SBJ/February 27-March 4, 2012/Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast: IMG combines offices

ATLANTA
IMG consolidating office space

IMG Worldwide is consolidating two office locations in Atlanta into a new building in Midtown. IMG is leasing about 35,000 square feet at Daniel Corp.’s 1075 Peachtree building, at 12th and Peachtree streets. The company will house its college sports division in Midtown, where it’s scheduled to move in June.

AUSTIN, TEXAS
Express signs Champion Energy

Champion Energy Services secured a multiyear contract to provide electricity to Dell Diamond, home of the Round Rock Express, Class AAA affiliate of the Texas Rangers. As part of the sponsorship, Champion Energy will have on-site marketing presence, prominent sign placement and recognition at Express home games.

BALTIMORE
Race finances could go public

The new contract for the Baltimore Grand Prix calls for keeping the race’s finances private, but race organizers say City Hall could choose to reveal that information, according to a Baltimore Sun report. Downforce Racing plans to keep financial details private, but the company is required to file monthly financial reports with the city.

BOSTON
Harvard selling Lin jerseys

Lin went undrafted after four years at Harvard, where he earned an economics degree.
Photo: COURTESY OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY
Harvard University, Jeremy Lin’s alma mater, has been selling replicas of the No. 4 jersey Lin wore while playing for the Ivy League school, according to a Boston Herald report. The jerseys are $100 each, with proceeds benefiting the Jeremy Lin Foundation. The charity helps underprivileged people and communities in the San Francisco Bay area, where the Knicks point guard grew up.

BUFFALO
Bills season-ticket prices flat or down

Buffalo Bills season-ticket prices will remain flat for the 2012 season while prices in the Tops Family Corner and Coors Light Rockpile sections will be reduced. Tops Family Corner ticket prices will be $30 a game, reduced $10 from last season, and Coors Light Rockpile prices will be $25 a game, down $15.

NLL teams sign Intense Milks
The National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits and Rochester Knighthawks signed sponsorship deals with Upstate Niagara Cooperative. The sponsorship with Intense Milks will allow fans at designated games at both First Niagara Center and Rochester’s
A live, in-game feature provides real-time stats during all Sabres games.
BlueCross Arena to sample Intense Milks and receive free “Moohawks,” spray-painted hairstyles in team colors.

Sabres have new game-day app
The Buffalo Sabres added a mobile application across the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry platforms. The free app has 10 sections, including live, in-game statistical information during all Sabres games. Player and team stats will be updated automatically through the NHL HITS stats package.

CHICAGO
United Center games get green deal

Constellation Energy will sponsor the first green games for the Chicago Blackhawks and Bulls at the United Center on April 1 and 2, respectively. Constellation will buy Green-e Energy Certified renewable energy certificates to match the electricity use on each game day.

DAVIS, CALIF.
School, ex-students reach settlement

Former University of California, Davis, students and the university reached an agreement in the case of a Title IX athletics discrimination complaint. Four female students alleged they were not given the opportunity to play on a women’s wrestling team, and were cut from the men’s team. The university agreed to pay $1.35 million to the attorneys of the former students to cover fees and costs.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA.
Speedway using Activator for Coke, A-B

Daytona International Speedway adopted Activator, a cloud-based partnership management platform, and will go live with dedicated channels for Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch. Shifting to Activator will enable the speedway to update Coca-Cola and A-B in real time on all aspects of their respective deals, both on and off the track.

DENVER
City nixes stadium sign plan

The Denver City Council turned down a request from Sports Authority to erect a series of large illuminated signs around the top of the Denver Broncos’ stadium, which is called Sports Authority Field at Mile High. People living near the stadium voiced their opposition to the idea.

DETROIT
The new system will be one of the largest LED video boards in Major League Baseball.
Photo by: DAKTRONICS
Daktronics board planned for ballpark

The Detroit Tigers selected Daktronics to design, manufacture and install a high-definition video upgrade to Comerica Park. Daktronics will install a new LED video display beyond left field measuring 48 feet high by 127 feet wide. An additional 5-by-100-foot LED display will be positioned below the main display to be used primarily for pitcher statistics.

