Sunday, January 29, 2012

Georgia Gets Indoor Football Team - Macon Steel Joins AIF

The Macon Steel are excited about their upcoming 2012 indoor football season and will be officially announcing later this week at a press conference in Macon that they will they will be playing their inaugural season in the American Indoor Football (AIF).The MACON Steel home venue will be The Macon Centreplex Coliseum. Andre White a member of the team ownership group and teams general manger looks forward to a seven game regular season-four of which will be home games played in the Coliseum Arena-between the months of March and June.
In addition there is the potential for up to three playoffs games including the AIF Championship Game where the AIF East Champion is hosting the AIF Western Champion in 2012.
Mr. White will be contracting with the Macon Coliseum and promoting through Pro Training Group LLC, an Atlanta-based sports and entertainment marketing and management firm, of which he is a partner. Pro Training Group's marketing collateral heralds them as a company with a national reputation for excellence and with a staff with over 50 years of experience in the sports and entertainment business. White and Pro Training Group have fielded professional sports teams in other parts of the country in the past but where working to get closer to the State of Georgia and Macon was a perfect fit. The Steel will announce their head coach and unveil their new team logo at an upcoming press conference.Upon the formal announcement the team will begin season ticket sales and 2012 corporate sponsorship packets.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Spokane Arena Selected as Rowdiest In AFL History

The Arena Football League announced that the Spokane Arena, home of the Spokane Shock, was selected in an online vote as the Rowdiest Arena in the 25-year history of the league. Spokane captured 18% of the 400 votes collected on
During its two seasons in the AFL, Spokane has maintained a 13-4 record on its home turf, including an ArenaBowl Championship in 2010.
"There is no question that our fans have had a favorable impact on our games," Head Coach Andy Olson said. "Spokane Shock fans define 'home field advantage' and we use it every game. I can't wait to see our fans pack the Arena for this upcoming season starting on Opening Night, March 12th."

Philadelphia Soul Partner to 'Stand Up' for Child Victims of Sexual Abuse

The Philadelphia Soul, Greater Media's Philadelphia-based radio stations (including WMGK 102.9 FM, WMMR 93.3 FM, WBEN 95.7 FM, WPEN 950 AM, WPEN-FM 97.5 FM) and the Philadelphia Children's Alliance announce a unique partnership that will unite them in engaging Soul fans and radio station listeners in an historic effort to bring healing and justice to child victims of sexual abuse. On Monday, January 30th, they will launch the STAND UP Radio Rally - a one day awareness campaign created in response to recent and troubling headlines related to the sexual abuse of children.
"With recent headlines dominated by very public reports of child sexual abuse, we were inspired by the positive work of the Philadelphia Children's Alliance on behalf of children in our city who are victims. Our organizations are joining together to ask people to stand up and take a pledge to report abuse," said ESPN Monday Night Football broadcaster and Soul co-majority owner, Ron Jaworski, "And, that is the first step toward healing and justice for these children."
In an Op-Ed piece written by Philadelphia Children's Alliance Executive Director Chris Kirchner in November 2011, readers were asked to take this pledge, "If I see, hear, suspect, or in any way become aware that a child is being abused, I will not keep silent. I will have the courage to help that child break free of the silence, secrecy and shame that should never define a child's life." That pledge inspired the Philadelphia Soul to introduce the partnership with Greater Media on behalf of PCA.
"It is our goal to not only raise a significant amount of money for the Philadelphia Children's Alliance on Monday, but to also create a heightened sense of awareness of this important issue and provide direction for our listeners on how to take a stand against child sexual abuse," said Paul Blake, Greater Media Philadelphia's Vice President of Sales.
"We feel incredibly supported and excited by this opportunity, most especially for the children and families whose lives will be strengthened and improved because of our partnership with Philadelphia Soul, Greater Media and the 2.6 million listeners who are going to learn about this issue in a whole new way," said Jan Hatchard, Director of Development for the Philadelphia Children's Alliance. "We are proud to partner with these two outstanding organizations and grateful that they are stepping up and standing up in such a positive, and impactful way."
On Monday, January 30, Greater Media Philadelphia radio stations will promote the efforts of the Soul and the Children's Alliance to inspire the community to participate in support of this cause. They will be joined in their efforts by celebrities and public figures including: Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; ESPN Monday Night Football broadcaster and Soul owner Ron Jaworski; Philadelphia Eagles' Head Coach Andy Reid; Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis; former Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale; Philadelphia Eagles' Chad Hall; Philadelphia Eagles' Jon Dorenbos and his wife Julie Dorenbos; Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah; Pennsylvania Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick; District Attorney Seth Williams; DHS Commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose; myPHL17/Channel 10 anchor Steve Highsmith; ESPN's Chris Mortensen; The Roots' Kamal Gray; and stand-up comedian Todd Glass.
Tickets for the Philadelphia Soul's home opener are set to go on sale on January 30. Through this partnership, the Soul will donate $15 from every $28 ticket sold to the Philadelphia Children's Alliance. Starting Monday morning, you will be able to go to the websites of the Philadelphia Soul, Philadelphia Greater Media or Philadelphia Children's Alliance to learn more on how you can support the cause.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dan Gilbert's Cavaliers Buys Arena Football League's Cleveland Gladiators

