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MY360: Taking The Blueprint on The Road

Tuesday, 01.25.2011 / 3:48 PM / Blogs
Florida Panthers
I’m on the road with the team this week in New Jersey, New York and Boston not only to watch our Panthers take on some of the league’s best before the All-Star break, but also to handle a number of key business initiatives. Joining me on the trip are our friends from the South Florida Ford Dealers, as well as some of our company executives and ownership.
 
On Sunday night myself, General Partner Cliff Viner and others watched the Cats endure a tough 5-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark. Invited to our suite for the game was dedicated Panthers season ticket holder Ravi Brammer, who has followed our team to multiple Canadian cities as well as to the Northeast.
 
Though no one was happy with the loss, it was an eye-opening experience to get a true fan’s perspective of the game, of following the team on the road, and his thoughts about the future and Dale Tallon’s blueprint for success.
 
As everyone knows, we are in the first year of Dale’s blueprint, which represents a fresh start and a new opportunity for this franchise. We’ve accomplished a lot already, including a great Draft and offseason and a shift in culture and work-ethic. But this is only the beginning. 
 
We believe in Dale and his blueprint and the bright future that this franchise has in front of it. And for all of our season seat holders who have likely received their blueprint-themed renewal packets by now, they know that’s what we are focused on. Dale, Assistant GM Mike Santos and their staff know what it takes to put a winning product on the ice and achieve our franchise’s goals.
 
Off the ice, our fans are a big part of our blueprint, and making sure the BankAtlantic Center continues to feature the best live entertainment experience in South Florida. That’s why our season ticket holder renewal package includes the best value and benefits in the industry, and access you can’t find anywhere else. As part of that access, Mike Santos and I are looking forward to hosting another Coca-Cola Panthers Town Hall Meeting for fans on Thursday, Feb. 10.
 
Once again, we’ll be on hand to answer any business or hockey-related questions that our fans may have, either about the rest of this season, or 2011-12.
 
Speaking of next season, yesterday we met with some NHL staff members to go over our preliminary schedule for next year and I think our fans have a lot to be excited about. I can’t give away too much, but it’s safe to say our fans can look forward to many of our traditional holiday matchups, as well as a few other exciting wrinkles. Right now, it looks like it’s going to be the best home schedule we’ve ever had.
 
I also had a chance to sit down with Dennis Arfa, the promoter for Linkin Park, who just put on an incredible concert at the BankAtlantic Center last week. We also talked about his other clients that will be heading to the “Center of it All” including Rush, Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks.  
 
This afternoon I had lunch with Gerry Rittenberg of Party City, one of our most active sponsors and best supporters. And tonight your Cats are back in action against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden before heading to Boston to face the Bruins in our last game before the All Star break. Myself, EVP Pedro Goncalves, VP Steve Ziff and Director of VIP Services Heidi Leigh will be busy hosting a number of our constituents at tonight’s game, but we’re also hoping for a big win. As head coach Pete DeBoer has said, a couple wins before the break can do a lot for this team’s confidence.
 
Currently, the Cats are only eight points behind Atlanta for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot, but with four games at hand. A 3-0-3 home stand (9 out of 12 points), put us in this position, and two wins on the road before All-Star weekend could make things very interesting down the stretch.
 
Also, I’ll be “Tweeting” throughout both games so make sure to follow me for some behind-the-scenes updates at Twitter.com/PanthersYormark.
 
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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