KALAMAZOO, MI— Representatives from the Kalamazoo Wings have been named as finalists for five out of seven end-of-season awards given out by the ECHL at the annual ECHL Hockey Summer Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June 21.
The awards, voted on by team and league representatives, honor franchises and individuals who excel in overall excellence, marketing, social media, game operations, sponsorship sales, and ticket sales.
“These are record numbers for finalists coming out of Kalamazoo,” K-Wings director of business operations and Governor Toni Daniels said. “I’m very proud of what our staff has accomplished, and I'm extremely proud to be a member of a community which supports its local organizations the way Kalamazoo does.”
Senior sales manager Jason Kane was named as a finalist for the Ticket Executive of the Year Award for the second straight season. Kane shattered his personal sales goals and helped lead the process of transitioning the Wings’ ticket-sales platform from Ticketmaster to Etix, saving consumers time and money during the ticketing process.
Tim Hindbaugh and Brandon Nelson were named as finalists for the league’s Game Operations of the Year Award, as their creative ingenuity created a world-class in-game experience for all who walked through the doors of Wings Event Center. With creative “fan-cams,” promotional giveaways, and fan-engagement techniques, Hindbaugh and Nelson helped cultivate a one-of-a-kind experience at each and every game. They were pivotal in helping the Wings become the first minor-league hockey team to acquire the rights to use the Grateful Dead likeness and imagery for their February 10 game, which featured specialty jerseys that sold for record amounts to benefit the American Cancer Society.
Daniels was named as a finalist for two awards, including Sponsorship Sales Executive of the Year and Executive of the Year. Daniels’ efforts helped increase the team’s corporate sponsorship revenue and engagement, and she negotiated with corporate partners to provide more incentives for fans in the community. Additionally, her vision and execution helped Kalamazoo sit near the top of the league in almost every category of ticket growth.
As a whole, the Wings have earned finalist honors for the Team Award of Excellence, given annually to the best-practice organization in the ECHL in all categories. Kalamazoo’s 16.8% increase in year-over-year ticket sales marked the second-best improvement in the ECHL, while group sales improvement led all teams at 91% year-over-year. Kalamazoo also increased their total community donations by 15% to over $80,000 in 2017-18.
Kalamazoo Wings season tickets are available now and start at less than $13 per game with parking included and one-of-a-kind benefits. More information can be gathered at www.kwings.com/seasontickets.
Wings Event Center, owned and operated by Greenleaf Hospitality Group, is home to the Kalamazoo Wings professional hockey team and a full entertainment venue offering concerts, sporting events, family shows and trade shows. Built in 1974, Wings Event Center values partnerships with the community to bring events and attractions that enrich the lives of residents in the Kalamazoo area.