Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Hoops

Breaking news from our sports division...

Capitol Broadcasting Co. has signed on as the new title sponsor of the Holiday Invitational High School Basketball Tournament in Raleigh. This is a nationally recognized event, and in its 40th year the tourney gets a new moniker, the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational, to promote our website that specializes in high school sports coverage. CLICK HERE for more info.

If you are the parent of a teenager, you undoubtedly have an appreciation for high school sports. We have come to understand that it's not a niche. There's broad interest in high school athletics.

It touches all demographics, especially young families. Compared to pro and college sports it's uncorrupted. Nationwide, it's popularity is within a few percentage points of college basketball, and it has more fans than the PGA Tour, NASCAR and the NHL. (Scarborough Sports Marketing, Fan Rankings, Oct. 2011)

Those are just a few reasons that high school athletics is important content for our audience and a significant platform for our advertisers.

This isn't a total revelation. TV5's Football Friday is renowned (and beloved) in this region and our HighSchoolOT.com website is an authoritative 24/7 source of multimedia news and all-important scores.

...and today we are expanding our involvement with prep sports as the new title sponsor of the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational.

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News Release:


Name changes to HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational Tournament

RALEIGH – The popular holiday basketball tournament that showcases some of the nation’s top college recruits will get a new name and sponsor starting this year and running through 2016, tournament organizers announced today.

Capitol Broadcasting Company of Raleigh has acquired the naming, marketing and broadcasting rights to the Holiday Invitational Tournament for six years under a deal with the Triangle Educational Advancement Foundation, the nonprofit group that has organized the annual tournament at Broughton High School and other local venues for 40 years.

The tournament will be called the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational Tournament, named after the popular high school sports website started by Capitol’s CBC New Media Group in 2008. The tournament previously was called the Glaxo Holiday Invitational Tournament.

In addition to offering extensive web coverage, CBC will promote and provide coverage of the tournament on WRAL-TV and on its two sports radio stations, 99.9 FM The Fan ESPN Radio and 62O AM The Buzz.

"We continue to expand our coverage of high school sports. It's important to our audience and sponsors," said James F. Goodmon Jr., vice president of CBC and general manager of CBC New Media Group. "The tournament is nationally recognized and has evolved into a significant community event over four decades. It's a good fit, and we are enthusiastic about supporting the tournament's very meaningful scholarship program."

Students from 39 public schools in the Triangle are eligible to receive one of the ten annual scholarships in the amount of $5,000 that goes towards their college education during their freshman year of college. All totaled, including next spring’s scholarship program, the Triangle Educational Advancement Foundation will have awarded over $1,000,000 in scholarships to Triangle-area students since its inception.

“We could not ask for a better partner than Capitol Broadcasting Company as we continue this community tradition,” said Clayton Somers, President of the Triangle Educational Advancement Foundation. “One of the reasons the Triangle is one of the best places to live is because of corporate citizens like Capitol – their support will have a lasting impact both on the court and in the lives of young people and their families." Bill Sewell, the Foundation’s Executive Director, added “We are committed to further enhancing the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational Tournament’s local and national reputation as one of the top high school tournaments in the country for teams and spectators alike.”

Capitol’s coverage plans include radio play-by-play coverage of some games and video streaming of daily pre- and post-game shows and press conferences on the HighSchoolOT.com website and iPhone and Android mobile apps.

The 2011 HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational features 20 boys teams and 12 girls teams, making it the largest field in tournament history.

The tournament will feature recruits committed to Duke, NC State, Wake Forest, Florida, Arizona, Florida State, Indiana, Missouri and Michigan alongside more of the top 100 players in the classes of 2012 through 2014.

The four-day event will be held at historic Broughton High School Dec. 27-30. The girls tournament tips off on Dec 26 at Cary Academy.

HighSchoolOT.com is produced by the CBC New Media Group. The site reaches as many as 250,000 unique visitors a month and delivers up to 2.5 million page views a month. The site provides extensive coverage of high school sports in and beyond the WRAL-TV viewing area.

About Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc.
Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. is a diversified communications company which owns and/or operates WRAL-TV, WRAL Digital, WRAL-FM, WRAL-HD2, WCMC-FM, WDNC-AM, WCLY-AM, Microspace, CBC New Media Group and Wolfpack Sports Marketing in Raleigh, NC; WJZY-TV and WMYT-TV in Charlotte, NC; WILM-TV and Sunrise Broadcasting in Wilmington, NC; WRAZ-TV and The Durham Bulls in Durham, NC; and real estate interests including the American Tobacco Project and Diamond View office buildings in Durham, NC.

