SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews has announced the winners of the league’s annual Team Business Services awards, recognizing outstanding achievements in a variety of categories including ticket sales, community service and fan experience. These awards were presented Thursday evening at a gala reception during the Board of Governors’ Annual Meeting at Hilton Head Island, S.C.
As part of its Team Business Services program, the AHL honored one club from each conference for top revenue growth in four areas during this past season: overall ticket sales, season-ticket sales, group-ticket sales and corporate sponsorship sales. The winners in overall ticket sales revenue growth were the Toronto Marlies (Eastern) and the San Diego Gulls (Western). Winners for season-ticket sales growth were the Springfield Thunderbirds (Eastern) and the Grand Rapids Griffins (Western). The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Eastern) and the Texas Stars (Western) earned the awards for group-ticket sales growth, and the Springfield Thunderbirds (Eastern) and Cleveland Monsters (Western) were recognized for their corporate sponsorship sales growth.
Additionally, teams from each conference were selected for excellence in the areas of digital media, community relations and fan experience. The Rochester Americans (Eastern) and Grand Rapids Griffins (Western) were honored for digital media excellence; the Charlotte Checkers (Eastern) and Iowa Wild (Western) earned the nods for exceptional community relations efforts; and the Laval Rocket (Eastern) and Milwaukee Admirals (Western) were recognized for outstanding fan experience at home games.
The AHL also honored several teams and individuals for their efforts during the 2017-18 season at the league’s Team Business Meetings in Des Moines, Iowa, last month, including the Iowa Wild for the sponsorship sales department of the year and the San Diego Gulls for the ticket sales department of the year.
The Grand Rapids Griffins were recognized for unique ticket sales promotion or theme night (“Polar Plunge for Special Olympics of West Michigan”); the Texas Stars were selected for unique game operations promotion (“Harry Potter Night”), the Springfield Thunderbirds were chosen for unique community relations initiative (donation of special glasses to allow a blind season-ticket holder to watch games); the Syracuse Crunch were honored for unique social media promotion (“Locker Room Karaoke Battles”); the Iowa Wild were given the award for unique sponsorship package or entitlement (“Hockey Days Iowa presented by Iowa Corn”); and the Toronto Marlies were recognized for unique marketing campaign (“Made For More”).
In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. More than 87 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.