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December 30, 2010

Dolphins owner included in NY Observer Power 150

Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross ranks No. 33 in New York Observer’s annual Power 150 ranking of New York’s most powerful people.

It’s a list that ranks Mayor Michael Bloomberg No. 1, Lady Gaga No. 150, and includes politicians, journalists, actors, athletes, fashion designers and restaurateurs in between.

Other sports figures include New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter (111); New York Knicks power forward Amar’e Stoudemire (85); New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan (84); NBA Commissioner David Stern (79); Yankees manager Joe Girardi (66); Cablevision and Madison Square Garden directors, The Dolans (52); New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov (38); and Yankees co-owner Hal Steinbrenner (29).

In May, Ross topped the publication’s "Power 100" ranking of "The Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate."

Here’s what the publication says about Ross, chairman of the Related Cos., for the Power 150:

“Perhaps the single most active developer during the market's downturn, Mr. Ross builds mega-hotels and amusement parks while others put up "For Sale" signs. He'll probably snatch up those properties, too. The Miami Dolphins, which he owns, aren't so bad either.”

The publication date is Dec. 21, obviously before the Dolphins had their colossal meltdown against the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium.

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178)

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December 28, 2010

Ticket deal: $5 for UM basketball doubleheader

Both the Miami Hurricanes men’s and women’s basketball teams are undefeated at home this season.

With both teams playing Thursday at BankUnited Center, UM is offering a $5 doubleheader ticket to see the men and the women. The men play Pepperdine at 6 p.m., followed by the women, who play Morgan State at 8 p.m. In between, UM will honor former Hurricane great Tamara James. James played for the Hurricanes from 2002 to 2006 and was drafted No. 8 by the WNBA’s Washington Mystics in 2006.

The Hurricane men are a perfect 6-0 at home and the women, who play George Washington at home tonight at 7, have a 10-game home winning streak this season. The women's home winning streak is 14 straight dating back to last season.

To purchase the Doubleheader Deal ticket, visit hurricanesports.com, call 800-GO-CANES or stop by the BankUnited Center box office on gameday.


POSTED IN: Miami Hurricanes (32), NCAA (38), Promotions (120), Tickets (126)

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December 27, 2010

Stanley C. Panther listed as day to day

stanley1.jpgAccording to a release from the Florida Panthers, the team’s mascot, Stanley C. Panther, is on injured reserve. The team wouldn’t release the details of Stanley’s “undisclosed” injury, but said he suffered it “while attempting to hurdle a folding chair” on Dec. 17, during the game in which the Panthers defeated the Buffalo Sabres 6-2.

Stanley, who is in a wheelchair, is listed as day-to-day. While he will be in attendance at tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins at BankAtlantic Center, so will his South Florida mascot brethren, including Billy the Marlin, Sebastian the Ibis, Burnie the Heat mascot, and the Dolphins’ T.D. (Having played Burnice – Burnie’s wife – in a game last season, I think it’s remiss not to have included her).burnice1.jpg

Feel like sending Stanley good wishes? You can sign a giant “Get Well” card on the JetBlue Tarmac on the arena’s front plaza on game days, bring your own cards, or starting on Jan. 3, send e-cards through FloridaPanthers.com.

POSTED IN: Florida Marlins (193), Florida Panthers (108), Mascots (16), Miami Dolphins (186), Miami Heat (174), Miami Hurricanes (32), NHL (56), Promotions (120)

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December 24, 2010

D Wade must foil more foes in new Jordan Brand ad

DWadenew.jpgThis time Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade’s super hero Agent D3 is late for practice in the second installment of Jordan Brand’s “Dominate Another Day” ad campaign.

Called “Escape,” the new ad shows Wade trapped in the Zen Master’s Lair, while ‘H’ (Kevin Hart) enjoys a holiday party. Instead of battling the streets of Miami as he did in the ad’s first installment, Wade uses a basketball to help fight enemies –- snakes, ninjas -- in the ad that gives nods to Indiana Jones and James Bond.

