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Volume 25 No. 155

Franchises

The Marlins on Thursday "rolled out new uniform colors and a re-designed 'M' logo, one more cosmetic touch in a total franchise makeover" as Owner Bruce Sherman and CEO Derek Jeter "continue to distance themselves from the past," according to Clark Spencer of the MIAMI HERALD. Gone are the "orange uniforms introduced by previous owner Jeffrey Loria when the team moved into Marlins Park" in '12, and in comes "Caliente Red, Miami Blue, Midnight Black and Slate Grey -- a scheme that is kinder to the eye." The block “M” logo -- "one that featured five colors -- is also giving way to a curvier, more stylish 'M.'” The Marlins under Sherman and Jeter have "launched a marketing campaign geared toward South Florida’s Hispanic community as they try to fill seats." The Marlins had the "lowest attendance in the majors last season and have dealt with poor crowds for years" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/16). In Ft. Lauderdale, Wells Dusenbury notes the Marlins "teased their new logo for the past week with their #OurColores campaign." Each day, the team "revealed pictures of its new color palate and pieces of their new uniforms on social media" (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 11/16).

PULSE OF THE TOWN: The AP's Steven Wine noted the Marlins "chose colors found in the large variety of cultural flags flown in South Florida." The team said that the script was "influenced by typography commonly found in Latin-American culture, with a font style and accent colors reminiscent of the 1950s Miami Marlins minor league team, as well as the Havana Sugar Kings of the same era." Jeter: "We tried to capture the energy and diversity of Miami. We listened to our fans. We took a lot of time looking around Miami" (AP, 11/15). The logos are "intended to look like the city's famous neon nightclub signs" (USATODAY.com, 11/15).

LOOKS AREN'T EVERYTHING: In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde writes Jeter "re-branded the franchise for the fourth or maybe fifth time in its 25-year history" on the same say Brewers LF Christian Yelich won NL MVP after being traded from the Marlins last winter. Hyde: "That sums up South Florida’s sports world, right? We lead the league in new logos and infernal regret. We watch athletes lose here and win there" (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 11/16).

Photo: BEARS

The Bears will be "throwing a party next year to celebrate their 100th season," and tickets for the festivities "go on sale" Friday on the team's website, according to Patrick Finley of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Bears Chair George McCaskey said that the team will hold a "Bears100 Celebration Weekend" June 7-9 at Stephens Convention Center. The event will "feature past and present players and coaches who will sign autographs and participate in panel discussions." There also will be "memorabilia and games for kids." McCaskey said that the Bears will "wear a throwback jersey for at least one game next year," though the team "won't unveil it" until '19. The team also "showed off a 100th-season logo that mimics the NFL's logo for its 100th season next year." McCaskey indicated that the Bears' "centennial celebration will go beyond what the NFL is planning." He added that the Bears will "celebrate one decade of their history in each of their 10 home games -- two preseason games and eight regular-season games." The team also will "donate $100,000 per home game to local charities voted upon by fans" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/16).

BIG BEARS BOOK: The Bears next spring will release "The Chicago Bears Centennial Scrapbook," by former Chicago Tribune sportswriters Don Pierson and Dan Pompei. The book "contains a rare interview" with 95-year-old Bears Principal Owner Virginia McCaskey. Pierson said that the interview "came from 14 or 15 hours of discussions" with McCaskey (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 11/15).

A few sections at Wrigley Field remain unchanged in price, but almost every section saw some increase
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Cubs for the second straight season are "instituting a modest overall price increase on season tickets," with the average non-premium seat increasing by 2.7% to "just under $60," according to Jon Greenberg of THE ATHLETIC. Four seating sections at Wrigley Field "will see modest to inconsequential decreases," while the "biggest increase will come in the pricey club box home plate seats, which are up to $178.66," a 9.5% increase. A few sections "remained unchanged in price, but almost every section saw some kind of increase (a few bucks at most per ticket) as the Cubs fiddled again with their tiering system." The Cubs also "added three new pricing tiers this season: club box home plate, field box home plate and terrace box home plate." All will be "more expensive than the sections they are carved out of." Cubs VP/Ticketing Cale Vennum said that one reason the club cut prices to some upper deck seats is to "encourage fans to try out those sections going forward" (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/15).

GOOD TO BE THE CHAMPS: In Boston, Nicole Yang notes the Red Sox are "raising their ticket prices" by an average of 2.5% for the '19 season after their latest World Series title. The club also "introduced a new price tier, called Diamond, for the six games of the season deemed highest in demand." Prices for these selected contests will "rise by an average of approximately" 10%, while those for the remaining 73 home games will rise by an average of 1.6%. The Diamond tier for '19 includes the home opener against the Blue Jays, two games against the Dodgers and three games against the Yankees (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/16).

Photo: RAMS

The Rams are "attempting to honor people involved in last week's dual tragedies" near their Thousand Oaks HQ, as the team has "donated approximately 3,500 tickets to first responders and victims, both of the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks and of fires that have ravaged" the area, according to Rich Hammond of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. Rams execs on Thursday talked about Monday's Chiefs-Rams game being held in L.A. as "being a way both to pay tribute and celebrate people." Rams VP/Community Affairs & Engagement Molly Higgins said, "As an organization, we always try to lead with our hearts and try to provide support where needed." Hammond noted the Rams on Wednesday took part in a telethon that raised about $1.2M for fire-relief efforts, and they are "still in the process of distributing tickets to law-enforcement agencies, fire departments, schools, the American Red Cross and other outlets impacted by the tragedies." Higgins said that she has "daily conversations with the American Red Cross and other organizations, in order to get updates on how the team can most effectively provide support." Hammond noted Rams players have also been "encouraged to do outreach." OT Andrew Whitworth "donated his most recent game-week check to a fund for the shooting victims," and P Johnny Hekker last week "visited with first responders" (OCREGISTER.com, 11/15).

The Falcons for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys will host 64 Gold Star families from across the U.S., each of whom have lost a family member while serving in the U.S. military. The families will stay in team housing at the Falcons' Flowery Branch HQ and training facility, said AMB Sports & Entertainment VP/Community Relations Chris Millman. The Falcons are also paying for their travel costs. The families will be partnered with Falcons players for weekend events and hosted by suite holders in premium areas at Mercedes-Benz Stadium during the game. Millman: “Every single family will be assigned a player on our roster, and every player will wear the initials of that fallen hero on their helmet for the game.” Millman, got the idea of honoring fallen heroes idea from NASCAR. Falcons coach Dan Quinn’s foundation, which has a big focus on veterans and military families, is financing much of the Gold Star events, including hosting a welcome dinner. The team also held military appreciation events earlier this month at Ft. Benning and Dobbins Air Reserve Base and hosted a separate VIP dinner for 12 Gold Star wives.