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LAIM is the Name

LaimcenterIn case you haven't heard, the Panthers say they are going to tone down the in-house ads during games, going to consolidate advertisers. Of course, that must mean having three different financial institutions represented somewhere in the arena.

But I digress. I'm going to give the SSE people the benefit of the doubt. That doesn't mean I won't be paying attention. Today the Panthers play host to Chicago in the first preseason game of the season. While there will be changes to the in-house production once Opening Night gets here, we should have a good feel for how things are going to go.

So here is my take on things from the newly branded LessAdsIsMore (LAIM) Center somewhere near Plantation.

-- Checking out the ads here at LAIM Center and noticed there are three banking institutions vying for your business. There is, of course, the bank that sponsors the arena; then there is NationalCity, a bank popular in the midwest and an official sponsor of your Cleveland Browns; and also, for those who like credit unions -- or even Credit Union Centres -- there is the Eastern Financial District. Sounds like some conflicting interests there.

-- The dumb Celine Dion banner remains hanging in the rafters, yet still no state of Florida flag to represent the, drum roll, FLORIDA Panthers. Send in the canoes.

-- Time to update the NHL banners too. Of the 30 teams represented, six of the logos are outdated -- although a few (Boston, TBay) only slightly. Some (Ducks, Sabres, Coyotes) obviously.

-- Spirit Airlines has a new logo, looks a lot like the new/retro Washington Capitals logo. Actually, Spirit's logo should be a long, long line of people trying to check in/check bags.

-- Hyundai is a new sponsor this year, replace the ToyotaThon folks. I always liked when Hyundai sponsored the TNT basketball postgame and made Charles Barkley wedge himself into the backseat of a Sonata. Good stuff.

-- Speaking of sponsors, it looks like the Miami Herald is back for another year. That has nothing to do with me and has nothing to do with how we cover this team and/or organization. Believe that. That's a marketing move, plain and simple.

-- One of the skits shows Stanley C. Panther called into his boss' office and being told he'll be fired if he doesn't take show up to all of his many appearences. That's pretty funny since the Panthers really did fire the dude who has been Stanley the past decade (and it wasn't because he didn't make all his appearences. He apparently made too much money.) The new Stanley seems OK, haven't seen him/her skate yet (don't know if he/she knows how too).

-- Early in the second period and I must say the ads do indeed seem to have been toned down. A lot more music and such in between breaks, not just commercials. Enjoying it.

-- Again, this could all change in a hurry come Oct. 6.