LOUISVILLE, KY.
Track signs new partners for Derby

Churchill Downs Racetrack has three new partners for the coming Kentucky Derby. Moët & Chandon Champagne will introduce the “Moët & Chandon Toast to the Kentucky Derby.” Blue04 water will infuse a creative theme into the Kentucky Derby “Blue Room” (formerly known as the “Green Room”). SandRidge Energy will be the presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Party immediately after the race.

MIAMI
Heat makes some noise with new app

The Miami Heat launched a new mobile application platform. The free iPhone and Android app features arena, team and game-day information, social media integration and a “Noisemaker” feature offering the “Let’s Go Heat!” chant and other sports-related sounds. The app was developed by the team’s Internet services department.

Kia partners with speedway
Kia Motors America is partnering again with Homestead-Miami Speedway to sponsor the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race — the Kia 200 — on April 28. The agreement marks the second straight year Kia is sponsoring the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race during the Grand Prix of Miami Weekend.

MILWAUKEE
Training center signs automotive partner

The Pettit National Ice Center signed a new sponsorship deal with International Autos Group. International Autos will be recognized as the official automotive dealer of the U.S. Olympic training facility. International Autos will receive signs and a have a visible presence inside and outside the facility. International Autos has locations in metro Milwaukee and the Chicagoland area.

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL
Vikings, UM reach payment deal

The Minnesota Vikings and the University of Minnesota struck a tentative deal on how much the team will pay the school to play at TCF Bank Stadium while a new Vikings stadium is built near the Metrodome, according to a Minneapolis Star Tribune report. While declining to say how much the Vikings would pay per game, Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley said the agreement would add roughly 3,000 temporary end zone seats to the 50,000-seat stadium.

NASHVILLE
Sounds tune in new flagship station

The Nashville Sounds are partnering with WPRT-FM as the team’s new flagship station for game broadcasts during the 2012 season. The station, known as 102.5 “The Game,” will air nearly all of the Sounds’ 144 games this season. Nine games not on radio will be available online at www.nashvillesounds.com. The Sounds are the Class AAA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

NEW YORK
MSG doing Knicks games in Spanish

MSG Network is producing “Los Knicks en Español,” 15 Knicks games in Spanish. The first game was Feb. 15 and the next will be Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. All games feature Spanish play-by-play and commentary. Former St. John’s star and NBA veteran Felipe López will serve as halftime analyst for many of the games.
Nameless mascot

PENSACOLA, FLA.
Fans naming Blue Wahoos mascot

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos asked the community to name the team’s mascot. Entries were to be submitted by Feb. 24 via Facebook and Twitter. The top six names will be voted on to determine the winner. The winning name will be announced before the team’s April 5 Opening Day.

PHILADELPHIA
Ghana, Chile teams visit PPL Park

PPL Park will host an international exhibition match between the national teams of Ghana and Chile on Wednesday. Chile qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, winning its first two group stage matches against Honduras and Switzerland before falling 2-1 to eventual tournament winner Spain.

Eagles hold steady on ticket prices
The Philadelphia Eagles, coming off a disappointing eight-win season, said they will not be raising ticket prices for the 2012 season. Eagles season-ticket prices at Lincoln Financial Field range in price from $60 to $800 per game. The team has not increased prices for the past four seasons.

Moorad donates $5M to Villanova
San Diego Padres CEO Jeff Moorad donated $5 million to Villanova University, his alma mater. The gift will be used to establish a center for sports law, which will be called the The Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law. Moorad graduated from Villanova’s law school in 1981.

Women’s soccer league names Fever
The Women’s Premier Soccer League accepted the Philadelphia Fever as the eighth team that will compete in its new Elite League in its inaugural 2012 season. The WPSL is the leading amateur soccer league in the U.S. The Elite League was created to fill a void created by the suspension of Women’s Professional Soccer operations.

PHOENIX
Natalie Cole headlining ‘Evening’

Natalie Cole will headline the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation’s sixth annual Evening on the Diamond, presented by the University of Phoenix, on March 30 at Chase Field. The foundation’s marquee event raised more than $1.25 million last season and is considered among the top fundraising events in the area each year.

PITTSBURGH
PNC Park gates open early for some fans

Gates at PNC Park will open 30 minutes earlier for all Pittsburgh Pirates season-ticket holders prior to all Monday through Saturday night games. The change means season-ticket holders will have access to the park a full hour prior to gates opening to the general public.

