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MY360: Around The Holidays

Thursday, 12.12.2013 / 5:00 PM / Blogs
Florida Panthers

Happy Holidays Panthers fans! It’s one of the most exciting times of the year here at the BB&T Center with the holiday season in full swing, some incredible concerts and shows over the next few weeks and best of all – thrilling Florida Panthers hockey.

 

Your Cats have won three out of their last four games and play one more home game on Friday against Washington before heading on the road for a four-game Canadian road trip. 

 

The Panthers then return home for a slew of huge home games around the holidays starting with a Governor’s Cup matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, Dec. 23 and then three games in four nights – Detroit on Dec. 28, Montreal on Dec. 29 and the New York Rangers on New Year’s Eve. 

 

It is an exciting time to be a Cats fan at the moment with our core of young players stepping up as the team has gone on a run of good form. Players like Nick Bjugstad, Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Erik Gudbranson and recent acquisition Dylan Olsen have put together some big games recently in wins over the Detroit Red Wings (twice) and Winnipeg Jets.

 

In addition, the solid play of vets such as Scottie Upshall, goalie Tim Thomas and others under new head coach Peter Horachek shows that our Cats have the potential to make a run for a Stanley Cup playoff berth. 

 

But as well all know, the holiday season is about much more than the gifts of exciting Panthers hockey and live entertainment, it is also about giving back to those less fortunate, and doing whatever we can to make the South Florida community a better place. 

 

That is actually the most important thing we can do with the notoriety and influence we wield as a professional sports and entertainment organization. 

 

In that vein, today we continued a Panthers holiday tradition of bringing players and executives to local South Florida hospitals to visit with sick children, deliver gifts and do whatever we can to lift their spirits during the holidays.

 

As someone who has been with this organization for more than ten years, I am most proud of the impact we have made in the community and the amount of time and resources, our staff, executives, players and coaches have dedicated to making South Florida a better place.

 

This holiday season is no different with players, staff, executives and Stanley C. Panther visiting three local hospitals today – Doctor’s Hospital, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and Chris Evert Children’s Hospital.

 

That is in addition to the many other community initiatives we have taken on during the holidays including a Thanksgiving feast for the Lauderhill Boys & Girls Club during the Golden Boy Boxing event, Shawn Matthias and Gudbranson hosting suite nights for pediatric cancer patients or at-risk youth, and more.

 

A sports franchise is a public trust, and it is our responsibility to live up to that binding contract by giving back to the community that gives us its passion, loyalty and support on a regular basis.

 

I am proud to say that the Florida Panthers organization continues to do everything it can to make South Florida a better place.

 

Happy holidays and go Panthers!        

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ABOUT MICHAEL YORMARK
SSE President & CEO

Michael R. Yormark is President and Chief Executive Officer 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, and then to President & CEO on Sept. 27, 2013. 


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, hard-charging 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 won the Southeast Division Championship and returned to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2011-12 for the first time in over a decade. The Panthers also currently boast one of 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.  


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 strong industry relationships with Live Nation and other major or independent promoters.


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-based Boyd Gaming to develop a casino hotel resort on the property surrounding the BB&T Center. 


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, in addition to the arena’s other clubs and suites. 


Yormark has also spearheaded a number of major improvements to the BB&T Center for this season including a new Panasonic HD scoreboard built with a $4.2 million grant from Broward County, a new plaza level floor, and new arena vendors in CSC and Park One.


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 and the Boys & Girls Club of Broward County Board, and has chaired a number of major charitable initiatives including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light The Night Walk in Broward County, the Broward County Mayors’ Gala benefitting the United Way, and more. 


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-ranked 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 a 2012 and 2013 Tough Mudder event benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project. 


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

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