesquik will be provided to the men’s and women’s senior national teams in their preparation for the 2012 Olympics. The company also will support the group, which is the sport’s national governing body, on social media platforms.

MIAMI
Dolphins group plans trade shows

The Miami Dolphins Business Alliance was scheduled to host the first of four planned trade shows of the year last Thursday at Sun Life Stadium. The shows aim to bring together business leaders, corporate partners, vendors and suppliers, along with suite, club-seat and season-ticket holders. Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, general manager Jeff Ireland and CEO Mike Dee were slated to participate last week, as well.

MILWAUKEE
Andretti promotes return of IndyCar Series

Andretti Sports Marketing plans to bring the Izod IndyCar Series back to the Milwaukee Mile on June 16, according to multiple media reports. This will be the first attempt at promoting a race for Andretti Sports Marketing, which is a collaboration of Andretti Autosport and MDC Partners, a Canadian holding company. The track hosted an IndyCar race last year after a one-year absence but drew what was considered a smaller than expected crowd.

NEW YORK
The Ace deal includes stair-wrap signage at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Photo by: MIKE STOBE / GETTY IMAGES
Isles team with Ace for campaign

The New York Islanders have partnered with Ace Hardware for an in-store, in-arena and online marketing campaign. Ace and the team created the Islanders Fantasy Challenge, a fantasy hockey game hosted on NewYorkIslanders.com that awards winners with tickets and autographed memorabilia. Ace also receives signage on arena stairs and the scoreboard.

Boroughs bike tour partners with PPNYC
Planned Parenthood of New York City is partnering with Bike New York as an official charity for the 2012 TD Five Boro Bike Tour “Ride for a Reason” charity program. Held annually the first Sunday in May, the event gives participants the opportunity to bike through all five boroughs, a 40-mile, traffic-free ride for 32,000 cyclists.

ORLANDO
Merchants oppose all-star fence

Merchants across the street from Amway Center asked a state court for an emergency injunction to stop a security fence from going up in front of their businesses during the NBA All-Star Game this Sunday, according to an Orlando Sentinel report. The NBA received a permit from the city of Orlando to close West Church Street and erect an 8-foot fence around the arena and the street.

OTTAWA
Sens adjust prices to increase fan base

Ottawa Senators President Cyril Leeder introduced the team’s 2012-13 season-ticket campaign, saying that the goal is to increase the season-ticket base to 13,000 from the current 11,300, according to an Ottawa Citizen report. The campaign calls for 9,000 tickets to increase in price by 4 percent from 2011-12 prices. Another 40 percent of seats will be reduced between 3.4 percent and 52.7 percent.

OXFORD, MISS.
Ole Miss renews with Nike for 7 years

The University of Mississippi signed a seven-year contract renewal with Nike that has a $13.9 million value and is double the prior deal, according to a Jackson Clarion-Ledger report. The partnership provides Ole Miss with $1.65 million in Nike products during the 2012-13 season, and $2.05 million each year up to 2019.

PHILADELPHIA
Phillies sign multiyear radio deal

The Philadelphia Phillies and CBS Radio’s Talk Radio 1210 WPHT and SportsRadio 94 WIP signed a multiyear broadcast partnership for live play-by-play coverage of Phillies preseason, regular-season and postseason games. The new agreement begins this month with live coverage of the team’s spring training camp from Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.

Outfielder Shane Victorino returns home to suit up for an episode of “Hawaii Five-O.”
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Victorino appearing in “Hawaii Five-O”

Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino, a native of Hawaii, will be in tonight’s episode of “Hawaii Five-O.” Victorino will guest star as a business executive. The episode involves the murder of a man dressed as a Hawaiian Koa warrior found in the jungle near the site of a historical war re-enactment. Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno also guest stars as a Hawaiian history buff who helps police with the case.

Cruise with Phanatic to Galapagos
The National Geographic Endeavour will set sail with the Phillie Phanatic on a 10-day expedition to the Galapagos Islands. Scheduled to depart Nov. 23, and hosted by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic, the cruise will take fans to the Phillies mascot’s “homeland” of the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador.

