Erie SeaWolves, UPMC Enter Naming Rights Partnership

The Erie SeaWolves, Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, and UPMC announce today a partnership that will rename the downtown Erie ballpark where the SeaWolves play.

Beginning today, the facility at 110 East 10th Street, formerly known as Jerry Uht Park, is renamed UPMC Park. The new name will be featured on major signage on the exterior of UPMC Park. UPMC, UPMC Health Plan and UPMC Hamot will be prominently displayed inside the ballpark with recognition on the scoreboard, home plate backstop, and playing turf behind home plate. In addition, the new name will be featured in the team’s communications, marketing and promotional efforts.

Under the partnership, UPMC and the SeaWolves will continue successful, annual community impact programs including UPMC Health Plan Paint the Park Pink weekend, C. Wolf’s Super Smiles (a youth dental rewards program,) and C. Wolf’s Healthy Challenge (a youth rewards program based on fitness and nutritional choices.)

“We are thrilled to have UPMC as our stadium naming rights partner. UPMC is one of the most recognized names in health care and an organization that has been investing in the Erie community over the last several years,” SeaWolves Owner and CEO Fernando Aguirre said. “This is another major statement on the part of UPMC regarding the importance of Erie in their businesses plans. From our perspective, this is on the most critical aspects of our financial plans to continue with our long-term commitment to maintain professional Double-A baseball in Erie. The community will continue to benefit from the entertainment value of professional baseball.”

“Since the early days when UPMC Health Plan was just beginning, we have had a business office located in downtown Erie and for about the same amount of time, we have had a wonderful relationship with the Erie SeaWolves. As we celebrate our 20 years of service as a Health Plan, we can take our partnership with the SeaWolves to the next level and deepen our commitment to the Erie Community,” Stephen Perkins MD, UPMC Health Plan’s Chief Medical Officer, Commercial and Medicare products said.

“Our commitment to Erie goes beyond our promise to make high-quality affordable health care services accessible to local residents. Our promise to the community also means reaching out beyond our hospital walls and being a good community leader with partnerships like this,” Jim Fiorenzo, President of UPMC Hamot said. “We are proud to support our Erie SeaWolves, and carry on Jerry Uht’s passion to keep Double-A baseball here in our town. This beautiful venue not only provides a healthy atmosphere for families and friends to gather to enjoy the game of baseball, but also helps boost local businesses throughout the city.”

A world-renowned health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC also provides nearly $900 million a year in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates 60,000 employees, more than 20 hospitals, more than 500 doctors’ offices and outpatient services, and a three million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical and behavioral health services insurer in western Pennsylvania. Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC ranks No. 12 in the prestigious U.S. News and World Report annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals.

While this is UPMC’s first stadium naming rights deal in professional baseball, UPMC is no stranger to sports partnerships. UPMC Sports Medicine serves as the official sports medicine provider of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins. The UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex is a regional destination for athletes of every age and serves as the training center for the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. The UPMC Rooney Sports Complex is one of the leading sports medicine centers in the United States and serves as the practice and training facilities of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

UPMC Park is administered by Erie Events. In March 2016, the SeaWolves announced a new lease with Erie Events to play home games at the ballpark through the 2020 season.

“We would like to congratulate the SeaWolves and UPMC,” Casey Wells, Erie Events Executive Director said. “This announcement speaks volumes for the partnership that Erie Events has established with SeaWolves owner Fernando Aguirre and his commitment to Erie. Fernando has delivered on everything he promised from the start, and we are confident that his long-term plans and commitment are further solidified by today’s announcement.”

The SeaWolves open their 23rd season on Thursday, April 6, 2017 against the Trenton Thunder at 6:35pm.

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Erie SeaWolves Announce Sale of Franchise

(Erie, PA)Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC, parent company of the Erie SeaWolves, is pleased to announce an agreement has been reached to sell the Double-A team to Fernando Aguirre.

The purchase agreement is subject to customary closing conditions. The Eastern League, Minor League

Baseball and the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball have all approved the sale. Terms of the agreement are confidential.

Mandalay Baseball Properties has been the principal owner and operator of the Erie SeaWolves, a Detroit Tigers affiliate, since 2003.  Aguirre became a respected business leader with The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) in a broad range of global leadership positions.  After more than 23 years with P&G, he was hired in 2004 to lead Chiquita Brands International as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  Aguirre held the role for almost nine years before leaving his corporate career to become an entrepreneur.  “We’re delighted to have reached an agreement with Fernando,” said Art Matin, CEO of Mandalay Baseball Properties.

“He has a passion for baseball and business, and it’s clear the franchise is in very capable hands.  We’re very thankful for the support of our fans, sponsors, and community partners over the past 11 years.”

“This is a very exciting opportunity and my third and most important investment in the business of baseball,” said Aguirre, who recently became the second largest owner and Vice-Chairman of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Advanced A, Chicago Cubs) and also owns a minority interest in the Cincinnati Reds.  “I look forward to working with the dedicated front office staff to enhance the fan experience and the team’s impact in the community.  I’m also eager to work with the team’s many outstanding partners including the Detroit Tigers and Erie Events.”

Erie SeaWolves President Greg Coleman will continue to oversee day-to-day operations of the franchise under Mr. Aguirre’s leadership.  Coleman joined the SeaWolves and Mandalay Baseball Properties in 2011.

“We are excited to open a new chapter in SeaWolves history,” Coleman said.  “Fernando brings a remarkable set of experiences and relationships to the team and the Erie community.  This will be a seamless transition for our employees, sponsors and fans while positioning the SeaWolves to flourish in the years ahead.”

A native of Mexico City, Aguirre attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on a baseball scholarship. He was an infielder for three seasons and pitched his senior season for the Cougars. Aguirre earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business in 1980 from SIUE.  He also attended the prestigious YPO Harvard President’s seminar for 10 years, earning Harvard Business School graduate status in 2009.  In 2010, Aguirre became the first Hispanic leader to appear on the CBS program Undercover Boss. Aguirre is married to his wife Citlali of 29 years and the couple has two adult sons, Franco and Fabrizio. He and his family became naturalized U.S. Citizens in 2009. Aguirre is also very active on Twitter and can be found @FdoAguirreCEO.

Aguirre has been heavily involved in corporate governance with past service on the board of directors of

Univision, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Levi Strauss & Company, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  He currently serves on the board of directors of Aetna (a Fortune 100 provider of health care products), Barry Callebaut (the largest producer of chocolate and cocoa in the world), and Coveris (a privately owned global manufacturer of flexible packaging).  Aguirre is also a board member of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics (COLE) and serves on the board of advisors of the Bechtler Museum in Charlotte, NC.

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SeaWolves Assistant GM/Communications Greg Gania, SeaWolves General Manager Greg Coleman & SeaWolves new owner Fernando Aguirre

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SeaWolves owner Fernando Aguirre

Greg, Kathy, Aguirre, Casey

SeaWolves GM Greg Coleman, County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, Seawolves Owner Fernando Aguirre & Erie Events Executive Director Casey Wells