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Panthers’ parent company launches new media network


When the NHL owners were on the verge of locking out players in 2004, Panthers management didn’t want to be caught without a business plan.

Panthers President Michael Yormark worked proactively to position the team and BankAtlantic Center as more than just a hockey team and an arena. In 2005, the team’s owners and arena’s operators renamed their business units “Sunrise Sports & Entertainment” to reflect better their wide ranging company that includes the Incredible Ice practice facility in Coral Springs, which is completing an expansion; and a publications business that is revamping its Panthers Insider magazine.

“We decided strategically to position the BankAtlantic Center and the Florida Panthers as a year-round sports entertainment and media company as opposed to a seasonal sports company,” Yormark said. “Furthermore, we realized the importance of creating customized and integrated, partnership opportunities across all of our business units, in order to deliver measurable results and a return on investment for our participating partners and it grew from there.”

Last week, Sunrise Sports & Entertainment unveiled its latest venture: the Sunrise Sports & Entertainment Media Network. It’s a way to integrate and incorporate all its business units and media partners to sell advertisers, sponsors and corporations on a one-stop shopping approach to all their media needs.

What it means is SSE will work with companies that sponsor the team or arena to develop advertising, sponsorship and promotional programs across 15 different platforms all brought together under the SSE Network roof. That includes: the team; arena; game program; Panthers Insider magazine; Incredible Ice; TV broadcaster Fox Sports Florida; cable partner Comcast; radio broadcaster 790 the Ticket; outdoor marquees; the team’s YouTube channel; Facebook and MySpace pages; Twitter account and more. Read more about the social networking portion here.

“Tonight everyone in this room must face the built in challenge of these tough economic times, which is why now more than ever we must provide unique marketing and advertising opportunities that drive results for our partners,” Yormark said during the network’s unveiling last week in the arena’s Chairman’s Club.

“The timing is absolutely perfect, in a fragmented marketplace where more than just traditional media outlets are needed to significantly effect your business, we give you fully integrated sports and entertainment programming,” he continued. “Tonight we touch every available media channel through one portal.”

It remains to be seen whether the network will drive more partnerships and foster more comprehensive marketing and advertising relationships, but Yormark says the company is breaking new ground. Check out the presentation here:

Categories: Advertising (79), Florida Panthers (108), Promotions (120), Sponsorship (101), Television (35)


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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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