Pirates using TruMedia for analytics
Sports analytics firm TruMedia will be licensing its baseball analytics platform to the Pirates. The Pirates’ baseball operations department will have access to TruMedia’s customizable analytics platform, including proprietary data visualization and integrated pitch-by-pitch video analysis.

PORTLAND
“Showtime,” “Jail Blazers,” “Bad Boys,” and “Cs” are instantly recognizable.
Shirt line showcases retro nicknames

Million Dollar Ballers, a new streetwear brand from Portland, launched the “Hardwood Collection” last week. The T-shirt collection showcases retro team nicknames that are part of the vocabulary of basketball fans. The brand pays homage to legendary players and teams from the 1960s to 1990s.

SACRAMENTO
Kings file $8.3M bankruptcy claim

The Sacramento Kings filed a claim in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for $8.3 million, according to a Sacramento Bee report. The $8.3 million is the unpaid amount left on the naming-rights deal that turned Arco Arena into Power Balance Pavilion last year. The Kings said that they are still talking to the company that bought Power Balance out of bankruptcy about salvaging the relationship, according to the report.

Kings near arena funding deadline
With Anaheim and Seattle as potential suitors, the Kings approach a Thursday deadline to come up with a funding plan for a new arena — or risk losing the Kings to another city. On Feb. 14, the Sacramento City Council selected a short list of qualified bidders to run the city’s parking operations — if the city decides on Tuesday to go that route to help pay for a new downtown arena.

SPRINGFIELD, MO.
MSU, Adidas reach 5-year deal

Missouri State University will purchase athletic gear from Adidas, according to a Springfield News-Leader report. MSU interim President Clif Smart said that the MSU board of governors unanimously approved the five-year, $625,000 contract with Adidas. The contract makes Adidas the exclusive supplier for MSU’s sports teams, except men’s basketball, which has a separate contract with Nike until August 2014.

STATE COLLEGE, PA.
Coach Chambers greeted fans and handed out 200 burgers from behind the counter.
Photo by: PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
Coach buys the Big Macs

Penn State University men’s basketball has a promotional deal with McDonald’s that awards free Big Macs whenever the team reaches 70 points in a home game. On Feb. 11, the Nittany Lions broke a five-game losing streak by beating Nebraska, but the final score of 67-51 was a disappointment to hungry fans. Penn State coach Patrick Chambers bought and handed out 200 Big Macs a few days later at the State College downtown location as a reward to the fans.

STORRS, CONN.
UConn targets facility upgrades

The University of Connecticut is establishing stadium enhancement and construction funds for soccer, baseball and softball with the purpose of upgrading or building new facilities, according to a Hartford Courant report. Paul Pendergast, the school’s chief fundraiser, said that the basketball facility is priority No. 1. The target date for all projects to be completed is 2014, but the target date for the basketball facility is late 2013 to early 2014, according to the report.

TEMPE, ARIZ.
County OKs new athletics district

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors formally authorized an athletics district that will be developed to fund capital projects starting with a new Sun Devil Stadium for Arizona State University, according to an Arizona Republic report. A decision could be made to keep the lower bowl of the 54-year-old stadium and rebuild above that level to a new seating capacity between 55,000 and 65,000.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Competitor buys Nation’s Triathlon

The Competitor Group purchased Nation’s Triathlon, marking Competitor’s expansion beyond half marathons and marathons into triathlons. The new race will join the TriRock Triathlon Series in 2013. Nation’s Triathlon, which raises money for leukemia and blood-related cancers, is scheduled for Sept. 9. Former owner Washington Sports & Event Management will continue to assist in operating the event.

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.

Track to award prizes in decal promo

Ticket holders to Watkins Glen International will be recognized via a car decal with a chance to win prizes and memorabilia under a new promotion for the 2012 season. “Follow Me to The Glen” window decals were sent to all fans who chose to renew tickets for any of the 2012 events prior to the Nov. 14 deadline. WGI observers will keep an eye out for stickers at the track.

YORK, PA.
Revs fan will wear champs ring

On May 1, the York Revolution will hold its Opening Day pregame championship ring ceremony as it did in 2010, but with a special twist. The Atlantic League baseball team, which has won back-to-back titles, has ordered one extra ring and will give it away to a fan that evening. The real championship ring — not a replica — is courtesy of Garrick Jewelers. The first 1,000 fans through the gates on May 1 will receive a special scratch-off card, one of which will be the ring winner.


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

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