The new ad breaks during the Heat-Los Angeles Lakers Christmas Day game at 5 p.m. Saturday.


POSTED IN: Advertising (79), Miami Heat (174), NBA (139), Shoes (15), Television (35)

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December 23, 2010

Panthers offer money back guarantee on January games

goodtime1.jpgThe Florida Panthers are so confident the game experience – not necessarily the result on the ice – at BankAtlantic Center is so enjoyable, they’re offering individual ticket-buyers a money-back guarantee on the nine home games in January.

Starting with the Jan. 2 game against the New York Rangers, Florida residents who buy individual game tickets – starting at $9 – can get a refund if their experience at the game wasn’t up to snuff. To request a refund, fans must fill out a form online explaining in detail the reason they’re requesting their money back. The form allows the Panthers to capture fans’ home and email addresses -- for future pitches -- and learn what areas of Panthers games at BankAtlantic Center need improvement.

Snicker all you want about losses, but the Panthers say they are serious about providing a great game experience and, if not, a refund of the ticket price within 48 hours.

“I’m sure they’re going to be people that come in that no matter what experience we create they’re going to ask for their money back,” Panthers President Michael Yormark said. “The program enables us to attract that fence-sitter. Now I’ve given them an incentive to buy tickets.”

With the Panthers struggling to sell individual game tickets, Yormark calls the “Good Time Guarantee” a “no-lose proposition.”

He said fans who take advantage of the offer likely will buy food and beverages and possibly merchandise while in the arena, so the team benefits even if it has to refund the ticket purchase.

“I’m not sold out every night. I want to incentivize them to come out,” Yormark said. “I’m putting my money where my mouth is."

Yormark said he hopes the offer will encourage South Floridians, who’ve never seen a Panthers game live, to attend a game. He said the program is not designed for people to complain the team lost.

“If someone comes into our building and the service levels weren’t what they should have been, their hot dog was cold or their beer was warm or an usher was rude … they deserve their money back,” he said.

POSTED IN: BankAtlantic Center (30), Florida Panthers (108), NHL (56), Promotions (120), Tickets (126)

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Holiday greetings: from stadium construction to swaying palms

Interactive holiday e-cards seem to get better and better each year. Here are a few I’ve received from local sports teams and entities:

Florida Marlins: No matter how you feel about public financing of the Marlins’ new ballpark, it’s being built. This card shows you construction in time-lapse – Have a Constructive New Year, indeed.

Florida Panthers: This simple interactive card covers the full gamut of business at BankAtlantic Center.

UM: This one isn’t from Hurricane Athletics, but there’s plenty of ‘Canes and The U cheer in this card from the University of Miami’s media relations department.

Orange Bowl: This one has a Corona ad feel, but is all South Florida. Enjoy this card from the Orange Bowl.

FAU Athletics: I’m not supposed to play favorites, but check out this card from the FAU Owls, complete with Athletic Director Craig Angelos showing off the under-construction football stadium and legendary football coach Howard Schnellenberger saying "Kwanzaa" is priceless.

Meanwhile, from outside Florida, this one from the Arizona Diamondbacks looks to have been shot in one take… Impressive work.

POSTED IN: FAU (6), Florida Marlins (193), Florida Panthers (108), MLB (110), Marlins Stadium Updates (112), Miami Hurricanes (32), NCAA (38), NHL (56), Orange Bowl (45)

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December 22, 2010

LeBron 8 Christmas Day version debuts Saturday

LBJxmas1.jpgMiami Heat forward LeBron James is set to debut the newest version of Nike’s LeBron 8 on Christmas Day during the matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers. This one, called Lebron 8 V/2, is a very bright red called “Run On Red,” but still features James’ signature lion face on the tongue.

The $160 shoes launch at retail on Dec. 26. Additional colors are to be released Jan. 8.

Meanwhile, James’ shoe isn’t the only brightly-colored shoe to debut on Saturday as part of Nike’s stoplight set.