About the Triangle Educational Advancement Foundation
The Triangle Educational Advancement Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that was established in 1994 to oversee the Holiday invitational basketball tournament and to provide scholarships to Triangle area high school students. The tournament has become a holiday tradition for the Triangle community and has provided lifelong athletic experiences for players, coaches and fans.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shop 'til You Drop

Happy Thanksgiving! While I prefer food, family and football, we’re jumping on the retail bandwagon.

Attention shopaholics: Our team store is open Friday from 9-2 featuring 25-50% savings. Check out our new line of Nike gear for the 2012 National Championship Game at the DBAP.

On Monday, November 28th, the savings continue on-line. Get 25% off with this couponcode: cybermonday

Include tickets with your textiles. 2012 miniplans are on sale now.

I’m very proud of the Bulls’ retail operation. We won a season long contest among Minor League Baseball team stores.

Our manager, Bryan Wilson, and his able assistant, Casey Wasserman, received a VIP trip to games three and four of the World Series. That included tickets to the MLB World Series Gala at the Ft. Worth Zoo where they met Rangers’ manager Ron Washington and dined on beef from Nolan Ryan’s ranch.

"Both games were amazing to witness. At game three, we were there to see Albert Pujols make history with his triple homer performance. 51,000 fans were pleading with the Rangers to just walk him!

We jumped on the Rangers bandwagon, and cheered for Josh Hamilton and Matt Harrison, our hometown connection on the Rangers.

When you hear sportscasters talk about the “electricity” surrounding a big game, I always thought it was embellished, but I had chills for both games. The stadium literally shook when the crowd was cheering.

Bryan's pix: Josh Hamilton takes BP

Pujols in legendary form

I was able to live out a baseball fan’s dream thanks to my Ballpark Corner staff. They are the best I have ever had the pleasure to work with, and they deserved to go far more than I did."
Bryan Wilson, Bulls Retail Manager

Friday, November 18, 2011

Backstage at the DBAP

The most gifted photographers, in their viewfinders, see things that go unnoticed by others. A fleeting moment can be frozen in time. That's the enduring power of still images.

Chicago based photographer, Kate Joyce, visited the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in August. She publishes a monthly portfolio on her website and continues to add great shots from that summer assignment, Bull City Summer.

This November submission is a classic. Our canine mascot, Lucky Jr., rests between innings next to the upended head of Yogi Bear. I assume Yogi's alter ego is taking a bathroom break. Lucky Jr. enjoys a respite in the tunnel from August's heatwave. It's not so glamorous for these popular entertainers behind the scenes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

College Hoops Milestone: 903K

Congratz to Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewksi. He achieved 903 wins Tuesday night on the floor of Madison Square Garden and became the winningest coach in NCAA Men's Division I history. The Blue Devils beat Michigan State 74-69.

That's Coach K on the ESPN set at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in 2005. Way back then he had won a mere three National Championships. Since then he added Olympic Gold an another March Madness crown.

wralSPORTSfan.com is all over this. Click here for the story, video clips and Duke announcer Bob Harris' historic call...of the historic accomplishment...on the historic evening...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bullish on Regional Rail

In this lean, mean economy, it’s hard to tell which way the political winds are blowing.

You may be surprised to learn that Durham voters approved a sales tax last week. Some of the proceeds are designated for mass transit. And the transit tax was championed by the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, an unlikely proponent of taxation.

It turns out the Chamber was in sync with the voters - looking ahead to better times with a vision for improved bus service and the possibility of commuter rail. Congratz to Durham voters, our political leaders and the Chamber. They’re setting the pace for RDU.

Durham and neighboring Wake County share the same roads - lots of sharing on Interstate 40 - but we don’t share a vision for regional transpo at present. There is a worthwhile story in the News & Observer today about this challenge; CLICK HERE.

I suppose that I’m part of the Triangle’s traffic problem. I log over 25,000 automobile miles per year between the Durham ballpark and our three Raleigh locations. There must be a better way!?!

The DBAP is on the proposed rail line. All aboard!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fill 'er up...at 22,000'

I've been saving these October photos for the Veterans Day holiday.

If you are active duty military or a vet, please know...
We deeply appreciate your commitment to our country and your service.

The Armed Forces are a major presence in our region, and the Bulls support our military personnel each summer with several promotions and events.

The favor was repaid last month.

