Coast to Coast
NWSL Flash moving south
North Carolina FC of the NASL bought the NWSL Western New York Flash, which will be renamed the North Carolina Courage and begin play at Cary’s WakeMed Soccer Park in April, according to a Raleigh News & Observer report.
|The lounge has a private bar and buffet.
Lexus naming Jackets’ lounge
The Columbus Blue Jackets reached a multiyear renewal and expansion with Germain Lexus. The centerpiece of the partnership is naming rights to the Lexus Lounge, the arena’s exclusive dining and bar space at Nationwide Arena.
Gators look up at new ANC displays
ANC installed a new center-hung display for the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center at the University of Florida, according to a Sign Builder Illustrated report. The install was part of UF’s larger renovation and expansion plans.
Sporting KC lands on FS Kansas City
In a multiyear agreement, Fox Sports Kansas City will be the exclusive local television home of Sporting KC beginning this year. All Sporting KC matches not nationally televised during the 2017 MLS season will air on FS Kansas City, reaching fans in Kansas, Nebraska and western Missouri.
Kentucky painter creates Derby art
Churchill Downs released the 2017 “Official Art of the Kentucky Derby” by award-winning American and Kentucky painter Jim Cantrell. Cantrell is the first Kentucky artist to create the Derby’s officially licensed artwork since the tradition began in 1997. His paintings will be featured on the 2017 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks posters, tickets and souvenir racing programs.
|Cantrell’s paintings are in the permanent collections of 14 art museums in the U.S., including Kentucky’s Speed Museum.
Arena authority to be audited
Kentucky state Auditor Mike Harmon agreed to audit the Louisville Arena Authority after state lawmakers requested an examination of the organization’s finances in light of concerns about the KFC Yum! Center’s financial future, according to a Louisville Courier-Journal report.
Heat acquires stake in esports team
The Miami Heat reached a strategic partnership with the esports franchise Misfits. The partnership, with the Heat acquiring a stake in Misfits, calls for the Heat to assist in all duties including marketing, branding, promotion, retail, digital and sponsorship activation on behalf of the franchise, and to cross-promote the Heat and Misfits.
Porzingis’ block donations to be matched
New York developer Keith Rubenstein agreed to match Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis’ donation of $500 per blocked shot to the Ben Jobe Educational and Scholarship Fund for free tutoring, free SAT prep and tuition money. The initiative is called “KrisStops.”
D-League team holding name contest
The Orlando Magic’s new D-League affiliate is asking fans to help name its team, which will play in Lakeland, Fla., next season. Ideas for team names can be submitted online through Jan. 20. The first person to submit the selected winning name will receive two season tickets for the inaugural season.
Sixers, Dunkin’ partner for season
The Philadelphia 76ers and Dunkin’ Donuts reached a partnership making Dunkin’ the official coffee, doughnut and breakfast sandwich partner of the team. Fans can expect to see an array of Sixers-inspired products, promotions and special events throughout the season, including the first Sixers-themed doughnut at participating Dunkin’ Donuts locations.
Soul partners with NormaTec
The AFL Philadelphia Soul formed a partnership with Massachusetts-based NormaTec, a medical device company, to create a “Recovery Room powered by NormaTec” for the coming 2017 season. NormaTec will provide Soul players with access to its patented compression devices designed to boost circulation, reduce pain and soreness and increase flexibility.
Lacrosse ASG headed to Bonney Field
The 2017 MLL All-Star Game will be played at Bonney Field, home to Sacramento Republic FC of the United Soccer League, on July 8. The state of California will host the MLL All-Star Game for the second straight year after the 2016 game was held in Fullerton.
SANTA CLARA, CALIF.
49ers suing city of Santa Clara
The San Francisco 49ers are suing Santa Clara, claiming city leaders falsely accused the team of violating its contract, according to a San Jose Mercury News report. The lawsuit is the latest salvo in an escalating war between the team and its home city.
RFP out for KeyArena renovations
A request for proposals to renovate KeyArena for NBA and NHL use went out last week with a deadline of April 12, according to a Seattle Times report. AEG and Tim Leiweke’s Oak View Group have indicated that they plan to apply.
87ers to have STAR treatment
The Delaware 87ers reached a partnership with STAR Health at the University of Delaware that centers on applying performance science practices to Sevens players. Players will receive medical, nutrition, exercise performance and health services from STAR Health throughout the NBA D-League season.
COAST TO COAST — BEYOND THE COASTS
Cooling hats help stadium workers
Migrant workers building World Cup stadiums in Qatar’s desert heat are to be given solar-powered hard hats to reduce their body temperature and risk of suffering heat stroke, according to a Reuters report. A fan in the top of the helmet blows air over a cold pack, reducing skin temperature significantly.
UFC signs event operator IMM
UFC reached a multiyear partnership with Brazilian event operator IMM. IMM is a joint venture between Mubadala Development and WME-IMG and will oversee event operations for all UFC Brazil events as well as sponsorship and ticket sales via its TUDUS platform. UFC’s first event in Brazil is scheduled for March 11 in Fortaleza.
Heineken flowing for Man City
Manchester City and Heineken renewed their longtime partnership. Heineken will remain Man City’s official U.K. beer partner, meaning visitors to the Etihad Stadium for matchdays and other events will see a range of beers and ciders offered, including Foster’s, Heineken, Strongbow, Bulmers, Amstel and John Smith’s.
IMG on board with Bolt series
IMG will represent and sell the global media rights (excluding Australia) for Nitro Athletics, a new sports entertainment series pioneered by nine-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt. The first event, Nitro Athletics Melbourne (Feb. 4-11), will feature six national teams of 24 (12 men and 12 women) from England, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, with Bolt captaining his own team. Another event is planned in 2017, with four or five events expected in 2018 and 2019.
HNA tees off with European Tour stop
Chinese conglomerate HNA Group reached a five-year, $35 million deal to sponsor the European Tour’s French Open, according to a Financial Times report. HNA will fund a $7 million annual prize fund for the golf tournament.
For more international news, visit www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/global.