"We are pleased to expand our partnership with Tom Raffio and Northeast Delta Dental," said owner of DSF Sports Art Solomon. "The relationship between these two organizations has developed wonderfully thanks to our common focus on service and community. We are proud to know that the Fisher Cats will now play ball at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium."
Concord, New Hampshire-based Northeast Delta Dental continues a longstanding relationship with the Fisher Cats, having been the team's presenting partner for the 2009 and 2010 seasons, the title sponsor of the 2009 and 2010 Granite State Baseball Dinners, and for the 2008 and upcoming 2011 Eastern League All-Star Games.
"This sponsorship will enhance our already strong partnership with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats," said Tom Raffio, president & CEO of Northeast Delta Dental. "Stadium naming will strengthen brand awareness and provides a number of marketing strategies for Northeast Delta Dental to reach out to the public with important reminders about the importance of good oral health practices and the relationships of oral health to overall health."
Northeast Delta Dental administers the dental benefits of over 725,000 people in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. It offers dental insurance programs for organizations of all sizes, and individuals with no access to employer-sponsored dental insurance, to encourage the preventive procedures that are important to oral health. Northeast Delta Dental is well known for the excellence of its customer service. Having been recognized nationally as "One of the 25 Best Small Companies to Work for in America," and as "One of the 10 Best Companies to Work For in New Hampshire," each for five consecutive years, one of Northeast Delta Dental's most recent awards was the national 2010 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. In addition to supporting many community organizations in its three states, it awards grants to oral health programs through the Northeast Delta Dental Foundation to increase the impact of its oral health mission.
"It has been amazing to see what the Fisher Cats and Northeast Delta Dental have been able to accomplish as partners over the years and this is another step forward together," said Fisher Cats President Rick Brenner. "We are excited about the future and are happy to call Northeast Delta Dental Stadium our home."
Through the annual Granite State Baseball Dinner, the Fisher Cats and Northeast Delta Dental have partnered to raise over $316,000 for the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the Ted Williams Museum and The Fisher Cats Foundation in the last two years.
On May 7, 2004, the initial groundbreaking took place for the stadium that has become a destination for fans and families to enjoy the Fisher Cats Entertainment Experience. Since it first opened on April 7, 2005, Northeast Delta Dental Stadium has welcomed 2,103,005 fans through the gates for Fisher Cats regular season and playoff games as one of the Eastern League's top drawing teams during that time.
As the centerpiece for the community, Northeast Delta Dental Stadium also hosts events in addition to the Fisher Cats' 71-game home schedule, including NHIAA Baseball State Championships, high school and collegiate games, concerts, fundraisers and private events. The team's unconditional commitment to providing its guests with a unique brand of affordable family entertainment has allowed the Fisher Cats to remain New Hampshire's premier outdoor entertainment destination and best entertainment value.
The Fisher Cats have recently been recognized by Minor League Baseball with the prestigious Larry MacPhail Award in 2010 as the nation's best team in promotional effort and community involvement. In 2009, Baseball America presented the Fisher Cats with the coveted Bob Freitas Award, recognizing the club as an outstanding franchise that has achieved long-term success in Minor League Baseball. The New Hampshire Business Review has, for three consecutive years, recognized the club with the Best of Business Award as the "Best Sporting Venue to Take a Client."
Northeast Delta Dental assumes the naming rights of what was formerly Merchantsauto.com Stadium from the Merchants Automotive Group, which spent the last five seasons and all but one year of the ballpark's existence as the Fisher Cats' stadium naming rights partner.
"The Singer Family and the entire staff at Merchants Automotive Group are extremely proud to have been the original naming rights sponsor at Merchantsauto.com Stadium," said Stephen Singer, President of Merchants Automotive Group. "Our relationship with Art Solomon, Rick Brenner and the Fisher Cats team could not have been better and certainly exceeded our high expectations. We are looking forward to continuing this relationship on several levels as both the Fisher Cats and Merchants Automotive Group strive to improve the quality of life in our community."
The 2011 All-Star Season will bring a record 29 scheduled Atlas Fireworks Shows, the Northeast Delta Dental Eastern League All-Star Game, 19 premium giveaway items and the return of Ollie the Bat Dog to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. The Fisher Cats will also debut uniforms featuring the new team colors of red, white and blue in the first year of the naming rights partnership with Northeast Delta Dental.