SBJ/September 17-23, 2012/Coast to Coast

Coast to Coast

CHICAGO
County to fight judge’s Bears ruling

Cook County officials plan to fight a judge’s ruling that let the Chicago Bears off the hook for millions of dollars in taxes the county argues it’s owed, according to a Chicago Tribune report. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Margaret Ann Brennan last month ruled that the Bears are not obligated to pay about $4 million, after years of debate about whether Chicago sports teams owe back taxes and interest on amenities purchased by patrons in premium seats.

Four-team lacrosse league planned
The Prospect Lacrosse League, a four-team league based in Chicago and surrounding markets, will play its first games in the summer of 2013. Made up exclusively of collegiate players with remaining NCAA eligibility, the league will operate with the purpose of the development of future Major League Lacrosse players.

CLEVELAND
Browns, PNC extend partnership

The Cleveland Browns and PNC Bank extended a sponsorship that has existed since 1999. The multiyear renewal makes PNC the official bank of the team. PNC will have its name attached to the team’s radio network, which is now known as the PNC Bank Cleveland Browns Radio Network. PNC is also the title sponsor of the Browns high school game of the week program.

WKYC continues as Browns partner
The Browns and WKYC-TV reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension. In addition to continuing to serve as the Browns’ preseason television partner, WKYC will offer expanded Browns programming with several weekly shows throughout the regular season.

COLUMBUS
Jackets go with cards over paper

The Columbus Blue Jackets introduced a digital ticket system that will be used by season-ticket holders. Blue Jackets Season Pass replaces traditional paper tickets by providing a card that is swiped upon entry at Nationwide Arena. The card will serve as the only thing needed for admission to all games within the full season or partial plan holder’s ticket package.

‘HerOes’ cereal marks anniversary

Ohio State fans can commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 2002 national championship football team with a box of officially licensed Buckeye HerOes cereal. The limited-edition collector’s box is available at Ohio Giant Eagle and Market District locations and online at www.plbsports.com.

DETROIT
Fans choose McCarty for bobble

The second edition of the Detroit Red Wings’ “Operation: Bobblehead” campaign came to an end, with ex-enforcer Darren McCarty emerging victorious from the final round of balloting in the fan-based initiative charged with determining which Hockeytown legends will be immortalized in the form of a figurine during the 2012-13 NHL campaign.

DOVER, DEL.
Dawkins will be grand marshal

Philadelphia Eagles legend and fan favorite Brian Dawkins will be honored as the grand marshal of the AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sept. 30 at the Dover International Speedway. Later that night, the Eagles will retire Dawkins’ No. 20 during the nationally televised Sunday night showdown against the New York Giants.

DUBUQUE, IOWA

One fan was downgraded to a corner in the lobby, dubbed the “Worst Seat in the House.”
Photo by: DUBUQUE FIGHTING SAINTS
Fighting Saints kick it into reverse

The Dubuque Fighting Saints made hockey history Sept. 6 with the Backwards Game, becoming the first team to play an entire game of hockey backward from finish to start. Dubuque topped the Janesville Jets of the NAHL 4-1 at Mystique Community Ice Center. The preseason game started with a shootout, and then proceeded to overtime, with the third period, second period, and first period following. In-game promotions included the fans participating in a backward wave, where the entire crowd stood up, then took their seats as the wave approached. As fans entered the arena, Fighting Saints staff thanked them for attending at the beginning of the night, and welcomed them as they left.

FORT COLLINS, COLO.
Triple Crown Sports partners with NCSA

Triple Crown Sports entered into a partnership agreement with NCSA Athletic Recruiting, a provider of college recruiting and scholarship technology. With the agreement, NCSA becomes the official scouting organization and provider of recruiting services for Fort Collins-based TCS and will act as the exclusive educational speaker regarding the college recruiting process at all TCS college exposure events.

HOUSTON
Astros extend contract with ValleyCats

The Houston Astros extended their player development contract with the short-season Class A Tri-City ValleyCats of the New York-Penn League. The two-year extension continues the affiliation between the Astros and the Tri-City club through the 2014 season.

LAKEWOOD, N.J.
BlueClaws set attendance bar again

The Lakewood BlueClaws led the South Atlantic League in attendance for the 12th consecutive year, drawing 410,113 fans to FirstEnergy Park in central New Jersey. The BlueClaws, a Class A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, have been playing for 12 seasons. The team’s total attendance since its inception is 5,248,736.

LOS ANGELES
Dodgers reach deals with Isotopes, Quakes

The Los Angeles Dodgers reached two-year extensions in their affiliation agreements with the Class AAA Albuquerque (N.M.) Isotopes of the Pacific Coast League and the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League, continuing their partnerships through the 2014 season.

MIAMI
Dolphins pick Vivid for fan travel

The Miami Dolphins chose Vivid Seats as the team’s official fan travel partner. Fans can now purchase official packages consisting of game tickets and hotel accommodations directly from Vivid Seats. Dolphins fans can visit the designated Miami Dolphins Fan Travel Packages page on VividSeats.com or via the Miami Dolphins season schedule on the team’s website.

NEW ORLEANS
Official seafood designated for Saints

The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board approved a marketing partnership with the New Orleans Saints. The proposal for the 2012 season will make Louisiana seafood the official seafood for the team and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The agreement also includes LED board announcements and signage throughout the stadium.

