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MY360

MY360: A Palpable Buzz

Monday, 09.12.2011 / 10:17 AM / Blogs
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MY360: A Palpable Buzz
Greetings Panthers fans. I for one am excited to say that hockey has officially returned to South Florida with Florida Panthers Rookie Camp beginning this past weekend. There’s been a palpable buzz around the Saveology.com Iceplex over the last few days, particularly last night when nearly 2,000 Cats fans packed the Stadium Rink to watch the Panthers rookies take on a rookie team from the rival Tampa Bay Lightning.
 
Of course, foremost on our minds yesterday was the 10th anniversary of 9/11, as well as the tragic and recent loss of so many members of the hockey family, specifically in last week’s KHL plane crash.
 
Among those that were lost recently were members of the Panthers family including Wade Belak, Ruslan Salei, Alexander Karpovtsev and Karlis Skrastins. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the people and families affected by these tragedies.
 
While sports can do little to dull the pain of these losses, they can be a needed distraction, particularly in tough times. And last night was an exciting time for Panthers fans as many of the Cats’ stars of the future took an exciting 4-2 win over the Lightning rookies.
 
There was talent in abundance on display including the offensive skills of 2011 No. 3 overall pick Jonathan Huberdeau, the defensive tenacity of 2010 No. 3 overall pick Erik Gudbranson, and the solid goaltending of Swedish netminder Jacob Markstrom. Clearly the Panthers prospect cupboard is full of incredible talent thanks to the work of General Manager Dale Tallon and his brilliant scouting staff.
 
Rookie camp will continue for the next four days including a pair of noon games against Nashville on Tuesday and again versus Tampa on Wednesday at the Iceplex. On Saturday the rookies will give way to the veterans as new Cats such as Brian Campbell, Kris Versteeg and Scottie Upshall take the ice for their first official practice as part of Training Camp Presented By Sheets Energy Strips.
 
It was an incredible offseason for our organization with the acquiring of ten new players and the hiring of new head coach Kevin Dineen, and I am sure that our fans are excited to finally see what this team looks like on the ice together. They will get their first true glimpse of game action during Hockey Day In South Florida on Monday, Sept. 19 when the Cats host a historic preseason doubleheader against the visiting Nashville Predators at the BankAtlantic Center.
 
It’s going to be an incredible atmosphere that takes last year’s Hockey Day In South Florida to the next level with two games and a bevy of interactive games, autograph and meet and greet opportunities and more.
 
As we continue to count the days until the Panthers season opener on Oct. 8 at the Islanders, and finally Opening Night on Oct. 15 against Tampa, it’s hard for me to remember a more exciting and more anticipated Cats season than this one. For that, we have our fans to thank, but also the leadership and vision of our owner Cliff Viner, as well as the incredible blueprint that was put in place and activated by General Manager Dale Tallon and his staff.
 
I can literally feel the excitement growing each and every day with our staff, our fans, our partners, and everyone that’s involved with this organization. It has the feeling of a wonderful and historic time to be close to the Florida Panthers franchise, and I for one am excited to be a part of it. I hope you are too.
 
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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