SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has named Jim Sarosy, senior vice president of the Syracuse Crunch, the winner of the league’s Ken McKenzie Award for the 2009-10 season.
Recognizing the important role played by team management in building a successful franchise, the Ken McKenzie Award is presented annually to an AHL team executive who most successfully promotes his or her own club. The award was announced on Wednesday during the AHL Marketing Meetings in Chicago.
As senior vice president for the Crunch, Sarosy, who also won the McKenzie Award in 2002, is a key figure in all of the team’s business operations. He directly oversees the Crunch’s sales force, all broadcasting issues and marketing, communications, client services, fan development, community relations and game operations, and is also the hockey liaison between the Crunch and the parent Anaheim Ducks.
Sarosy has been a crucial part of the Crunch front office over the past 15 seasons, but never were his talents and his dedication to the organization and to the American Hockey League more evident than this past year when he was one of the driving forces behind the Mirabito Outdoor Classic. His determination and perseverance in persuading team ownership to take on such an enormous challenge paved the way for one of the most successful and significant events in AHL history.
Leading the front-office staff’s tireless day-to-day preparations, Sarosy became intimately involved in all areas of planning and execution, working closely with the New York State Fairgrounds as the host venue; overseeing construction of the rink from start to finish; coordinating the Crunch’s group sales efforts; selling corporate sponsorships to help back the event; and taking a lead role in a wide range of other marketing, public relations and promotional activities. The result was an unqualified success with an immeasurable amount of brand exposure for the league and its teams, supported by the largest crowd for a game in the 74-year history of the AHL and a live telecast carried throughout the United States and Canada on NHL Network.
The AHL’s Ken McKenzie Award, first presented in 1978, honors Ken McKenzie, the founder and long-time publisher of The Hockey News and a 1997 media honoree by the Hockey Hall of Fame as the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award winner. Mr. McKenzie, the NHL’s first publicity director and creator of its first media guide, passed away in 2003.