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SBJ/November 5-11, 2012/Events and AttractionsPrint All
PrimeSport is bringing the energy of a South Beach nightclub to the Discover BCS National Championship Game at Sun Life Stadium.
Beginning this week, PrimeSport will hit the market with a product that will give small groups access to the stadium’s end-zone club patterned after LIV, the nightclub at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel. As the official ticket exchange and hospitality provider of the Orange Bowl, PrimeSport has the hospitality rights to the championship game because the Orange Bowl is the host. PrimeSport also has rights at the Sugar and Rose bowls, giving it the BCS championship game three out of every four years.
For the championship game at Sun Life Stadium this season, PrimeSport is making the 400-person area that’s been so popular with Miami Dolphins fans — the LIV Lounge — available for the BCS finale. It’ll be a first-of-its-kind offering for the championship game.
“Our focus is on creating more and more unique ways to experience the game,” said Greg Nortman, PrimeSport’s Los Angeles-based chief operating officer. “It’ll be more of a party atmosphere for small groups that want to sit in a lounge area.”
At past BCS championships, Prime-Sport has staged hospitality experiences near the stadium or just outside the stadium. At the Superdome last season, PrimeSport’s hospitality operated out of Club XLIV in Champions Square. Fans bought one pass to the hospitality and a separate ticket for the game.
PrimeSport still will have its traditional hospitality event outside Sun Life Stadium this season, but for the first time it will be able to offer one ticket that combines hospitality and the game via the LIV Lounge. The space will be branded the PrimeSport Championship VIP suite for the title game. Ten-person cabanas will sell for $22,500 at the high end, while a four-person rail table will go for $1,850 per ticket and a five-person, front-row table will sell for $2,000 per ticket. Standing-room tickets that offer open seating in the club are $995 each.
Food and beverage is sold separately in the VIP suite, but fans will have waitress service, early entry to the game and valet parking, and they’ll experience the game in a club with plush lounge chairs, a DJ booth, dance floor, multiple bars, and appearances by former coaches and players.
The onset of Hurricane Sandy brought mixed emotions for MLB’s New York-based staff of more than 250 helping to run the World Series in Detroit.
In an effort to solve that dilemma and ease the burden on employees, MLB granted a liberal leave policy. League staffers were able to return to the New York area whenever they felt they or their families were at risk from the storm.
Those whose core tasks were finished and with suburban families generally left Detroit first, trailed by upper Manhattan apartment dwellers less at risk from the storm. MLB also allowed staffers preferring to wait out the storm to stay in Detroit as long as needed.
The Giants’ sweep allowed New York-based MLB employees to get home before the storm.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
MLB automotive sponsor Chevrolet chipped in, supplying some of the cars used for the trip. It wasn’t quite a police escort, but heading east on Interstate 80 through Ohio and Pennsylvania were several promotional vehicles emblazoned “Official Car of Major League Baseball.”
“There were a lot of different approaches people took to get back,” said Pat Courtney, MLB senior vice president of communications. “Some of us drove back right away through the night after it was done. Some people flew to Albany or Hartford first thing Monday and got back from there. Some chose to stay.
“But it was a good exercise in teamwork. We were all in contact with each other throughout. Emails and texts were going everywhere to get this coordinated, and fortunately, we all got back safely and are still safe.”
SLEEPING SOUNDLY: With the abrupt sweep by the Giants, World Series ratings sank to an all-time low average of 7.6 and 12.7 million viewers, down 11 percent in viewers compared with San Francisco’s five-game Series victory in 2010. Fox Sports, for its part, tried to keep an even keel regarding the ratings issues. The network’s post-series communications, predictably, conveyed the nightly ratings victories that the World Series generated against network and cable competition. The World Series also showed ratings growth on Fox Deportes, up 18 percent in men ages 18-49 over last year.
But Fox Sports Media Group Co-President Eric Shanks said the World Series, despite its prominence, remains only one component of Fox’s overall baseball business in broadcast and cable TV.
“I don’t lose one ounce of sleep over ratings,” Shanks said. “You just can’t get hung up over one game or one series. You’re always going up against something, competition-wise. But the important thing is that from where we sit, baseball is trending up overall. There are a lot of new stories, new players, emerging markets coming on in the sport. And that bodes well for us when you look at our entire investment in baseball between broadcast and the regional sports networks.”
Giants President and CEO Larry Baer: “Our footprint now goes well beyond Northern California, and it’s getting bigger.”
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
Much of that came true as team payroll grew to a franchise record $118 million last year and again to $131 million in 2012. The club was the first to be featured on Showtime’s documentary TV series “The Franchise,” merchandise sales reached new heights, and attendance grew to a team record 3.39 million in 2011, a figure the Giants missed by a mere 10,000 this year.
With two titles in three years and the Giants established as a dominant on-field power, Baer now predicts a sizable “compounding effect,” in which the club’s brand becomes a global force more on par with the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. Among the club’s initial goals is more international sponsorships.
“Our footprint now goes well beyond Northern California, and it’s getting bigger,” Baer said. “And you look at the power of our market here, we’re the social media capital of the world. What happens on social media networks, what happens first as things get invented, quite often involves the Giants in some way. Twitter is five blocks away, Facebook is 30 miles away. Apple is 35 minutes away. And when you look at what MLB is doing to reach new demos, younger fans, we’re right in the heart of that.”