Across the court from James, we’ll see Lakers guard Kobe Bryant sporting the Nike Zoom Kobe VI dubbed “Green Means Go.” The bright green shoe features red laces. The shoes cost $130 and will be at retail on Dec. 26.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant will sport the yellow shoes in the set. He’ll be showing off the KD III “No Yield for Yellow” in the Thunder’s game against the Denver Nuggets. This one includes five lightning bolts, piano keys representing Durant’s love of music, and “BF62” for Durant’s 62 points scored at Barry Farms in his native Washington, DC. Durant’s shoes cost $88.

KB_KD_LBJ.jpg

POSTED IN: Miami Heat (174), NBA (139), Shoes (15)

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New D Wade Charles Barkley T-Mobile ads break Christmas Day

dwade1.jpgIn addition to those five NBA games on Christmas Day, fans watching the games on ESPN and ABC will be treated to a couple of new T-Mobile ads featuring Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade and Charles Barkley.

The entertaining and splashy ads keep giving. These are directed by Spike Lee and include appearances by Lee, Steve Nash and Cool and Dre. They target T-Mobile’s 4G devices.

Wade stars in one called “Outta Here,” in which a misunderstanding turns into a modern day version of “telephone” with the sports world suddenly believing Wade wants to be traded from the Heat. Gasp.

The other, called “Chuck’s Remix,” mixes some of Barkley’s commentary into a viral musical video sensation. Just imagine Barkley’s reaction.

POSTED IN: Advertising (79), Miami Heat (174), NBA (139), Sponsorship (101)

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December 21, 2010

Tebow endorsing FRS Healthy Energy

Denver Broncos and former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow didn't go with Gatorade, but is instead endorsing FRS Healthy Energy.

Tebow joins the FRS Healthy Energy Team, which also counts Lance Armstrong among its athletes.

Tebow will serve as an ambassador for the company, appearing in ads and marketing campaigns. The partnership also kicks off with FRS donating 25 percent of the purchase of Tebow’s favorite FRS products to the Tim Tebow Foundation. Read more about the partnership here.

POSTED IN: Advertising (79), NFL (178), Sponsorship (101), UF (18)

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December 20, 2010

Fan makes halfcourt shot, wins $25,000 (with video)

Check this out: a fan at Saturday’s MetroPCS Orange Bowl Classic made the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Halfcourt Shot during halftime of the University of Miami-UCF basketball game at BankAtlantic Center.

Keith Collier of Boynton Beach made the impressive shot and won the $25,000 prize.

Check out Collier’s shot from several angles:

POSTED IN: Miami Hurricanes (32), NCAA (38), Orange Bowl (45), Promotions (120), Sponsorship (101)

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Dolphins Club LIV ticket deal with yarmulke

yarmulke2.jpgThe Miami Dolphins and Society of Young Jewish Professionals have partnered on a unique ticket deal that includes a yarmulke giveaway.

With SYJP, Jewish dating service JDate and Sleek Medspa presenting the 24th annual Matzo Ball gathering for Jewish singles on Friday night at Club LIV at the Fontainebleau Hotel, SYJP and the Dolphins are hoping to capitalize on partying Jews.

They’ve partnered on a ticket to Sunday’s Dolphins-Detroit Lions game that is 60 percent off entry into Sun Life Stadium’s Club LIV – the team’s new nightclub experience overlooking the game – and a snazzy Dolphins yarmulke.

The ticket still costs $110.25, but the team is promising yarmulkes to anyone purchasing the ticket. It’s part of the team’s effort to connect with its many Jewish fans and to take advantage of the timing of the game right after Matzo Ball.

During Hanukkah, the Florida Panthers gave out a Panthers yarmulke to fans who purchased a special Jewish Heritage Night ticket.

POSTED IN: Florida Panthers (108), Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178), Promotions (120), Tickets (126)

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Estate tax returns; Steinbrenner’s heirs might have to pay after all

When New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner died in July, there was no estate tax -- meaning his heirs saved potentially millions of dollars in taxes on his estate that Forbes valued at $1.15 billion.

