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MY360: Bowled Over

Monday, 02.08.2010 / 7:04 PM / Blogs
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MY360: Bowled Over
Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints for capping off an incredible story with a win in last night’s Super Bowl. I know it was a special, emotional victory for the people of New Orleans and the entire state of Louisiana who have been through so much and faced such enormous tests over the last few years. Kudos too to the Indianapolis Colts, who were one half of one of the best Super Bowl matchups in recent memory, and had a heck of a season in their own right.
 
Last night’s big game was the conclusion of an absolutely breathtaking period of sports and entertainment in South Florida with concerts, events and parties that built a crescendo of an excitement that has only recently subsided.
 
The BankAtlantic Center was a big part of that excitement last week, with a trio of hockey games and incredible performances from John Mayer on Thursday and comedian Dane Cook on Saturday.
 
But the excitement doesn’t stop here for the “Center of it All.” Superstar and entertainment icon Jay-Z is next on the BankAtlantic Center’s concert docket, bringing his renowned live show to Sunrise on Saturday, Feb. 20.
 
Jay-Z is just part of a diverse schedule of huge upcoming shows including Jimmy Buffett, Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Michael Buble' and more. In addition, for those of you that were wowed by The Who’s spectacular halftime performance last night, Roger Daltry will be a special guest of rock icon Eric Clapton during his performance at the BankAtlantic Center on March 11.
 
Also this week, your Florida Panthers will play their final three games before the Olympic break, as they look to better their playoff position before the stretch run begins in earnest in early March.
 
After a road matchup with rival Carolina tomorrow night, the Cats will return home for two huge home games against former Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday and against fellow playoff contender Boston on Saturday night.
 
Tickets are still available for both home games by calling 954-835-PUCK or logging on to FloridaPanthers.com. And for any families struggling to find a babysitter on Panthers gamenight, please remember that the Learning Experience Club House For Kids is open inside the BankAtlantic Center and ready to help you enjoy a worry free evening of Cats hockey.
 
Also, for season ticket holders out there, here’s a reminder that your renewal deadline, and your last chance to capitalize on the free upgrade and other benefits, is this Saturday, Feb. 13. In our Town Hall Meeting with fans last Friday, many of you expressed some thoughts and comments about our renewal program, so I would urge you again to contact your ticket sales representative to address all the issues concerning your account.
 
Speaking of the Town Hall Meeting, for those of you who joined myself and Panthers Managing Partners Cliff Viner and Stu Siegel, it was yet another opportunity to have an open dialogue with our owners about the present and future of this franchise.
 
A couple things stood out to me. The first was that the fans that were in attendance greatly appreciated the level of accessibility that Stu and Cliff have brought to the table since they were announced as Managing Partners in November. The second was that our fans are passionate and dedicated people, and while they may harbor a number of frustrations about our team and our business, they love the experience of coming to Panthers games and they desperately want their Panthers to be successful.
 
I left the meeting touched by the pride and emotion that was on display from some of our most fervent supporters, and motivated to do whatever I could to give those fans what they want and deserve.
 
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, the Florida Panthers and the BankAtlantic Center, 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, the SSE Media Network 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. Under his leadership, the organization has retained his mantras of “dream big, dare to fail” and “anything is possible.”
 
In addition, Yormark has overseen dramatic improvements to the BankAtlantic Center in the last few years including two Las Vegas-style outdoor marquees’ and two huge Lobby Vision LED boards inside the arena’s lobby. He has also spearheaded an innovative sponsorship activation strategy that included the unprecedented venue naming rights partnership with BankAtlantic in 2005, the creation of his Brand Activation Team and the development of the Publix Kids Korner, IT’s Sugar Sweet Spot, groundbreaking Learning Experience Club House For Kids, and various other branded destinations that are the first of their kind in the professional sports industry.
 
Yormark has been consistently recognized for his tireless work ethic, creative philosophies and renowned leadership 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 Business Journal’s Business of the Year Award Nomination, profiles in Newsweek magazine, Sports Illustrated, American Way Magazine and on CNBC, one of the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Most Influential People, a top 12 worldwide ranking for the BankAtlantic Center in Pollstar Magazine for 2009, 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 City of 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.
 
Before joining SSE, Yormark spent four seasons with Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Tampa Bay Lightning, most recently as Executive Vice President, where he was a Tampa Bay Business Journal Forty Under 40 Award Winner and brokered the naming rights partnership that saw the Ice Palace become the St. Pete Times Forum. He has also served as Vice President of Integrated Sales and Broadcasting for the Columbus Blue Jackets. He began his professional career in corporate sponsorship sales with the New York Yankees and eventually joined the media rep firm Katz Communications in New York City, where he oversaw sports sponsorship sales for their affiliated television stations. From there, Yormark joined Front Row Communications, the marketing and broadcasting arm of Wayne Huizenga's sports holdings. In four years as Vice President of Sales for Front Row, he helped rebuild Sportschannel Florida and assisted in the opening of the BankAtlantic Center.
 
Yormark and his wife Dana and daughter Sophia reside in Boca Raton.
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