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MY360

MY360: A Spectacular Unveiling

Monday, 03.22.2010 / 1:44 PM / Blogs
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MY360: A Spectacular Unveiling
This past weekend was nothing short of historic for the entire Florida Panthers organization. With Panthers greats such as Brian Skrudland, Scott Mellanby, Paul Laus and Mike Hough back in town, and a mass of media, partners, fans, supporters and current Panthers leadership on hand, the franchise unveiled the new South Florida Hockey Den of Honor.
 
With the unveiling, we honored the short but rich history of this franchise, as well the accomplishments of high school and youth hockey in this region, with an incredible showcase that garnered rave reviews from every one who took the time to walk through it.
 
In each beautiful case there was wonderfully displayed memorabilia that harkened back to some of the best moments in Panthers history. The inception of the franchise, the Year of the Rat in 1996, Pavel Bure’s back-to-back 50 goals seasons, Olli Jokinen’s four-point All-Star game, the opening of the BankAtlantic Center and more. It’s hard to believe that in less than two decades, this franchise has accumulated enough resonant memories to fill a 4,000 square foot exhibit.
 
Quite simply, the Den of Honor will now be a permanent reminder to everyone that steps foot in the BankAtlantic Center, of what this franchise has accomplished, and what it is capable of. For our longtime supporters, it represents a chance to revel in nostalgia. For some of our newer fans, it is an opportunity to get acquainted with our past. And even for the media, who gathered in force for the unveiling on Saturday, the Den of Honor was a chance to relive the magnetic charge to the Stanley Cup Finals of 1996, and hope for more memorable runs in the very near future.
 
As the Panthers first captain Brian Skrudland said during his remarks to everyone in attendance, he’s looking forward to the Panthers adding a Stanley Cup or two to the Den of Honor in the next ten years.
 
But without even discussing the future, we must acknowledge what an incredible experience this past weekend was for our fans, partners and supporters, as well as the Panthers Alumni that so graciously donated their time, and their families’ time, to once again support this organization.
 
From autograph signings to radio and television interviews to meet and greets to the Den of Honor ribbon cutting itself, our Panthers Alumni – Doug MacLean, Bill Torrey, Bill Lindsay, Randy Moller, Chris Wells, John Jakopin, Peter Worrell, Hough, Mellanby, Laus and Skrudland – were interacting directly with Panthers fans all weekend long.
 
But this weekend was not just about the Panthers stars of old, but also the many people behind the scenes that worked late into the night to make sure the spectacular Den of Honor was ready for its grand opening.
 
This Den of Honor was one of those rare and worthwhile projects, that truly encompassed the whole organization. From our Managing Partners Cliff Viner and Stu Siegel who made it part of their vision from day one, to our dedicated partners that donated their time, materials and expertise, to our staff members that lent their skills and ingenuity to this massive project, this Den will also honor them.
 
It is something that should unite us all, not only as Panthers fans, but as ambassadors for hockey in South Florida. As I said in my speech on Saturday, this Den Of Honor is a time capsule for everything that hockey has meant to this region. But like the passion and excitement for the sport that continues to swell from Palm Beach to Broward to Miami-Dade, this place too will continue to grow with the moments and the memories that are still waiting to be honored. 
 
It is up to us, to create those moments.
  
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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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