Sixers’ ratings up 77 percent
The Philadelphia 76ers’ success on the court this season is being reflected in the team’s television ratings. Comcast-Spectacor said Sixers games are averaging a 2.81 household rating this year, up 77 percent from last season. The team’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this season scored a 5.1 rating, representing 153,000 households, which was the highest-rated Sixers game since March 1, 2005.

Sixers acquire Wilt’s 100-point court
The 76ers acquired the court on which Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points. 76ers CEO Adam Aron tweeted that “it will ‘mostly be preserved,’ though details are still being worked out about how it will be used or displayed.” March 2 is the 50th anniversary of Chamberlain’s historic scoring night.

Gov’s plan upsets horse racing industry
Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry expressed rage over Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed $27.1 billion budget. The Pennsylvania Equine Coalition said a plan to “raid” the state’s Race Horse Development Fund by $72 million for each of the next three years will be a devastating blow to the horse racing and breeding industry that employs more than 23,000 Pennsylvanians.

Union TV partners to carry 22 games
Philadelphia Union broadcast partners WPVI-TV/6abc, Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network will again team up to televise Union soccer games that are not shown nationally this season. WPVI-TV/6abc, in its third season as the MLS team’s official broadcast partner, will air three of the team’s 34 total matches this season, while Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network will air 19 matches.

PHOENIX
No actual trash cans were used — recycling and composting ruled the tournament grounds.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Waste Management sizes up goals

Waste Management met its Zero Waste Challenge goals by diverting more than 90 percent and recovering more than 70 percent of the materials used at the 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open earlier this month. The initiative, aimed at educating vendors and patrons about the proper disposal of materials, employed the use of recycling and composting methods for all waste produced at the event.

Suns incorporating Samsung tablets
The Phoenix Suns are incorporating the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 into business development opportunities, client and season-ticket holder presentations, and in-game promotional programs. The team is integrating the Tab into various elements of their TV and radio broadcasts as a way to interact with the club’s digital fans through social media and other in-game promotions.

PROVIDENCE, R.I.
AHL all-star events planned

The Providence Bruins and the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority will host the 2013 Dunkin’ Donuts AHL All-Star Classic Jan. 25-28. The Classic will kick off with a Providence Bruins home game on Jan. 25, followed by a youth hockey festival Jan. 26. The AHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place Jan. 27, and the AHL Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony and the all-star game will be held Jan. 28.

ST. LOUIS
AAA title-sponsoring new NHRA event

The NHRA expanded its relationship with the Automobile Club of Southern California with a title sponsorship agreement for the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis. The inaugural event will take place Sept. 28-30.

TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG
Rays foundation taking grant applications

The Rays Baseball Foundation, the charitable arm of the Tampa Bay Rays, is accepting applications for its Community Fund Grant Program. The program provides financial support to local nonprofit institutions in the Tampa Bay region. These funds will support current youth and/or education programs. Grants up to $5,000 are awarded.

TORONTO
CFL’s Cohon renews contract

CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon signed on to serve for at least another three years. Cohon became the 12th CFL commissioner in 2007 and since taking the post, the league has seen TV ratings rise in an exclusive deal with TSN and corporate partnerships have hit record levels. The eight-team league is based in Toronto.

WALLA WALLA, WASH.
Sweets, casino renew partnership

The Walla Walla Sweets and Wildhorse Resort and Casino renewed their partnership for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, with Wildhorse joining Les Schwab Tire Centers as a founding partner of the team. Wildhorse, a Sweets partner since the team’s inaugural season in 2010, will have a combination of inventory including print and promotional offerings.

WCL all-star details emerge

The Sweets, host of the 2012 West Coast League All-Star Game, released the official logo and details for the event. NAPA Auto Parts will be the presenting sponsor of the July 24 game at Borleske Stadium. On July 23, the Sweets will host the All-Star Block Party presented by Downtown Walla Walla Foundation. The free event will include the opportunity to meet and mingle with WCL All-Stars and Sweets players.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Caps partner with Alenia for donations

The Washington Capitals teamed up with Alenia North America to launch the Alenia SAVES Program to benefit the Air Force Aid Society. Alenia, an aerospace industry company, will donate to AFAS for each save made by a Washington Capitals goaltender this season. Alenia also will be a key sponsor of the Washington Capitals’ “Salute to the Military” night on March 6.

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


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