• The AB Extra: May 29

    by Laura Godlewski May 2015

    This week's AB Extra features a successful marketing trend in the NBA, a new app that will take pictures of fans at the STAPLES Center during the game so they don't miss a play, and a new girls' tackle football league in Utah. 

    "Shirting" Trending in NBA Playoffs
    With the NBA Playoffs in full swing, teams are doing everything they can to promote themselves and free t-shirts are one of the easiest ways to do so.

    Teams such as the Golden State Warriors order thousands of t-shirts and place them on every seat in the arena for fans to put on once they arrive, creating a sea of one color that not only unites those in the building and emphasizes the home court advantage, but creates a picturesque image on television that teams want to project.

    Those who did not put on the shirt when they arrived at the Warriors' Oracle Arena for the latest playoff game were featured on the big screen, which implored them with messages to don the free attire. 

    "Put your shirt on!" the screen read as the camera zoomed in on those who had yet to put on the t-shirt. Once fans realized they were on the big screen, they quickly put on the shirt and the big screen read, "Thank you!" 

    “The impression when you walk into the arena and see 19,000 yellow shirts neatly folded over every chair, it tells you, ‘I’ve arrived,’ ” the Warriors’ chief marketing officer, Chip Bowers, said. “It kind of takes your breath away.”

    A Functional Bleacher Sculpture?
    The Vancouver Park Board recently approved the installation of a $450,000 piece of artwork at Empire Fields that consists of two tall, connected rows of seats and will provide at least 150 seats to people with a panoramic view of the park.

    The structure, titled "Home and Away" is modeled after the old bleachers from Empire Stadium and ski runs from the 1950s, and according to the artists from Seattle-based Lead Pencil Studio, "will be a striking and engaging addition to the diverse active recreation features at Empire Fields and Plateau Park."

    The artwork also has an element of fun in addition to providing seating for park visitors as there will be “a playful slide exit back into the park.”

    The installation of the piece is slated to be done by late this year or early 2016. 

    New App to Take Fan Pics at STAPLES Center (So they don’t have to miss the game!) 
    A new app called Fanpics gives fans attending games at the STAPLES Center access to a portfolio of high resolution photos taken of them throughout the game. 

    The pictures are taken by small robotic cameras that are strategically placed throughout the STAPLES Center. When fans arrive at the STAPLES Center, they log in to the Fanpics app and enter their seat number.

    Once a person is logged in, the camera is able to recognize where they are seated and then takes pictures of them at strategic points throughout the game, such as when a player makes an important shot or a cool play happens. 

    Fans using the app receive photos just 30 seconds after they are taken. The photos also come with a detailed description of what was happening in the moment when the picture was snapped. 

    Fanpics just received two more rounds of funding and expects to be implemented at more stadiums and arenas around the country, and in different sports leagues. 

    Girls' Tackle Football Coming to Utah
    Girls in Utah will now be able to participate in a girls-only tackle football league, believed to be the first in the country. The Utah Girls Tackle Football League was started after a highlight reel of 12-year-old Sam Gordon playing tackle football in a boys' league went viral. 

    According to league president Crystal Sacco, the rosters for the fifth- and sixth-grade teams were full within five days of the announcement that the league was formed. 

    There are four teams that will play three games in West Jordan, Utah beginning this Saturday. 

    Gordon's father, Brent, was one of the co-founders of the league. He was nervous about how many girls would sign up and said he was "super happy" about the enthusiastic response to the league.

    He added in a statement, “The best part was hearing from parents who approached me to tell me how grateful they were that we started this league. Their daughters had been begging them to play tackle football, but parents were concerned about letting them play with the boys. That’s what this league is all about: fulfilling the dreams of girls who want to play football.”

    Below is the highlight reel of Sam Gordon that gained popularity in 2012.

    Check out the news you might have missed from previous weeks in the AB Extra: 
    May 22
    May 15
    May 8

  • Is Girls-Only Football a Step in Dangerous Direction?

    by Brad Rock Deseret News May 2015

    The inaugural season of the Utah Girls Tackle Football League kicked off, literally, last Saturday in West Jordan amid high spirits.

  • Teen Suffers Aneurysm in Middle of Softball At-Bat

    by Ali Tadayon, Orange County Register May 2015

    Minutes before 15-year-old Dana Housley suffered a coma-inducing brain aneurysm Saturday, she was at bat for the California Thunder, her travel-softball team, in a tournament at Fontana's Veterans Park.

  • Program Pairs Veterans with At-Risk Youths

    by Laura Godlewski May 2015

    With the unemployment rate for veterans around seven percent, Paul Caccamo wanted to help those returning from war find work. Caccamo is the founder and CEO of Up2Us Sports, which is a nonprofit that aims to use sports to help at-risk children, as well as aiding their development. Using the framework from Up2Us Sports’ Coach Across America, a program similar to Teach For America or City Year that places people in schools or communities throughout the country to coach at-risk youth, Caccamo developed the Operation Coach program.

  • Rink Manager's Daughter Helps Special-Needs Teens

    by Megan Banta The Republic May 2015

    In the therapeutic skating class she helped create, Molly Fry and other instructors walk through the basic skills, just like in all the other 30-minute classes the ice rink offers for those wanting to learn how to skate, she said.

  • Pickleball, Bubble Soccer Catching On in Knoxville

    by Jen Parker Special to Go Knoxville May 2015

    Two old tennis courts in West Hills Park have been approved by City Council to be converted into Knoxville’s first outdoor courts for the increasingly popular (and mostly unheard of) sport of pickleball.

  • Man Guilty of Stealing $3K from Youth Sports Group

    by Nancy Bowman May 2015

    The former treasurer of a Covington youth sports organization was found guilty of theft of money from the group after a two-day trial in Miami County Common Pleas Court this week.

  • Soccer Group Gets 1-Year Field Deal, But Future Cloudy

    by Suzanne Hurt May 2015

    The future of a kids soccer league in Riverside remains murky, but they can keep playing at city-owned fields for the next year after officials with the city's public utilities and the American Youth Soccer Organization agreed to a new contract.

  • Park District to Launch Competitive 'Senior Games'

    by Sameera Luthman, Naperville Park District May 2015

    Who says games are mostly for kids? Adults ages 50 and older are invited to enter the Naperville Park District's inaugural Naperville Senior Games for a chance to compete in a variety of events from athletics to art.

  • Rec Director Hiring Brings Conflict-of-Interest Claims

    by Katie Leslie; Staff May 2015

    A legal opinion sought by a critic of an Atlanta councilmember's appointment to the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority is adding fuel to a debate over the appropriateness of her dual roles.