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MY360

MY360: August Already?

Monday, 08.01.2011 / 5:47 PM / Blogs
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MY360: August Already?
It’s hard to believe that it’s already August. This offseason has absolutely flown by, but with the flurry of action surrounding the remaking of our franchise by General Manager Dale Tallon, the launch of our new red jersey and “We See Red” marketing campaign, as well as a busy slate of concerts and events, I guess “time flying” is to be expected.
 
But not only has this offseason been busy, it’s been productive. We are only a month and a half from Florida Panthers Opening Night 2011 when the new-look Cats host Sunshine State rival Tampa Bay on Oct. 15 at the BankAtlantic Center, and I don’t know a Panthers fan out there that isn’t counting down the days.
 
Thanks to the efforts of Dale, Assistant GM Mike Santos, and the entire hockey operations department, the 2011-12 Panthers will be one of the most exciting Cats teams we’ve ever had, particularly with the acquiring of original Panther Ed Jovanovski, All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell, goaltender Jose Theodore, and talented forwards Kris Versteeg, Scottie Upshall and Tomas Fleischmann to go with a returning core that includes Stephen Weiss, David Booth, Dmitry Kulikov, Jason Garrison and others.
 
Those moves, which took place largely in a two-week span in late June and early July, made us the hottest sports story in South Florida, and helped to excite our fan base like never before – all the more reason to look forward to Opening Night.
 
But we still have a long way to go. This morning I spoke to our staff about making August the best August we’ve ever had, much like we did in June and July. Right now, we are focused on preparing for rookie camp and training camp in September, which includes the Second Annual Hockey Day In South Florida when the Panthers play a historic split squad doubleheader against the Nashville Predators on Monday, Sept. 19.
 
In addition, our sales department is focused on making sure that the BankAtlantic Center is filled to capacity for Opening Night – one of the most highly anticipated home openers in Panthers history. Not only will no less than 10 new players debut on Oct. 15, but the arena itself will have a completely different feel including the new red lower bowl seats (thanks to Zimmerman Advertising), and a few other wrinkles we have planned as well. It’s going to be quite an event in Sunrise, and you will not want to miss it.
 
In the interim our organization will continue to be active in the South Florida community. We have two major Florida Panthers Foundation events over the next two months – the South Florida Executive Fitness Challenge on Sept. 25 at the Saveology.com Iceplex in Coral Springs and the Face-Off Gala on Oct. 4 at the Hyatt Pier 66 in Ft. Lauderdale.
 
We are also continuing to push toward our $150,000 fundraising goal for the LLS Light The Night Walk on Nov. 12 at Huizenga Plaza in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. You can support the Panthers Walk Team by making a donation at this link.
 
Meanwhile, the Florida Panthers Summer Blueprint Tour continues August 13 at Palm Beach Ice Works (3-6 p.m.) and August 20 Westin Regional Park (5-8 p.m.). All told, there’s no doubt we are one of the most community active organizations in professional sports.
 
On the entertainment side of the business, the BankAtlantic Center just completed one of the busiest months of July in building history including the incredible City of Sunrise 4th of July Celebration, packed concerts from Rihanna and Sade and 16 performances from Cirque du Soleil Alegria. Three Monster Jam shows in August and eight Disney On Ice performances in September will bring us right up to Hockey Day In South Florida and the first drop of the puck for the 2011-12 Florida Panthers.
 
It’s an exciting time to be part of this organization, and with even more news on the horizon make sure to follow me on Twitter at @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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