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MY360

MY360: The Countdown Is On

Wednesday, 09.08.2010 / 5:58 PM / Blogs
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MY360: The Countdown Is On
Today, we are just 38 days from Florida Panthers Opening Night 2010 at the BankAtlantic Center, and for Cats fans and everyone within our organization, the countdown is most definitely on.
 
Preseason festivities begin in earnest this weekend when Panthers Rookie Camp opens at the Saveology.com Iceplex on Saturday. Many of the Cats’ future stars such as defenseman Erik Gudbranson and goalie Jacob Markstrom will do medical and fitness testing on Saturday, and then take the ice for the first official practice of the season on Sunday, Sept. 12.
 
I would encourage all of our fans to visit the Iceplex to get a glimpse of our franchise’s bright future, and maybe to get a few autographs as well. New General Manager Dale Tallon has moved quickly to put his blueprint in to place, and many of the rookies that will take the ice this weekend are part of that plan.
 
Then, next week, fans will get a chance to see our youngsters in real game action during two rookie contests against Nashville on Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 16 at noon.
 
After that, our veterans and current stars like Tomas Vokoun, Stephen Weiss and David Booth will take center stage for main camp. They’ll take the ice for their first official practice on Saturday, Sept. 18 and then for the Blue vs. White scrimmage during Hockey Day In South Florida on Sunday, Sept. 19.
 
In addition, Panthers head coach Pete DeBoer will be running a free coaches symposium at the Iceplex, while the Panthers Party Patrol, Foundation and Ice Dancers will be on hand with various activities and initiatives. All told, it’s going to be an incredible weekend for all of our fans, partners and supporters.
 
This year, our fans will have more access to our players during training camp than ever before, thanks to a conducive practice and game schedule that will see our team spend most of the preseason in South Florida – something that hasn’t happened in the last six years.
 
Also this year, Florida Panthers Training Camp 2010 is being sponsored by the Eagles – the superstar American rock band that will play an exclusive show at the BankAtlantic Center on Oct. 8, two days before the Cats season opener at Edmonton, and eight days before Opening Night at the BankAtlantic Center.
 
Florida Panthers Training Camp 2010 Welcomes Eagles is an unprecedented marketing partnership in the history of sports and entertainment, with a concert taking the presenting sponsorship of a sports team initiative. Not only is it an example of SSE’s innovation and creativity in activating brands, but it’s also indicative of the diverse and comprehensive way in which we view and run our organization.
 
We view ourselves as an international sports and entertainment company, and, in addition to Panthers Training Camp, we remain focused on an incredible upcoming schedule for the “Center of it All” including Disney On Ice, two Roger Waters concerts, Shakira, and of course, the Eagles.
 
Over the last few months, both VP of Event Programming Matt Bell and I have met with some of the industry’s top promoters, managers and agents,  and I can assure you there will be a host of extraordinary concerts and shows heading our way in the coming months.
 
But for now, like many of you, I’m looking forward to spending some time at the Saveology.com Iceplex this weekend, as Panthers hockey is officially back in action.
 
Thanks for reading and go Cats.
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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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