SUNRISE, Fla. – As part of the upcoming “Tobacco Free Florida Week” statewide campaign, the Florida Panthers in conjunction with Fox Sports Florida will promote awareness to smoke-free living on Thursday, March 5 when the Panthers host the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“We are proud and excited to take part in Tobacco Free Florida week,” said Florida Panthers president & COO Michael Yormark. “Clearly, this is a worthwhile cause that has the full support of our players, coaches, staff and fans.”
On Thursday night, the Florida Panthers will incorporate several creative Tobacco Free Florida messaging platforms into their game presentation both in-arena and on Fox Sports Florida. One of the more unique elements will be the placement of “skeleton fans” in prominent seat locations dressed as Panthers fans with the message that “we lose too many Panthers fans each year to tobacco use.” In addition, Panthers players have taped Tobacco Free Florida Week messages that will be seen on Fox Sports Florida’s telecast that night as well as on the in-arena video board.
With the goal of getting as many as possible to pledge to be tobacco free that night, fans in the arena will be encouraged to stop by the Tobacco Free Florida table display on the concourse to make their pledge.
In addition to the in-arena festivities, the Tobacco Free Florida Street Team and Smokifier vans will be on-site that night outside BankAtlantic Center. They are traveling around the state during the week to spread the message and host school rallies featuring athletes from Florida’s pro teams. The Florida Panthers hosted a Tobacco Free Rally on Wednesday, March 4 at University School at Nova Southeastern, with an appearance by Panthers LW Rostislav Olesz.
Governor Charlie Crist has proclaimed Feb. 27-March 7 as Tobacco Free Florida Week. Floridians are encouraged to take the pledge to be tobacco free on tobaccofreefloridaweek.com.
Smoking is responsible for upwards of 29,000 deaths in Florida each year, and thousands more suffer from cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases related to tobacco use and second-hand smoke. Nearly one out of every five adults smokes, and 28.8 million packs of cigarettes are bought or smoked by youth in Florida each year.
To pledge to be tobacco free, visit www.tobaccofreefloridaweek.com.
Sunrise Sports & Entertainment is the premier company of its kind in South Florida. Home to more than 200 events annually and the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, the BankAtlantic Center was a finalist for Arena of the Year in annual awards given by trade publication Pollstar. The BankAtlantic Center welcomes more than two million guests each year and is also the home of Sawgrass Live presented by BankAtlantic.