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MY360

MY360: A Perfect Weekend

Monday, 04.01.2013 / 11:30 AM / Blogs
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MY360: A Perfect Weekend

Sometimes, even in the hectic world of professional sports and entertainment you have a few days where it seems like everything goes right. For us here at the Florida Panthers and the BB&T Center, this past weekend was one of those times.
 
Our Panthers recorded a pair of thrilling home victories in front of big crowds, while sandwiched in between, the BB&T Center hosted a sold out Maroon 5 concert. It was an exciting time for all of our guests and partners as well as our staff and the challenge now is to continue repeating that feat.
 
But it’s certainly motivating. Watching our team, led largely by a core of young players, fight back to beat Buffalo in a shootout on Thursday, and then comeback to beat New Jersey in overtime on Saturday, was inspiring.
 
It’s been a challenging year for our Cats in terms of wins and losses but the silver lining continues to be the play of our youngsters such as rookie of the year candidate Jonathan Huberdeau, Drew Shore. Jacob Markstrom, Shawn Matthias, Dmitry Kulikov, Erik Gudbranson and others.
 
Despite our position in the standings, our guys continue to battle every night and over the last two games they have entertained over 35,000 fans with an exciting style of play and never-say-die attitude. It’s thrilling to watch and only bodes well for the future.
 
Another positive sign for the bright future of this franchise are the prospects we have playing in amateur hockey at the moment. The Panthers had seven players in the 16-team NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament when it began and Cats prospect Vincent Trocheck became the first American since Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane to win the OHL scoring title.
 
That crop of prospects is only going to get stronger after this year’s NHL Entry Draft where we are likely to have two of the first 35 picks in a draft that is deep in talent.
 
Clearly GM Dale Tallon and his staff have put our franchise in a position to recover quickly from this injury-marred season and that is reason enough for our fans to be excited.
 
Prior to the game on Saturday, Dale even hosted a State of the Team address with non-renewed season ticket holders to talk specifically about his blueprint and long-term strategy for success. The overarching principal was that we have a bright future with the plan in place, and we are not going to deviate from that plan because of one tough, hard-luck season.
 
Meanwhile, on the business side we continue to work hard to ensure that  our fans continue to have the best experience possible every time they set foot inside the BB&T Center. Vice President of Sales & Service Ryan McCoy and I have continued hosting pregame fan forums and we have been immediately turning the feedback we have gotten in to new policies and procedures for the benefit of all of our guests.
 
Many of these changes carry over to the concert side of our business where top-notch customer service is a must. Friday’s Maroon 5 concert was a perfect example of a night when we had one of the biggest crowds in the history of the building, and nearly every guest left happy – both because it was an incredible show but also because we were prepared to make the in-arena experience as enjoyable as possible.
 
Now we turn our attention to the last month of the season and our remaining five home games. Dale has promised a hard-working and exciting brand of hockey for the remainder of the season and that is reason enough to come watch this young and talented team continue to grow and mature.
 
Thanks for reading and go Panthers.

Also, remember to follow me on Twitter @PanthersYormark as I’ll be giving away tickets to an upcoming Cats home game this week.
 

 

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ABOUT MICHAEL YORMARK
SSE President

Michael R. Yormark is President of Sunrise Sports & Entertainment and is responsible for overseeing all of the organization’s operating entities including the Florida Panthers hockey club, the BB&T Center arena venue, the Saveology.com Iceplex recreational skating and training facility, SSE Gaming, 360 Premium, and more.


Since joining SSE in Sept. 2003 as Chief Operating Officer, Yormark has guided the organization into an era of growth and success. For his efforts, he was promoted to the position of President on Aug. 13, 2007.


Yormark and his staff have succeeded in building SSE in to a world-renowned and diverse professional sports and entertainment company. Yormark has utilized his unique leadership ability to nurture SSE in to an aggressive, hardcharging and innovative company predicated on his professional mantras and philosophies such as “dream big and dare to fail” and “anything is possible.”


Under Yormark’s watch, the Florida Panthers are the reigning Southeast Division Champions and returned to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2011-12 for the first time in over a decade. The Panthers also currently boast the top rated group of prospects in the NHL by ESPN and Hockey’s Future. In addition, Yormark has reinvigorated and repositioned the Panthers’ brand in South Florida around the color red signifying passion, intensity and success, making hockey relevant in the market once again. Meanwhile, the BB&T Center is one of the top ranked arena venues of its kind in the world, hosting world-class concerts, shows and events and maintaining industry relationships with promoters such as Live Nation and AEG.


The Saveology.com Iceplex is the only triple ice-sheet facility south of Washington, D.C. and is one of the top facilities of its kind in North American featuring the $10 million state-of-the-art training center for the Panthers. SSE Gaming was formed under Yormark’s watch as a partnership with Las Vegas casino giant Boyd Gaming to develop a casino hotel resort on the property surrounding the BB&T Center. Key to this initiative is the strong government relationships that Yormark and SSE have built and maintained at the city, county, state and national level. 360 Premium is SSE’s premium seating sales and marketing arm, created by Yormark and focused primarily on selling the new all-inclusive Club RED – a brand new arena improvement built with a $7.7 million loan secured by Yormark from Broward County.


Yormark has also helped SSE develop new revenue streams by pioneering the all-inclusive arena club concept (Club RED, etc.), partnering with Boyd Gaming, signing a long-term television rights agreement with FOX Sports, extending and up-selling the naming rights partnership for the BB&T Center (most lucrative in Florida and most valuable in building history), creating dramatic revenue-generating improvements to the arena, and more.


Yormark has also heralded enhanced community involvement from SSE under the revamped Florida Panthers Foundation which donates more than $1 million in kind annually to the fight against pediatric cancer in South Florida. That community commitment continues on a personal level as Yormark sits on the Orange Bowl Committee, the Broward Workshop, Broward Health Foundation board, American Heart Association executive cabinet, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society board, and raised a record amount of money as two-year chair for LLS’ Light The Night Walk.


Yormark and SSE have been consistently recognized as leaders in the industry through awards and media profiles such as: SportsBusiness Journal 40 Under 40 Award, SBJ Stanley Cup Of Business, City Of Sunrise Business Leader Award, South Florida Business Journal Business Of The Year Finalist, Newsweek Magazine, Sports Illustrated, New York Times, American Way, Success magazine, Smart Business magazine, CNBC, South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Mots Influential People, ESPN The Magazine No. 33-ranke pro sports franchise, Pollstar Arena Of The Year finalist, and more. Yormark has also used his incomparable passion for physical fitness and 4 a.m. workouts to support charitable causes, including competing in the 2012 Tough Mudder event benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project.


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 BB&T Center.


Yormark and his wife Dana and daughter Sophia reside in Boca Raton.

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