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MY360

MY360: Anything But Off

Tuesday, 05.04.2010 / 4:59 PM / Blogs
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MY360: Anything But Off
It may officially be the Panthers 2010 Offseason Driven by Lexus, but thus far, it’s been anything but “off.” Less than a month since the end of the NHL regular season, and here at SSE, we have already launched a number of new initiatives and have some incredible announcements still on the horizon.
 
First, we have been absolutely thrilled by the overwhelming response to the You Make The Pick NHL Entry Draft promotion presented by JetBlue. If you’re not familiar with the program click here, but we’re giving Panthers fans an unbelievable opportunity to be part of the draft experience with a trip to Los Angeles, and inside access to our hockey operations department and our first round pick.
 
There’s no promotion quite like it in sports, and with nearly 1,000 entries already, it’s clear that Cats fans are excited about what will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting drafts in recent memory.
 
Speaking of the City of Angels, I was in LA last week meeting with a number of our entertainment partners and I can tell you with confidence that in May alone, we will announce a number of concerts and shows that will rival any venue in the world in terms of popularity and scope.
 
Here at SSE, we’re not resting on our past successes, or even taking the time to look back at some of our struggles. In a sense, it’s a new beginning. From an entertainment standpoint, our attitude is that we have to prove ourselves again that the BankAtlantic Center is one of the premier venues of its kind in the world. On the hockey side, we’ve already started looking forward to an incredible draft, the start of free agency, and Opening Night 2010. Even internally, we’ve turned the page and are encouraging our staff to shed the burdens and pressures of this past season, and come to work with a new attitude, fresh energy, and a level of excitement as if they are just starting anew in the sports and entertainment business.
 
Thus far, the results have been extraordinary. Its still early in the offseason, but we are already having incredible success with ticket, sponsor and premium seating renewals, an incredible hit list of shows is set to be announced, and the entire company is excited about some of our new initiatives including You Make The Pick presented by JetBlue, the Panthers 4th Period 2010 Offseason Driven by Lexus, and more. In addition, our game presentation department is working hard to revamp the in-game theme for next season, aligning it with new partner Party City, and ensuring that the Panthers and the BankAtlantic Center offer the best live sports experience in South Florida. It will be a party every night at the ‘Center of it All’ next season.
 
Also, as part of an ever-increasing effort to support the South Florida community that in turn supports this franchise, every person within our organization will now donate at least 10 hours of community service each year, with executives donating 20-plus hours. Quite frankly, our staff’s response to this recent community commitment has made me exceptionally proud to be SSE’s President & COO. Every employee I’ve spoken to has told me how excited they are that they and every one of their co-workers will have the opportunity to give back to the community that they hold so dear. Beyond that, it’s important to show South Florida that the Panthers organization appreciates all the support it receives, and is willing to go beyond the call of duty to return that support in kind. In that same vein, we are working diligently to overhaul our community relations, Panthers Foundation and fan development initiatives to better support our community in the future through charitable efforts, as well as growing youth hockey.
 
Moving forward, we’re less than two months from the NHL Entry Draft on June 25 and the countdown is on. Check back to FloridaPanthers.com every day for new, fresh content on draft-eligible prospects, Panthers related news and more. In addition, hopefully you are enjoying what has so far been an exciting Stanley Cup playoffs. My Cup finals picks (Pittsburgh vs. San Jose) are still alive, are yours?
 
Thanks for reading, please e-mail any comments or suggestions to YormarkM@sselive.com 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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