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Volume 24 No. 117


Detroit-based social calendar app UpTo, which keeps fans up to date on team and franchise schedules, has announced a partnership with the Cavaliers. UpTo provides users the option to follow the game schedule of any major pro team, and the Cavs are the first team to allow access to all events, promotions and announcements related to the team. Cavs player appearances, charity events, detailed broadcast information and more can be accessed through the UpTo app (UpTo). UpTo launched last year, with Cavs Owner Dan Gilbert’s Detroit Venture Partners providing the company’s seed round of financing. Specific financial terms of the agreement, a one-year deal, were not disclosed, but the agreement does call for in-arena branding along with online advertising elements. For the Cavs, the deal creates the possibility that any UpTo user, by clicking on the team’s offering, can bring the Cavs’ posted content onto their electronic calendars. That content can then be seen by friends who are connected to the original fan through UpTo. In return for an undisclosed fee paid to the Cavs, UpTo gains access to the team's audience of fans. That adds to UpTo’s overall user base, putting the company in better position to draw revenue from advertising on the site down the line (John Lombardo, SportsBusiness Journal).

Although the Stars have not “made the playoffs in four years and there is very little hockey buzz in Texas,” team Owner Tom Gaglardi, who celebrated a year of ownership on Sunday, “seems resolute that progress still can be made,” according to Mike Heika of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Gaglardi said, “We feel really good about where we’re going, and I do believe we will be able to reach our goal eventually of where we would like to be financially. This (lockout) throws a wrench into the timeline, but we also understand that’s part of the process, and it’s part of being in a pro sports league.” Heika noted Stars execs have “taken pay cuts and regular-level employees may soon have to do the same.” Gaglardi said of possible cutbacks, “We have contingency plans, and I know [President & CEO Jim Lites] is looking at a lot of different things. If it’s a full season, that’s tough. In some cases, those decisions will be made for us. We’ve invested a lot in finding these people, and we want to make sure they’re all OK.” Heika reported the team is “looking at changing uniforms, logos and possibly even colors.” Lites said, “In some ways, this is harder than when we first started back in 1993, because there is some cynicism and we have lost some fans who we may not get back. But, in some ways, it’s easier, because we know what needs to be fixed and we know how to go about fixing it" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/18).

In San Diego, Eric Wolff notes the Chargers' team store “will have a Black Friday sale" with team merchandise 15% off. It is “the second year the team's service provider, Centerplate, put on a Black Friday sale.” However, Centerplate Merchandise Manager Kris Sargeant said that last year's sale “didn't get much of a marketing push.” Sargeant said, “We got with the Chargers, and we're working a little bit closer. They posted it on their (Facebook) page." Wolff notes the post “received 435 comments in two hours.” But fans “used the posting to vent their frustration” with coach Norv Turner, GM A.J. Smith, QB Philip Rivers and “the organization as a whole” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 11/20).

BROWNS MARKET: In Cleveland, Tom Reed cited a source as saying that the Browns are 20th in NFL merchandise sales and have “remained entrenched in that neighborhood for the past few seasons -- despite their epic futility.” Reed noted that figure “has to be encouraging” to new Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam III. Browns CEO Joe Banner “knows there is much work to be done in expanding the Browns brand.” Banner said, “We do have a tremendous following of Browns fans all around the world. But I think we need to get more identified in the Ohio region than we are currently” (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 11/18).

: The Steelers during Sunday night's game against the Ravens wore throwback uniforms from the '34 season with large yellow and black horizontal stripes. NBC’s Al Michaels said, “What do you figure this is? They’re either bumblebee pajamas or prison garb?” NBC’s Cris Collinsworth replied, “This is such a great rivalry to me and I love seeing the Steelers’ uniforms. I’m okay (because) I know it’s all part of making money and all that, but I’d rather see them look ahead. You want to put new uniforms on them, let’s go futuristic and sell some jerseys. You can’t see the numbers. That’s what I’m really mad at” (“Sunday Night Football,” NBC, 11/18).

DIMINISHED INTEREST: In Charlotte, Tom Sorensen noted there was “less interest” in Sunday’s Buccaneers-Panthers game than in “any home game” this season. Sorensen wrote, “Empty seats were plentiful at Bank of America Stadium Sunday and by overtime you could squeeze the remaining fans into Time Warner Cable Arena. And, no, I’m not criticizing ticket-holders” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/19).