While it looked like the timing of Steinbrenner's death might have helped his family out significantly, not so fast. Not only is the estate tax back for 2011 – although at a lower rate -- but Congress has approved making it retroactive for 2010. But families have a choice.

Heirs now have the option to pay estate taxes under the newly-adopted rules – a more favorable 35 percent and $5 million exclusion (compared with 2009’s 45 percent and $3.5 million exclusion) or pay no estate tax, but potentially face a greater tax when they sell the assets they inherited.

CCH explains the new estate tax rules in detail here.

POSTED IN: MLB (110), Sports Team Owners (49)

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December 17, 2010

Dolphins to hold Ford Fiesta drawing at Sunday’s game

This summer, the Miami Dolphins and Florida Lottery launched a $5 per ticket scratch-off game offering cash and prizes, including tickets and merchandise discounts. During halftime of Sunday’s Dolphins-Buffalo Bills game at Sun Life Stadium, the team and Lottery will give away a 2011 Ford Fiesta.

The scratch-off game included the Dolphins Fan Experience Second Chance promotion that allowed fans with losing tickets a second opportunity to score prizes. The second chance promotion resulted in the distribution of 500 pairs of tickets to Sunday’s game. Of those, 10 finalists will be chosen to participate in a ceremony at halftime, in which they will scratch oversized scratch-off tickets. One will win the Ford Fiesta; the others will receive cash prizes of $100 to $500.

The scratch-off program was launched by the Lottery with the Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars. The teams each receive a licensing fee and the dollars raised from the ticket sales go to the state's Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, which provides money to public schools, scholarships, community colleges and state universities. Read the story I wrote about the program when it first launched here.

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178), Promotions (120), Sun Life Stadium (24), Tickets (126)

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Miami Heat-New York Knicks in 3D

ESPN is broadcasting its first NBA game in 3D tonight when the Miami Heat visit the New York Knicks.

ESPN 3D has carriage agreements with AT&T U-Verse, Comcast, DirecTV and Time Warner Cable and is available to about 62.5 million households.

It’s not the first 3D broadcast for the NBA, which broadcast NBA All-Star Saturday Night in Las Vegas in 2007 and in Phoenix in 2009 in 3D.

ESPN 3D is also broadcasting more upcoming NBA games, including the Christmas Day matchup between the Chicago Bulls and Knicks. Check out ESPN’s full 3D schedule here.

POSTED IN: Miami Heat (174), NBA (139), Television (35)

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December 16, 2010

Ticket deal: Florida Panthers and Duffys

Duffy’s Sports Grill and the Florida Panthers are offering Duffy’s MVP cardmembers a deal that includes a discount on both Panthers’ tickets and a Duffy’s meal.

Duffy’s MVP cardmembers can get $5 off tickets to upcoming Panthers games (on Friday and Dec. 27 as well as home games in January) and a $10 off coupon to Duffy’s Sports Grill locations. The ticket deal is only available to cardmembers. Find out more at duffysmvp.com/panthers.

Duffy's forged a partnership with the Panthers in June.

POSTED IN: Florida Panthers (108), NHL (56), Promotions (120), Tickets (126)

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Juno Beach company sponsoring new IndyCar team

In October, TBC Retail Group of Juno Beach announced it would be sponsoring IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal, who had been without a full-time sponsor this past season, for the next two years.

Today, Chip Ganassi Racing announced it is forming Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing featuring Rahal. The new team is being sponsored by TBC, which includes an array of tire and automotive brands such as Service Central, Tire Kingdom, and NTB-National Tire and Battery.

POSTED IN: Auto Racing (42), Sponsorship (101)

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Miami Dolphins add an interactive BuzzWall at Sun Life Stadium

buzzwall1.jpg

The Miami Heat have their MediaMesh marquee on the front of AmericanAirlines Arena and now the Miami Dolphins have their own interactive BuzzWall on the Club Level at Sun Life Stadium.

