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 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 Springfield Thunderbirds (Eastern) and the Cleveland Monsters (Western). Winners for season-ticket sales growth were the Springfield Thunderbirds (Eastern) and the Milwaukee Admirals (Western). The Springfield Thunderbirds (Eastern) and the San Diego Gulls (Western) earned the awards for group-ticket sales growth, and the Springfield Thunderbirds (Eastern) and Texas Stars (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 Syracuse Crunch (Eastern) and Iowa Wild (Western) were honored for digital media excellence; the Hartford Wolf Pack (Eastern) and Ontario Reign (Western) earned the nods for exceptional community relations efforts; and the Utica Comets (Eastern) and Cleveland Monsters (Western) were recognized for outstanding fan experience at home games.
The AHL also honored several teams and individuals for their efforts during the 2016-17 season at the league’s Marketing Meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., 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 Cleveland Monsters were recognized for unique ticket sales promotion or theme night (“Cleveland Indians Tribute Night”); the Toronto Marlies were selected for unique game operations (“Hungry Hungry Hippos”), the Charlotte Checkers were chosen for unique community relations initiative (“Pass It Forward with Verizon”), the Grand Rapids Griffins were honored for unique social media promotion (“Snapchat Spectacles”); and the Charlotte Checkers were given the award for unique sponsorship package or entitlement (“HomeTrust Bank”).
In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for all 31 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.