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MY360

MY360: A Youthful Excitement

Friday, 08.02.2013 / 5:00 PM / Blogs
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MY360: A Youthful Excitement

Well Panthers fans it is officially August, which means we are just over two months until the start of the 2013-14 NHL season and the Florida Panthers 20th Anniversary Celebration.

 

Of course, the action gets started well before then with Panthers Rookie Camp beginning on Sept. 5 and Training Camp beginning on Sept. 12. 

 

For Cats fans, there is a lot to be excited about heading in to this season. Although the shortened 2013 season did not go as planned, our Panthers are back healthy, with an impressive crop of young talent that is getting better and better by the day. 

 

With Calder Trophy-winner Jonathan Huberdeau, No. 2 overall pick Aleksander Barkov, defenseman Erik Gudbranson, goalie Jacob Markstrom and others, the BB&T Center faithful will get to enjoy a young and exciting team all season long.

 

Combine that youthful talent with the likes of Brian Campbell, Tomas Fleischmann, Marcel Goc, Tomas Kopecky, recently signed playmaker Scott Gomez and others, and our Cats are primed for a run to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

To add to the on-ice excitement, this year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Panthers franchise and we will be celebrating the team’s history, as well as the passion and loyalty of our wonderful fans, all season long. 

 

It all starts on Opening Night Oct. 11 when the Cats take on the same team they played almost 20 years ago during their first game in South Florida – the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

 

The 20th Anniversary celebration will be prominently featured in all 41 home games at the BB&T Center including special appearances from Panthers greats, collectible giveaways, commemorative tickets and programs, fan recognition moments including our original season ticket holders, and more.

 

In addition, the BB&T Center will have a brand new tool in the tool box in order to properly promote the excitement of the Panthers 20th Anniversary – a big and brand new 360-degree high-definition Panasonic scoreboard.  

 

Thanks to the support from our friends at Broward County, the entire in-game experience will change for the better next season, with every guest that enters the building enjoying a dynamic show unlike anything they have ever experienced before. 

 

Add the new scoreboard to our brand new plaza floor, and a renewed commitment to customer service through the “Talk To Us” program, etc., and we hope the BB&T Center experience will be the best it’s ever been this season. 

 

Having seen some of the initial concepts from our Game Presentation Director Pete Soto, I can tell you Opening Night – and every home game for that matter – is going to be something special. 

 

That said, while hockey is only a few short weeks away, we remain focused on the entertainment side of our business as well, with a huge end of the year run already on the docket including Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Stone Temple Pilots, Sarah Brightman, Selena Gomez, and more. 

 

Additionally, concert fans should be excited about this Monday when we make another major entertainment announcement regarding an exclusive upcoming act that has become a huge favorite in South Florida.

 

It may be August and the dead of the NHL offseason, but our staff continues to work hard to push the business forward, all while counting down the days to Opening Night. Hopefully our fans are doing the same, and excited to finally see our Cats back on the ice.   

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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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