Curve, UPMC join forces

UPMC Health Plan will be the primary sponsor for the 2014 Eastern League All-Star Stop set for July 15 and 16 at Peoples Natural Gas Field.

UPMC Health Plan also partnered with the Altoona Curve the first time the team hosted the game in 2006.

The events of July 15-16 will be known as the 2014 Eastern League All-Star Stop presented by UPMC Heath Plan.

As part of the agreement, UPMC Health Plan’s name and logo are included in the title and logo of the All-Star Stop.

In addition, UPMC Heath Plan will be receiving a variety of branding, marketing and community relations items in relation to the game and its related events.

“We are happy again to partner with such a fine organization as the Curve. I was at the 2006 event and it was fantastic. We expect nothing but the same in 2014,” said Tom, Mishler, senior account executive at UPMC Health Plan. “We have been a long time partner with the Curve. This is a way to demonstrate we are members of the local community and not just from Pittsburgh. We have tons of business in Blair County and with the acquisition of Altoona Hospital we want to reinforce the image that we are a member of your community.”

“As a sponsor of the 2006 Eastern League All-Star Game in Altoona and as a valued business partner since 2003, we needed to look no further for a primary sponsor,” said Curve General Manager Rob Egan.

UPMC Health Plan has also extended its naming rights agreement for the Outfield Reserved Seats at Peoples Natural Gas Field for the next three seasons, Egan said.

Egan said he is not sure how big of an economic impact the two-day event will have.

“Ticket sales have gone well for the Wednesday All-Star game, and we expect it to be a sell out,” Egan said. “This brings in executives from the other eleven teams and fans from those communities. It is a good opportunity for us as a franchise to bring in people that haven’t been here before. There is not only an economic impact, but it can be an eye opening experience, people are surprised to see our ball park and all of the other amenities we have. It takes people by surprise.”

Meanwhille, Curve officials also announced five former Curve players who will return to Altoona to participate in the July 15 “All-Star Heroes Game” which will pit the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team against a squad of Curve alumni and celebrities.

The returning players include Adam Hyzdu, 2000 Eastern League Most Valuable Player and the only player in team history to have his number retired; Tike Redman, who played centerfield for the Curve in 1999; shortstop Jack Wilson, who played for the Curve in 2000. Also returning will be pitcher Mike Johnston who played for the Curve in 2003 and catcher Chris Snusz, who played here from 2003 to 2005.

Additional participants will be announced later, Egan said.

“The Wounded Warriors team are guys who have lost a a limb or part of a limb. They will be the real stars of the game. No doubt about it,” Egan said.