First, we have been absolutely thrilled by the overwhelming response to the You Make The Pick NHL Entry Draft promotion presented by JetBlue. If you’re not familiar with the program click here
, but we’re giving Panthers fans an unbelievable opportunity to be part of the draft experience with a trip to Los Angeles, and inside access to our hockey operations department and our first round pick.
There’s no promotion quite like it in sports, and with nearly 1,000 entries already, it’s clear that Cats fans are excited about what will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting drafts in recent memory.
Speaking of the City of Angels, I was in LA last week meeting with a number of our entertainment partners and I can tell you with confidence that in May alone, we will announce a number of concerts and shows that will rival any venue in the world in terms of popularity and scope.
Here at SSE, we’re not resting on our past successes, or even taking the time to look back at some of our struggles. In a sense, it’s a new beginning. From an entertainment standpoint, our attitude is that we have to prove ourselves again that the BankAtlantic Center is one of the premier venues of its kind in the world. On the hockey side, we’ve already started looking forward to an incredible draft, the start of free agency, and Opening Night 2010. Even internally, we’ve turned the page and are encouraging our staff to shed the burdens and pressures of this past season, and come to work with a new attitude, fresh energy, and a level of excitement as if they are just starting anew in the sports and entertainment business.
Thus far, the results have been extraordinary. Its still early in the offseason, but we are already having incredible success with ticket, sponsor and premium seating renewals, an incredible hit list of shows is set to be announced, and the entire company is excited about some of our new initiatives including You Make The Pick presented by JetBlue, the Panthers 4th Period 2010 Offseason Driven by Lexus, and more. In addition, our game presentation department is working hard to revamp the in-game theme for next season, aligning it with new partner Party City, and ensuring that the Panthers and the BankAtlantic Center offer the best live sports experience in South Florida. It will be a party every night at the ‘Center of it All’ next season.
Also, as part of an ever-increasing effort to support the South Florida community that in turn supports this franchise, every person within our organization will now donate at least 10 hours of community service each year, with executives donating 20-plus hours. Quite frankly, our staff’s response to this recent community commitment has made me exceptionally proud to be SSE’s President & COO. Every employee I’ve spoken to has told me how excited they are that they and every one of their co-workers will have the opportunity to give back to the community that they hold so dear. Beyond that, it’s important to show South Florida that the Panthers organization appreciates all the support it receives, and is willing to go beyond the call of duty to return that support in kind. In that same vein, we are working diligently to overhaul our community relations, Panthers Foundation and fan development initiatives to better support our community in the future through charitable efforts, as well as growing youth hockey.
Moving forward, we’re less than two months from the NHL Entry Draft on June 25 and the countdown is on. Check back to FloridaPanthers.com every day for new, fresh content on draft-eligible prospects, Panthers related news and more. In addition, hopefully you are enjoying what has so far been an exciting Stanley Cup playoffs. My Cup finals picks (Pittsburgh vs. San Jose) are still alive, are yours?
Thanks for reading, please e-mail any comments or suggestions to YormarkM@sselive.com and go Panthers.