Thanks to a partnership with Christie MicroTiles and Arsenal Media, the Dolphins are the first pro sports team to employ the giant interactive multimedia wall. The 7-foot-high wall, which is made up of 41 display tiles, can be customized with video, sponsor messaging and fan text messaging programs for Dolphins or Hurricanes games, as well as concerts and other events at the stadium. There’s a tactile element, too, that allows fans to touch the screens – wiping away sea bubbles containing sponsor logos while real dolphins swim on the screen.

The wall was unveiled last month. Check out a video of it here.

Dolphins executives see the wall as a way to engage fans and provide more opportunities for sponsor and advertiser messaging.

“Technology really provides us with the flexibility to have Sun Life Stadium take on the personality of the event and tailor it to that particular experience,” Dolphins Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Tery Howard said in a statement. “Elements like The BuzzWall are a great example of how fans can come into this stadium for a University of Miami game and see it very well branded as UM, and the next day, we can have a Miami Dolphins game and easily change the branding.”

Added Arsenal Media President Denys Lavigne: “The reaction from fans has been very positive, and we’re seeing people not only drawn to the wall, but staying to play with it. The wall shows what’s really possible with digital signage – an application that’s completely targeted to the space, and its business and revenue opportunities. This is not something people just happen to notice and watch. It’s more intimate. The wall creates a relationship and a buzz that works for the fans, the team and its corporate sponsors.”

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December 15, 2010

Nationals’ Racing Presidents crash The Nutcracker

What’s the Christmas season without the Nutcracker? And in the Washington Ballet’s Septime Webre version, a visit by the Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents?

The Presidents’ special appearance was Friday. And Teddy Roosevelt didn’t have to lose.

Enjoy:


POSTED IN: MLB (110), Promotions (120)

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Bulls fans create Let’s Beat The Heat campaign (with video)

LeBron James hate is well-documented. So is the target on the backs of the Miami Heat – after all, Sports Illustrated included the team among its 25 Most Hated Teams of all time back in July, before James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh had even played a game together.

So it isn’t strange that a “Let’s Beat The Heat” campaign has emerged online (letsbeattheheat.com) complete with theme song, promotional products, and ring tone. This campaign, however, takes a playful approach to the Heat being the New York Yankees or Dallas Cowboys of the NBA.

Warren Avery and his brother Acarren, who run Avery Marketing, are behind “Let’s Beat The Heat.” Acarren Avery, you see, is a huge Chicago Bulls fan, who took it somewhat personally that both James and Wade seemed to toy with Bulls fans' hearts and spurned his hometown team for the Heat, his brother Warren says. Yes, the brothers believe there was inappropriate conspiring that went on to bring the Big Three to Miami and they hope to rally other like-minded NBA fans across the country.

“My brother turned to me and said, ‘we might have a market here, we’re not the only ones upset,’” Warren Avery said.

Avery's a creative entrepreneurial sort, whose UniFirst company, produced and sells a Barack Obama board game called "Obama-Mania, The Race to the White House Game" online at obamamaniagame.com.

Products for sale at Let's Beat The Heat include Let’s Beat the Heat pennants, “Defeat Da Heat” bumper stickers and wristbands, and T-shirts and caps. The campaign pokes fun at the Heat’s fire ball logo with its own version that shows water dousing out the flame.

The “Let’s Beat The Heat” theme song, sung by South Florida native Rob Bond to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” and includes lines such as: “Sure you got LeBron, You got Bosh and D Wade, but now you got to lie in the bed that you made.” The video features a series of toys representing the Heat, the Big Three, and opposing teams.

“It’s all about fun,” said Warren Avery, who penned the song. “We were trying to keep it sane … don’t kill or smother anyone.”

He said stores in Cleveland are selling some of the campaign’s T-shirts. He said he hopes the campaign picks up steam.

“They think they’re building a dynasty there,” he said, “We’ll see. Hopefully not.”

POSTED IN: Apparel (55), Miami Heat (174), NBA (139), Promotions (120)

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December 14, 2010

History of South Florida sports focus of documentary

Rick Horrow, veteran of numerous sports financing deals, is behind a new documentary that traces the history of South Florida sports from the Miami Dolphins' 1966 inaugural season to LeBron James’ July 8 “Decision” to change the face of the Miami Heat. And pretty much everything in between, including the Florida Marlins and Florida Panthers.

