Trail Blazers And Moda Health Team Up In 'Rip City Relay'

Ceremonial game ball to travel from Coos Bay to Portland in time for the team’s home opener at the Moda Center

ripcityrelay.jpgPORTLAND, Ore. (Oct. 10, 2013) – The Portland Trail Blazers and Moda Health have joined together for the “Rip City Relay,” a five-day journey that will see the ceremonial game ball travel from Coos Bay to the Moda Center in time for the team’s home opener.

The relay will tip-off at 8 a.m. on Oct. 29 with a ceremony and press conference on the Coos Bay Boardwalk. The ball will be walked, jogged and passed through stops in Waldport, Newport, Otter Rock, Lincoln City, Grand Ronde, McMinnville, Newberg and Beaverton en route to Portland on Nov. 2. The Trail Blazers worked in concert with brand-activation firm CENERGY in formulating the route.

As part of the Trail Blazers and Moda Health’s partnership to showcase healthy and active living, PE classrooms at several schools will receive special visits and gifts from Trail Blazers personalities and Moda Health representatives. The team will also hold basketball clinics at different stops along the relay.

“Some of the state’s biggest Trail Blazers fans live along the coastline and throughout the Rip City Relay route,” said Chris McGowan, President & CEO of the Trail Blazers and the Moda Center. “As an organization, we feel it’s important to have these fans participate in the tip-off of our 2013-14 season in a very tangible way.”

Several Trail Blazers personalities will participate in different legs of the relay, including Founding Broadcaster and Ambassador Bill Schonely, Trail Blazers alumni players, Blaze the Trail Cat and members of the BlazerDancers.

Distinguished members of the respective communities along the path will also be invited to participate in the walk, and everyone who takes part in the festivities will be encouraged to sign a banner as a symbol of their involvement.

Along the way, the Trail Blazers will host viewing parties for the team’s first two regular season games, Oct. 30 at Phoenix and Nov. 1 at Denver.

The relay will conclude with a celebration outside the Moda Center as the ceremonial game ball arrives around 5 p.m. on Nov. 2, ahead of the Trail Blazers home opener against the San Antonio Spurs at 7 p.m.

Trailblazers.com/ripcityrelay will serve as the digital home for the relay. On the web site, fans can sign up to actually participate in the relay across Oregon or support the “virtual runner” by posting about the relay on social media and donating to the make it better Foundation. Visitors to the web site can also track the ball’s progress via GPS throughout the relay.