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MY360: Solid Sunday

Sunday, 11.22.2009 / 1:15 PM / Blogs
I have to admit, it’s a lot easier to have a relaxing, enjoyable Sunday when the Florida Panthers are coming off a three-game road sweep. After last night’s exciting 3-2 win over the New York Rangers, the Cats finished off a 3-0 roadie, and moved to 8-2-1 in their last 11, including wins over some of the league’s toughest teams such as Buffalo, Detroit and Boston.

But as much as I’d like to rest on the laurels of a streaking hockey team, there is little time to rest, as we have a “Hockey Feast presented by CompUSA” headed to the BankAtlantic Center this Thanksgiving Week.

With the Pittsburgh Penguins in town tomorrow, the New York Rangers on Wednesday, Thanksgiving on Thursday, Toronto on Friday and, finally, a performance from Andrea Bocelli on Saturday, this week is going to be one of the most incredible streaks in the history of the BankAtlantic Center.

And just to top it off, the Panthers will unveil their sleek, new third jerseys for tomorrow’s game against the Pens, and wear them again on Friday against Toronto. Having seen the jerseys myself and heard some of our player’s reactions, I am confident are fans are going to take a liking to our alternate look.

That said, on the business side, our priority is to make sure the “Center of it All” is packed all week long for these three crucial games. When it comes down to it, your Panthers are continuing to battle for positioning in a crowded Eastern Conference. With 22 points in 21 games, the Cats are one point out of eighth place, three points out of fifth, and seven points out of fourth. Overall, there are nine teams in the East with between 22 and 25 points – that’s what you call a logjam.

So this week’s games, including a Saturday trip to Nashville, is a real opportunity for the Cats to take another big step up the standings, and it’s our job to make sure they take the ice in front of a large and passionate crowd at the BankAtlantic Center.

Our sales staff is working, even over the weekend, to make sure the arena is packed, and all of our fans understand the gravity of this week’s games. And if great Cats hockey isn’t quite enough to draw our fans to Sunrise, how about an opportunity to personally meet our new Managing Partners Cliff Viner and Stu Siegel, who will usher in an era of owner-accessibility by greeting the fans as they enter the BankAtlantic Center for the games on both Monday and Wednesday night. That will serve as a fitting prologue to future town hall meetings, blogs, meet-and-greets and more.

All told, it’s going to be quite a Thanksgiving Week for the Panthers and SSE, and I hope you enjoy a relaxing Sunday before joining us at the BankAtlantic Center for all of the excitement. Thanks for reading and go Panthers.
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ABOUT MICHAEL YORMARK
SSE President & CEO

Since joining Sunrise Sports & Entertainment in September of 2003, Michael R. Yormark has guided the organization into a new era of growth and success.  For his efforts, devotion and dedication to SSE and the Florida Panthers, he was promoted to the position of President on Aug. 13, 2007.

Yormark and his staff have worked diligently to build and re-brand Florida Panthers L.L.L.P. into Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, a first-class sports and entertainment company, and to ensure that the BankAtlantic Center lives up to its reputation as the “Center of it All” in South Florida. SSE serves as an umbrella for a diverse portfolio of operating entities that includes the BankAtlantic Center, the Florida Panthers, incredible ICE, Sawgrass Live presented by BankAtlantic and the Oz real estate development project.

Yormark has built SSE into a comprehensive company with its values rooted in innovative marketing and public relations strategies, first-rate customer and client services, aggressive sales and diverse revenue pursuits. For that reason, Yormark and his staff were able to grow sponsorship sales significantly in a touch economy, maintain an average attendance of over 15,500 for Panthers games, renew over 90-percent of season ticket holders on an annual basis, and sell out all premium suite inventory (suites and clubs) for five straight years running.

In addition, Yormark has overseen dramatic improvements to the BankAtlantic Center in the last few years including two Las Vegas-style outdoor marqees’ and two huge Lobby Vision LED boards inside the arena’s lobby. He has also spearheaded an innovative sponsorship activation strategy that included the creation of his Brand Activation Team and led to the development of the Publix Kids Korner, IT’s Sugar Sweet Spot and various other branded destinations that are the first of their kind in the professional sports industry.

Yormark has been consistently recognized for his and the
company’s considerable success through national awards and exposure such as the SportsBusiness Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award, the Stanley Cup of Business, the City of Sunrise Business Leader Award, the South Florida Businss Journal’s Business of the Year Award Nomination, profiles in Newsweek magazine, Sports Illustrated and on CNBC, a top 12 worldwide ranking for the BankAtlantic Center in Pollstar Magazine, an Arena of the Year Nomination from Pollstar and more.


Yormark has also dedicated considerable time to the South Florida community including acting as President of the Sunrise Foundation, sitting on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Broward County and being a member of the Young President’s Organization.

That said, Yormark continues to expand the business and build the SSE brand through projects such as the expansion of incredible ICE and the development of the area surrounding the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise through Oz.

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