The “Birth of South Florida Sports” debuts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on WPEC Channel 12 in West Palm Beach. It includes interviews with legendary Dolphins coach Don Shula, former Dolphin Dick Anderson, Dolphins owner Steve Ross, and golfer Jack Nicklaus, among others.

Horrow, CEO of Horrow Sports Ventures, also interviews former Senator and former Florida Gov. Bob Graham, who spearheaded the movement to create sports authorities and give them the authority to oversee the building of sports venues. Horrow, who served as founding director of the Miami Sports & Exhibition Authority, and oversaw the building of Miami Arena, said Graham understood the importance of sports teams to a community.

That’s a lot of ground to cover in half an hour, but Horrow said it’s supplemented with podcasts and the release of an updated version of his book When the Game Is On The Line.

PBS’ Nightly Business Report now includes Horrow’s "Beyond the Scoreboard” series on Monday nights. Horrow also hosts “Beyond the Game” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays on WPEC.

POSTED IN: Florida Marlins (193), Florida Panthers (108), Golf (12), Miami Dolphins (186), Miami Heat (174), Sports Team Owners (49)

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Miami Dolphins enhance social media programs with Fan Appz

The Miami Dolphins and Fan Appz, which develops social media marketing applications, announced a new partnership today aimed at expanding the way the team communicates with its tech-savvy fans.

Fan Appz, of Santa Monica, Calif., helps sports and entertainment companies extend and engage their customers and fans through a variety of programs.

With the Dolphins, the company is rolling out opportunities to involve fans more with the team and its sponsors. For example, the company has developed an engaging Facebook page for Dolphins fans “Finatics” that encourages them to watch videos and participate in polls about the team and its rivals. Polls have included “Which Former Jets Player Did You Enjoy Booing the Most?” with choices that include Joe Namath, Wayne Chrebet and Brett Favre.

Monday’s question advances Sunday’s home game against the Buffalo Bills by asking “Which Of These Games Is Your Favorite Dolphins’ Win Over The Bills?” with choices from 1970 to 2005.

The partnership is another example of how the Dolphins are keeping up with rapidly changing technology and fans’ divided interests. Dolphins owner Steve Ross purchased the company now known as FanVision to put handheld devices showing replays and different camera angles from games, statistics and other NFL games in the hands of fans at games across the NFL. Some 25,000 of the devices are used at Dolphins games.

“We have a passionate fan base that is engaged with us through social media so we are always looking to leverage the latest technology to give our Finatics the best experiences available and to provide our marketing partners a seamless way to be a part of it,” Dolphins Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Integrated Media Jim Rushton said in a statement. “Partnering with Fan Appz made perfect sense given their successful track record with the NFL and other sports leagues.”

Added Jon Siegal, Fan Appz founder and CEO: “Fan Appz is changing the way companies interact with fans online, and sports organizations like the NBA, the NFL and the Miami Dolphins are quickly recognizing the value of using social media to harness the collective passion of their fan base. When it comes to using technology, the Miami Dolphins are definitely leading the pack, and we’re proud to help them take full advantage of their social media presence to drive continued business success.”

POSTED IN: Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178), Promotions (120), Sports Team Owners (49)

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December 13, 2010

Ticket specials for final two Dolphins home games; Panthers & Marlins holiday offers

Duffy’s Sports Grill and the Miami Dolphins have sweetened their ticket deal for the team’s final two homes games of the 2010 season.

The Palm Beach Gardens-based sports grill chain is offering up lower corner end zone seats for $79 each – down from $124 – that include express bus service to the game, pregame tailgate at Sun Life Stadium, a Dolphins cap and 50 Duffy’s MVP Bonus points. The buses leave from 10 locations from Fort Lauderdale to Melbourne. The deal is available for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills and the Dec. 26 game against the Detroit Lions. Find the deal at duffysmvp.com.