For a 50th birthday present, Dan Gilbert bought himself an Arena Football League franchise.
Gilbert's Cavaliers ownership group officially announced Tuesday the acquisition of the Cleveland Gladiators from Jim Ferraro. Terms were not disclosed. The Cavaliers are the sole owner.
Gilbert, who turned 50 on Tuesday, was absent from Tuesday's news conference at The Q. Cavaliers President Len Komoroski was his point man, seated at a table alongside Ferraro and Gladiators special adviser Bernie Kosar.
"We're bullish on the AFL and the Gladiators," Komoroski said. "We think the AFL is an incredibly dynamic product, and we're in this for the long haul."
The new ownership has no time to waste in trying to pump life back into a franchise that wandered in the wilderness the past two years. The Gladiators begin training camp in February; the first practice is Feb. 20. They open the season March 12 at Georgia and at home March 26 against Kansas City.
"As we enter the league's 25th anniversary, it speaks volumes to partner with Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers organization," AFL Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz said in a release. "It is a tremendous honor to welcome Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Komoroski and the Cavaliers organization to the Arena Football League, as they have always shown such commitment to their fans."
Among those in attendance Tuesday was Steve Thonn, the Gladiators' coach the past two seasons, who has been retained.
"I loved being here the last two years, and it's going to be even better under Dan Gilbert," he said. "I'm excited, our whole team is excited. It really is a great day for the Gladiators."
On Gilbert's Gateway Monopoly board, the Gladiators franchise is far from Boardwalk, but it isn't Mediterranean Avenue, either. It's more like Saint Charles Place -- a solid piece with potential for fun.
"This is another example of Dan Gilbert's commitment to Northeast Ohio," Komoroski said. "This is what we do: We're a sports and entertainment entity. The Gladiators just felt right, a natural fit with our vision."
Gilbert's group also owns the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League and the Canton Charge of the NBA's Development League.
Ferraro had been majority owner of the franchise since 2000, when it was in New Jersey. He moved it to Las Vegas in December 2002. After the 2007 season, Ferraro aligned with Kosar and brought it to Cleveland.
The Gladiators enjoyed a strong inaugural season in 2008, drawing five-digit crowds at The Q and reaching the playoffs. But the AFL went dark in 2009 to revamp its business model. When the Gladiators returned with the league in 2010, they experienced a fraction of their previous popularity.
Last season, the Gladiators won the East Division but generated minimal buzz. Many home crowds totaled no more than several thousand. Ferraro, a trial lawyer with offices in several cities, struggled staying on top of the Gladiators' situation -- at least not to the level he did in 2008. As a result, he approached the Cavaliers this winter.
"It's bittersweet for me because I started the franchise from scratch," Ferraro said. "I'm very passionate about the game, and I'm very passionate about the Gladiators. But I didn't have the time to right the ship. I wasn't going to move the product; it always was going to stay in Cleveland, regardless. To sell to Dan Gilbert is a win for everybody, and I know the Gladiators will thrive under him."
Ferraro and Komoroski characterized the negotiations as "smooth" and "friendly."
"I want to thank Jim Ferraro," Komoroski said. "If not for him, we wouldn't have arena football in Cleveland."
Gladiators players and fans interviewed the past few years have said arena football can work in Cleveland provided sufficient marketing, promotion and game presentation take place. Gilbert and his staff specialize in these areas.
The American Hockey League's Lake Erie Monsters are in their fifth season, all under Cavaliers ownership. The Monsters have ranked among AHL leaders in attendance. They have averaged 6,777 in 18 dates this season, an increase of more than 1,000 from the same point in 2010-11. Their game-operations people won an award from the AHL last summer.
"We will operate the Gladiators in a new, expanded way because we're able to utilize all our resources," Komoroski said. "They were already under our roof. We recognized the inherent advantages."
Former Browns quarterback Kosar and Gilbert are friends. Kosar, part owner and club president in the inaugural season with Ferraro in Cleveland, will remain as an adviser.
"It's important that the NFL guys stay out of the way of the arena guys and let them do their thing," Kosar said.
The Gladiators will move their offices from Huron Road into The Q. Phil Tesar, who has held a variety of positions including general manager since the franchise came to Cleveland, will remain with the organization.

T.O. Will Play For Indoor Football League Team

Get your popcorn ready. Former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens announced on Twitter Wednesday night he’s going to play and become co-owner for the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League.
“It’s official, it just went down, I’m headed back to Dallas. That’s right IFL, here I come. Allen, Texas, here I come. I’m going to be me,” Owens said in a 22-second video posted on his Twitter account.
Wranglers co-owner Jon Frankel said Owens agreed to terms Wednesday night and he was in talks with the former NFL superstar player for several weeks.
“(Owens) has an ownership stake. This is a business decision. I’m glad everybody looks at the players’ aspects. I can’t believe T.O. will come out of that tunnel for the Allen Wranglers. He’s a great player, a winner and I’m a big fan. I want to make the Allen Wranglers the No. 1 attraction in Collin County,” said Frankel.
Wow. T.O. going from the No. 1 WR on the Bengals to the No. 1 attraction in Collin County.
Whether you dislike him for personal reasons, financial reasons, or professional reasons, you have to accept that Owens was one of the statistically best receivers to play the game. He’s second all-time in receiving yards (15,934), fourth in touchdowns (156) and sixth in catches (1,078) for five teams over his 15-year career.
The NFL is a shrewd business with tons of younger talent to take your job. The 38-year-old Owens has been good as of late, but is notorious for poisioning locker rooms and is coming off of a torn ACL that he suffered while filming his VH1 show. It is no surprise that not a single NFL team showed up for his well-publicized workout late in 2011.
However sad this might seem, the IFL could actually be good for Owens. It might finally give Owens some humility and help him straighten his life out. On the plus side, he now can sign an commercial endorsement deal with Wrangler Jeans, right? Favre needs to throw someone those passes in the mud.