Our staff was invited aboard a KC-135R Stratotanker based at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro. The Bulls front office went airborne with the 916th Air Refueling Wing.

Business Class for the staff.

Bulls' Assistant GM Jon Bishop in First Class.

They cruised up to Kentucky for a midair refueling mission at 22,000 feet. Very cool.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rockettes Rock Durham

I got a triple shot of holiday cheer Thursday night as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular opened at the Durham Performing Arts Center.

This is another coup for the DPAC as Radio City comes to the Bull City through November 27th. Click here for the DPAC website and ticket info. (The Rockettes are appearing in Boston and Nashville, too.)

I know it's cliche, but this show is a feast for the eyes and ears. It's a big, rich production. Prior to Halloween twenty-two tractor trailers rolled into town with the sets and costumes.

Eighteen Rockettes kick and tap their way to the North Pole. It's exuberant, precise and impressive. A Herald-Sun story provides background on the dancing and WRAL TV5 has video:

In addition to the Rockettes I counted two camels, four sheep and a donkey - live critters!

...and I'm convinced the Radio City Christmas Spectacular features the REAL Santa Claus. Get your tickets, and I'm sure you'll agree.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Haircut and a Shave

Across the street from our very traditional ballpark you will find a very traditional barber shop.

The American Tobacco Barber Shop in the Crowe building lobby is a time machine - except for the two HDTV monitors permanently tuned to ESPN. It's a popular stop for players from visiting teams during the season.

The Herald-Sun recently discovered the shop. Read about our friends, Joyce and Scott Roberts, and their straight razor wielding sidekick, Tony Braswell.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hangin' with Aaron Rodgers

I was pulling for Phillip Rivers and the Chargers Sunday, but Green Bay prevailed 45-38. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers seem unstoppable. At 8-0 they are the only undefeated team in the NFL.

I’m sure you’ve seen the QB’s State Farm commercial. The backstory on that ad has a Triangle connection. Raleigh State Farm agent Mike Sollie appears in the spot with Aaron Rodgers.

Cheeseheads worship Rodgers, but I’m a fan of Mike Sollie! He’s a loyal advertiser on 99.9 The Fan/620 The Buzz, and he played baseball at NC State.

So, how did Mike end up on national television?

Twenty-five high performers were nominated to audition for the commercial from State Farm’s mid-Atlantic zone. The try-outs were done via a video conference. Mike got a call-back and ultimately landed the role.

He went to Green Bay in September for the shoot. It was on a Saturday - all day - seven hours and 150 takes. Mike says Rodgers was “unbelievable...a fantastic, funny guy.”

On the set, Rodgers had a trailer befitting his superstar status. Mike got a lawn chair...and his thirty seconds of fame!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Brain Game

Today's NC State-UNC football game is not necessarily the zenith (or nadir?) of the week's competition.

Thursday evening we gathered 'round the TV for WRAL's Brain Game Celebrity Edition. It was an inter-company beat down between teams from the TV5 newsroom, MIX 101.5 and 99.9 The Fan/620 The Buzz.

My sports radio peeps claimed second place. I was relieved...and ultimately impressed. Remarkably, they cleaned up well and looked just fine in hi def.

Faces made for radio!
Left to right: Mark Thomas, Mike Maniscalco, Adam Gold, Joe Ovies
and Brain Game host Mark Roberts.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Caniacs @ Capitol

An announcement from the Canes today is getting some attention…

Ten investors have bought into the Carolina Hurricanes, and that includes Capitol Broadcasting Co. Nine of the ten are local individuals/firms. That speaks to the intent: Canes owner, Pete Karmanos (who is based in Detroit) has long wanted some Triangle-based partners. That's our motivation - another way to support the market's only major league sports franchise, especially in the business community.

The local owners have a small percentage of the hockey club. The management of the team is unaffected by this announcement.

Capitol has been a big supporter of the Canes since their inaugural season in ’98 at the Greensboro Coliseum. Back then, we helped with their television package and broadcast their very first game on TV5. Today, 99.9 The Fan is the Canes’ flagship radio station.

In an interview on The Fan this afternoon, Capitol CEO Jim Goodmon reminisced about his first meeting with Pete Karmanos. The team owner got an aerial tour of the Triangle in TV5's chopper, but Jim wouldn't let them land until Karmanos committed to locate his hockey team here.

Jim was asked about the major benefit of investing in the team. His favorite perquisite: a 50% discount at the team store!

Let's Go Canes!