Meanwhile, other South Florida pro teams are offering holiday ticket specials:

The Florida Panthers are selling tickets to the Dec. 27 game against the Boston Bruins, Dec. 31 game against the Montreal Canadiens and the Jan. 2 game against the New York Rangers starting at $10. The team is also selling Holiday Growl gift cards for $49 good for upper bowl seats and $99 for lower bowl seats at BankAtlantic Center – both for regular season games from January to April. Find the specials at floridapanthers.com.

The Florida Marlins are selling special Holiday 10-Packs of vouchers that can be used for any 2011 games and in any combination. They start at $85 -- $8.50 a ticket – for Fish Tank seats up to $350 -- $35 a ticket for infield box seats. The first 25 buyers each week of the holiday season receive a special gift. That’s a game-used bat this week; an autographed helmet from Dec. 20 to 26; an autographed baseball from Dec. 27 to Jan. 2; and an autographed Rookie Stars poster for Jan. 3 to 7.

POSTED IN: BankAtlantic Center (30), Florida Marlins (193), Florida Panthers (108), MLB (110), Miami Dolphins (186), NFL (178), NHL (56), Promotions (120), Sun Life Stadium (24), Tickets (126)

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December 10, 2010

LeBron, D Wade, Williams sisters make Forbes best-dressed list

We’re already well aware of Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade’s fashion sense – he’s been applauded for it repeatedly and was included in Esquire's Style Blog last month.

Now Forbes has included Wade in its list of Best-Dressed Athletes that includes the likes of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, soccer star David Beckham, tennis stars Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova, and Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones (who makes his own bow ties).

Wade’s teammate forward LeBron James also made the list.

As did Miami Dolphins limited partners and tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.

POSTED IN: Golf (12), Miami Dolphins (186), Miami Heat (174), NBA (139), NFL (178), Sports Team Owners (49), Tennis (8)

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Miami Heat launches shop on Facebook

The Miami Heat’s “12 Days of Heat” holiday shopping experience kicks off today on the team’s brand new shop on Facebook.

Starting today, the special online shop will feature special deals and promotions that include game ticket giveaways and other items.The team is the first in the NBA to have a retail store on Facebook.

Visit facebook.com/MiamiHeat and click on the “shop” tab. Products are specially tailored to an online audience and include designs by Miami artist LEBO, whose paintings appear on the walls at AmericanAirlines Arena.

POSTED IN: AmericanAirlines Arena (35), Miami Heat (174), NBA (139), Promotions (120), Tickets (126)

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December 9, 2010

BOWLing for gifts

With the college bowl season kicking off next week, SportsBusiness Journal has done its annual roundup of bowl gifts to athletes. The list is chock full of electronics from iPods to Xboxes and even more bowls than ever are offering “gifting suites” in which players are invited to pick out gifts up to a certain dollar value.

According to SBJ, the Orange Bowl started the gifting suite two years ago, setting aside a room in each team’s hotel full of Sony Electronics products. Players were allowed to spend up to $300.

The NCAA allows bowls to give gifts worth up to $500 to 125 participants per school. Of the 35 bowl games, at least 14 are offering gifting suites this year – and some are bringing the suites to players before they arrive at the bowl game, SBJ reports.

Thanks, as always, to SBJ for gathering the list of gifts from the bowl games:

Last year, the Orange Bowl invited Iowa and Georgia Tech players to visit a gift suite for items such as clock radios, iPod docking stations, mountain bikes and luggage sets. Players also got a Tourneau watch, New Era hat and Ogio backpack.

This year, Stanford and Virginia Tech, playing in the Discover Orange Bowl on Jan. 3 at Sun Life Stadium, get a Tourneau watch, New Era cap and gift suite visits.

University of Miami and Notre Dame players, who face each other in the Hyundai Sun Bowl on Dec. 31, will get invited to a gift suite, Timely Watch Co. watch, Majestic fleece pullover, Top of the World cap, Ogio Politan backpack, Helen of Troy hairdryer and souvenir coin.

