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MY360

MY360: Three Days And Counting

Wednesday, 10.13.2010 / 6:27 PM / Blogs
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MY360: Three Days And Counting
As amazing as it sounds, we are just three days away from Florida Panthers Opening Night 2010 at the BankAtlantic Center. It seems like just yesterday when we were beginning what turned out to be one of the most successful offseasons in the history of this franchise.
 
With the announcement of Cliff Viner as sole General Partner, the hiring of General Manager Dale Tallon and his subsequent remaking of the hockey operations department, the 2010 NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles, and the innovative ticket promotions that helped draw attention to Panthers hockey over the Summer months, it’s amazing what we’ve been able to accomplish since the season ended last April.
 
But now, our attention turns to the action on the ice. The Panthers have already begun the regular season with a three-game road trip through Western Canada, and though the Cats are 0-2-0 thus far, fans have to be excited about the passion and effort they’ve seen in those two losses to Vancouver and Edmonton.
 
Tomorrow night we finish up our road trip in Calgary, before returning home for the big Opening Night “Blue Out” vs. Tampa Bay on Saturday. It’s going to be quite a show. Ford will be distributing blue rally towels at the game and all fans are encouraged to wear their blue to match our players in their third jerseys and our new staff uniforms.
 
Also, with a revamped game presentation that includes everything from the opening video – which may be the best in franchise history – to a new public address announcer, in-arena hosts, and Panthers Ice Dancers, there’s no experience quite like a home game at the BankAtlantic Center. In addition, the outdoor JetBlue Tarmac is going to be fully activated with the Panthers Party Patrol, inflatables, Party Mobiles, performers and more. Personally, I’m looking forward to the “Blue Out” spectacle.
 
I’m also looking forward to seeing this young energetic team up close in a regular season game. With only three home games in October – including South Florida Hockey Den Of Honor Bill Torrey Tribute Night on Oct. 23 – Opening Night is one of the few opportunities for fans to catch live Panthers action over the next month.
 
If fans are looking for a great atmosphere to watch a Cats game on Fox Sports Florida, look no further than Duffy’s Sports Grill, which airs every televised Panthers game and also hosts Panthers watch parties – the next one being on Oct. 30 at the Ft. Lauderdale Duffy’s location.
 
While the action heats up on the ice, there is plenty to get excited about off the ice as well. The Florida Panthers Foundation is just off it’s hugely successful, sold out Face Off Luncheon last Monday, Oct. 4. The Luncheon raised more than $165,000 to support the fight against pediatric cancer, while the Foundation is now turning its attention toward its Golf Tournament on Dec. 13. (Call 954.835.7715 if you’re interested in participating).
 
Also next week, the Florida Panthers Foundation and the Broward Health Foundation will make a major announcement in support of the fight against pediatric cancer. The announcement is a major step for our organization and its commitment to the South Florida community.
 
On the concert side of our business, the momentum continues as the BankAtlantic Center was recently ranked the No. 12 building in the United States by Pollstar – breaking the top 15 for the fourth time in the last six rankings. The “Center Of It All” continues to draw some of the world’s best tours including the sold out Shakira show in late September, and upcoming performances from Roger Waters, Eagles, Barry Manilow and Lady Gaga.
 
For now, though, there’s no bigger show in South Florida than Panthers Opening Night on Saturday. 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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