AHL hands out team business awards

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 announced Wednesday 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 Lake Erie Monsters (Western). Winners for season-ticket sales growth were the Albany Devils (Eastern) and the Lake Erie Monsters (Western). The St. John’s IceCaps (Eastern) and the Lake Erie Monsters (Western) earned the awards for group-ticket sales growth, and the Rochester Americans (Eastern) and Lake Erie 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 Toronto Marlies (Eastern) and Charlotte Checkers (Western) were honored for digital media excellence; the Utica Comets (Eastern) and Manitoba Moose (Western) earned the nods for exceptional community relations efforts; and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Eastern) and Grand Rapids Griffins (Western) were recognized for outstanding fan experience at home games.

The AHL also honored several teams and individuals for their efforts during the 2015-16 season at the league’s Marketing Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pa., last month, including the Iowa Wild as the sponsorship sales department of the year and the San Diego Gulls as the ticket sales department of the year.

The Grand Rapids Griffins were recognized for unique ticket sales promotion or theme night (“Marvel Superhero Night”); the San Antonio Rampage and Lake Erie Monsters were selected for unique game operations, community relations or social media promotion (“One-Day Contract”); and the Grand Rapids Griffins were given the award for unique sponsorship package or entitlement (“Media Room Makeover”).

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 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. In 2015-16, over 7.1 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America, the highest total attendance in league history.