The other BCS bowls are giving:

Rose Bowl: gift suite, Fossil watch, Oakley cap and Oakley Bugeye backpack

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl:
gift suite, Fossil watch, cap and Ogio Cooper backpack

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Sleek Audio custom earphones, gift suite, Reactor Meltdown watch and New Era cap

Tostitos BCS National Championship Game: gift suite, Fossil watch, cap, Ogio Cooper backpack

POSTED IN: Miami Hurricanes (32), NCAA (38), Orange Bowl (45), Sun Life Stadium (24)

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December 8, 2010

Fans upset when Panthers yarmulke giveaway goes awry

CatsYarmulke1.jpgLast week, the Panthers announced Tuesday night’s game against the Colorado Avalanche would be Jewish Heritage Night complete with a pregame menorah lighting ceremony, kosher food at BankAtlantic Center and a Panthers yarmulke giveaway.

The news release sent out last Tuesday said the yarmulkes would be “given to all ticket-buyers.” What the release apparently didn’t make clear was that should have said “Panthers yarmulke given to those who buy a special ticket pack.”

That’s how the Panthers amended the news item on floridapanthers.com, but only after the news release had been sent to the media. The media did not receive a corrected release.

Fans found out the hard way when they arrived at the game expecting the sweet dark blue yarmulke with the Panthers logo.

“Two friends and I decided to check out the game because one of them loves to collect the crazy giveaways that hockey teams tend to promo,” Panthers fan Caity Kauffman said. Kauffman tweeted about her experience trying to get to the bottom of “yarmulke-gate” during last night’s game.

When Kauffman and her friends didn’t see arena employees handing out yarmulkes at the arena’s entrance, they asked around. They were told it was a group sales item and were unaware of the release that said “all ticket buyers.” Kauffman saw yarmulkes being given out a few seats away, but again was told they were for group sales.

With curiosity in full swing, Kauffman went to client services, where she gave her name and phone number, after being told the team would send out some yarmulkes. She ran into at least one other fan, who was irate, and they were far from the only ones.

“All in all, we just wanted to check out the yarmulke giveaway because it was a pretty unique promo,” Kauffman said. “We only pursued it because no one at the BAC [BankAtlantic Center] seemed like they knew what was going on, and couldn't get solid answers. I'm not offended, just annoyed. It was just a promo that was falsely advertised, poorly carried out and then they didn't own up to the poor execution.”

Panthers spokesman Matt Sacco said about 1,500 yarmulkes were given to group ticket buyers, who were pleased with the promotion.

“It was for people who bought the tickets for Jewish Heritage Night group night,” Sacco said. He said he could understand the confusion, but the team quickly changed the item on the team’s website.

Panthers President Michael Yormark issued this statement: "Based on the success of the biggest Hanukkah Party in South Florida last night during the Panthers-Avalanche game at the BankAtlantic Center, we are definitely considering expanding the program in years to come. Also, any fans that were at the game but did not get a Panthers yarmulke, I'd urge you to call our ticket sales department and speak to one of our sales representatives."

Even NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman referred to the giveaway when addressing the local media before last night’s game, saying “If there’s a hat trick tonight the fans will throw yarmulkes like they’re Frisbees.”

POSTED IN: BankAtlantic Center (30), Florida Panthers (108), NHL (56), Promotions (120), Tickets (126)

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NFL owners following NHL owners into a lockout?

Among the reasons the NFL Players Association believes NFL owners are bracing to lock them out when their contract expires in March is the league’s decision to hire labor attorney Bob Batterman to represent the owners.

Batterman represented NHL owners when they locked out players in 2004 leading to cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season.

When asked if the NFL’s decision to hire Batterman was giving the NHL credit for a lockout, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman hesitated and then chuckled.

“Oh boy. I’m not commenting on anybody else’s negotiations,” Bettman said after the conclusion of the NHL Board of Governors meeting at The Breakers in Palm Beach on Tuesday. “Bob Batterman is a terrifc labor lawyer and I hired him so I can understand why other people would too.”


POSTED IN: Florida Panthers (108), NFL (178), NHL (56)

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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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