SBJ/April 9-15, 2012/Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast: "Qualified To …"

Editor's note: This story is revised from the print edition.

ATLANTA

Business of Sports Summit this week

Marketing agency CSE is sponsoring this Friday’s Business of Sports Summit being organized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and the Atlanta Sports Council. Keynote speakers include Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group and a CSE alum; and Abraham Madkour, executive editor of SportsBusiness Journal/Daily. CSE’s Adam Zimmerman will moderate the morning session featuring marketing executives from Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola, Kia and UPS.

BOSTON
New Balance rolls out campaign

New Balance debuted a marketing campaign dubbed “Qualified To …” to coincide with the 116th running of the Boston Marathon on April 16. The campaign celebrates the many “qualifications” that runners represent, from being qualified to run the race itself to experiencing its unique moments. The campaign was developed by Arnold Worldwide of Boston.

BUFFALO
Groups come together for vets’ hockey

The Buffalo Sabres Foundation, the team’s alumni association and National Fuel Gas Co. have joined with the Veterans Affairs Western New York Healthcare System to provide recreational on-ice services to veterans. The three organizations have committed a total of $90,000 a year for the next three years to pay for equipment, uniforms and ice time, as well as tournament and travel costs.

CHICAGO
Chicago leads the league in overall attendance, average per game and percent of capacity at the United Center.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Blackhawks increasing ticket prices

The Chicago Blackhawks are raising the price of season tickets an average of 8 percent for the 2012-13 season, according to a Chicago Tribune report. The increases occur across all price tiers. The cheapest 300-level seats jump from $24 per game to $28, while the most expensive Private Bank Platinum Seats go from $320 to $335, according to the report.

DENVER
Network seeks Ultimate Fishing Town

Locally based World Fishing Network and SkiSafe Boating Insurance is asking anglers in the United States and Canada to nominate their favorite place to fish as WFN’s Ultimate
Fishing Town 2012. The network is accepting nominations at WFNFishingTown.com through April 30. The winning town in each country will receive a $25,000 community donation for fishing-related causes, and WFN will televise a feature about the town.

FOXBORO, MASS.
Revolution teams with NuRide

The New England Revolution and NuRide have partnered to offer Revolution-related rewards to NuRide participants. NuRide, a national program, encourages carpooling and use of public transportation as ways to save money and help the environment. The program offers participants points for their efforts that in turn can be redeemed for rewards at restaurants, retailers and events.

KANSAS CITY
Royals designate off-site retailer

The Kansas City Royals named Sampler Stores the official off-site retailer of the team. Sampler Stores include all Kansas Sampler and Rally House store locations. As part of the deal, several Rally House sites across the area will be designated as Royals Team Clubhouse locations, with team branding on site.

MIAMI
County auditing Heat contract

Miami-Dade Inspector General Chris Mazzella launched an audit of the Miami Heat’s profit-sharing contract with the county, which has not received any money from the NBA team, according to a Miami Herald report. Mazzella reportedly is trying to determine whether any profits generated by the Heat should have been shared with the county under a joint agreement to build AmericanAirlines Arena. Heat owner Micky Arison was not available for comment in the report.

NEW YORK
Rangers ‘Believe’ in postseason

The New York Rangers launched a new playoff campaign as the team enters the postseason this week. The playoff campaign, centered around the tag “Believe,” will use television, online and outdoor advertising. The campaign is highlighted by the branding of Times Square to Grand Central shuttle trains and double-decker buses throughout the city.

SNY expanding youth effort
SportsNet New York is expanding its charitable youth baseball and softball initiative Play Ball to support eight new leagues in 2012. SNY will distribute $40,000 to youth baseball and softball leagues through the program, which is presented by Citi. A portion of those funds will come through the New York Mets and their participation in the Baseball Tomorrow Fund. SNY is the TV home of the Mets as well as the NFL Jets and Big East Conference.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.
RedHawks sign Gameday for merch

Gameday Merchandising entered into an agreement with the Oklahoma City RedHawks to oversee the team’s merchandise operations. The deal is built around the business at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, but both parties will work to explore additional revenue and branding opportunities. Team owner Mandalay Sports Entertainment last week sold the ballpark’s naming rights for an undisclosed sum to Newcastle Casino, but community backlash led to changing the facility name to Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark from the shortlived Newcastle Field at Bricktown. The RedHawks are the Class AAA affiliate of the Houston Astros.

ORLANDO
Dwight Howard and J.J. Redick were co-winners of the Rich and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award.
Photo by: FERNANDO MEDINA
Magic gala raises $505,000

The Orlando Magic Youth Foundation’s Black Tie and Tennies Charity Gala raised $505,000, with matching funds at 50 cents on the dollar provided by the McCormick Foundation. All proceeds benefit the Magic foundation. The 22nd annual gala, presented by Fairwinds Credit Union, was held March 24 at the Amway Center.

PHILADELPHIA
AFL Soul banking with Susquehanna

Susquehanna Bank was named official bank of the Philadelphia Soul. Financial terms of the sponsorship were not disclosed. Lancaster, Pa.-based Susquehanna will partner with the Arena Football League club for broadcast and in-game promotions as well as community events.

PHOENIX
Chase Field event raises $1.7 million

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ sold-out Evening on the Diamond at Chase Field March 30 raised a record $1.7 million to benefit the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. The theme of the gala was Teaming Up For Education, as the University of Phoenix served as the presenting sponsor and the school’s president, Bill Pepicello, co-chaired the event with his wife, Kris.

Suns fan wins dribbling marathon
After 53 hours and 45 minutes of basketball dribbling, Mike Ornoski of Glendale, Ariz., prevailed as winner of the fourth annual St. Joseph’s Bounce With the Suns competition, presented by the St. Joseph’s Health & Wealth Raffle. Ornoski outlasted 58 competitors to claim the title, in a contest that began at 9 a.m. on April 1. For his efforts, Ornoski will receive a road trip for two with the Phoenix Suns during the 2012-13 season. The entire event was streamed live on Suns.com.

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

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