NEWARK
Die-hard Devils fans will once again staff Mission Control at Prudential Center.
Photo by: NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Devils to name Mission Control pilots

Three-hundred thirty-four New Jersey Devils fans applied for 25 open positions with the team’s Devils Army. The team was looking for social media savvy, enthusiastic, loyal fans to expand its Generals program within the team’s award-winning social media hub Mission Control. The initial group was whittled to 50, then faced one more round in the process of meeting with Devils staff for in-person interviews.

PHOENIX
Suns Charities helping high school

The Phoenix Suns launched an education-based partnership with Central High School. SunsCentral is the result of a $500,000 grant, over two years, that Phoenix Suns Charities is donating to Central High School. The initiative aims to provide support services to struggling CHS students to help keep them in school.

TRENTON, N.J.
Thunder, Yankees extend through 2022

The Trenton Thunder and New York Yankees extended their player development contract through the 2022 season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Thunder, which competes in the Eastern League, has served as the Yankees’ Class AA affiliate since 2002.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Redskins’ 80th includes new wine

A limited release 2011 Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon will help mark the Washington Redskins’ 80th anniversary. The commemorative wine was created by Nick Goldschmidt of Goldschmidt Vineyards and marketing agency Wine by Design to celebrate the Redskins’ milestone year. The reserve blend is available in suites and at select locations at FedEx Field on game days.



      COAST TO COAST — BEYOND THE COASTS



AALEN, GERMANY
VfR Aalen signs marketer Sportfive
Second Bundesliga club VfR Aalen signed a partnership with marketing company Sportfive. The long-term deal calls for the Hamburg-based company to take control of the club’s sponsorship and hospitality business.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA
Raiders, Abode Hotels sign deal
National Rugby League club Canberra Raiders signed a sponsorship deal with Abode Hotels. The three-year-deal will put the Abode Hotels logo on the center chest of the Raiders’ kit and completes a full sponsorship of the Raiders’ playing kit for 2013.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND
Rangers FC eye return to stock market
Scottish Third Division club Rangers FC are working on a possible return to the stock market as the club’s new owners seek to rebuild the former champions following their relegation to the bottom tier of the sport in Scotland, according to a Reuters report. The Glasgow club appointed Cenkos Securities to advise on plans to raise additional funds.

HAMBURG, GERMANY
Blue Devils land dental sponsorship
The German Football League’s Hamburg Blue Devils agreed to a sponsorship deal with dental health care center Dentologicum. First-team players of the American football league club will receive individual mouth guards as part of the deal.

LEÓN, MEXICO

Telemundo gets U.S. rights to Club León
Comcast-owned Spanish language network Telemundo reached a deal for multiplatform U.S. rights to Club León. The historically popular team was promoted to the first division Liga Mx for 2012-13.

LONDON
Chelsea has partnered with Samsung since 2005.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Samsung renews Chelsea jersey deal
Samsung Electronics exercised an option to renew its $23.9 million yearly jersey sponsorship with Chelsea FC through 2015, according to a Bloomberg report. The UEFA Champions League winners originally signed a partnership agreement with the South Korean electronics manufacturer in 2005.

LUDWIGSBURG, GERMANY
Basketball team expands MHP deal
Basketball Bundesliga club Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg expanded its sponsorship deal with MHP, a Porsche subsidiary automotive process and IT consulting firm. The two parties had already agreed to a partnership in August. MHP will become a second-tier premium sponsor and be featured on the court and on boards inside the team’s Arena Ludwigsburg.

MUNICH
EHC Red Bull to sport Hummel threads
German Hockey League club EHC Red Bull Munich signed a sponsorship deal with Danish fashion brand Hummel. The partnership includes promotional events and ad space on boards at the Olympic Ice Sport Centre. Hummel will provide players and the coaching staff with training and lifestyle apparel.

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA
Televised Bundesliga games planned
North Korean TV channel KCTV will reportedly show Bundesliga games starting this month, according to a Wall Street Journal Deutschland report. DFL Sports Enterprises CEO Jörg Daubitzer, who is in charge of the football league’s foreign marketing, confirmed the deal, according to the report.

SÃO PAULO
São Paulo FC gets new kit sponsor
Brasileiro club São Paulo FC agreed to a $26 million deal with electronics manufacturer Semp Toshiba through the end of 2014, according to a Lancenet report. The club had gone eight months without a primary sponsor but will now have the company’s logo on the front and back of its uniform. The deal is worth a club record $11.3 million annually.

SYDNEY
Del Piero’s jersey sales reached 300,000 last season with his former team, Juventus.
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Big jersey sales expected for Del Piero
A-League club Sydney FC could make $5 million in jersey sales off the signing of Alessandro Del Piero, double the Italian player’s annual salary, according to a Daily Telegraph report. Sales of Del Piero No. 10 Sydney FC shirts could reach 30,000 worldwide this season — though that would still be only 10 percent of the 300,000 units sold for his Juventus jersey in 2011-12.

VALENCIA, SPAIN
Team generates massive transfer cache
La Liga club Valencia has the most international players on its roster in the history of the club, with very few Spanish players on the squad, according to a Marca report. Over the last four years, Spanish players have been sold to other European clubs in an effort by Valencia to pay off debt. Overall, 12 Spanish players have departed, helping the club generate $203.5 million through transfer deals.

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



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