AHL announces team business award winners

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today the winners of its annual Team Business Services awards, recognizing outstanding achievements in a variety of categories including ticket sales, community service and fan experience.

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 (Western) and the Providence Bruins (Eastern). Winners for season-ticket sales growth were the San Antonio Rampage (Western) and the Albany Devils (Eastern). The Rochester Americans (Western) and the Springfield Falcons (Eastern) earned the awards for group-ticket sales growth, and the Toronto Marlies (Western) and St. John’s IceCaps (Eastern) 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 Charlotte Checkers (Western) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Eastern) were honored for digital media excellence; the Grand Rapids Griffins (Western) and Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Eastern) earned the nods for exceptional community relations efforts; and the Chicago Wolves (Western) and Hershey Bears (Eastern) were recognized for outstanding fan experience at home games.

The AHL also honored several teams and individuals for their efforts during the 2012-13 season at the league’s Marketing Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, last month, including the St. John’s IceCaps as the sponsorship sales department of the year and the Toronto Marlies as the ticket sales department of the year.

The Charlotte Checkers were also recognized for the most unique ticket sales promotion or theme night (“Checkers Crossfit Shootout”); the Oklahoma City Barons were selected for having the most unique game operations, community relations or social media promotion (“Barons Buddies”); and the St. John’s IceCaps were given the award for the most unique sponsorship package or entitlement (“Turn Back the Tide”).

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 87 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 12th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2012-13.