Walleye receive Team Award of Excellence!
6/29/2012 - The ECHL announced that the Toledo Walleye have been selected as the 2011-12 recipient of the ECHL Team Award of Excellence.
The award recognizes the ECHL organization that executes a well-rounded business plan including, but not limited to, sales, marketing, media relations and merchandising while also distinguishing themselves in their community, on and off the ice.
The other finalists were the Alaska Aces, Bakersfield Condors, Cincinnati Cyclones, Gwinnett Gladiators and Stockton Thunder.
It is the second time in the last three seasons that Toledo has won the award. The Walleye drew 225,060 fans during the 2011-12 season, finishing second in the ECHL with 6,252 per game. The team set a new club record with 8,250 fans for its home opener on Oct. 15 against Chicago. Toledo had a six percent increase in sponsorship sales for the 2011-12 season, and their Cleaner & Dryer sponsorship activation was recognized nationally in the online trade publication Partnership Activation.
Toledo developed an opening video that brought its region, mascot and hockey together in a larger than life format, with the music bed incorporated into player introductions. In order to attract non-hockey fans to games, the Walleye created the “Not a hockey fan? Perfect!” message, using humor in all media advertising and print collateral to drive ticket sales to this demographic.
The Walleye’s social media grew at an impressive rate during the 2011-12 season. From May 2011 through April 2012, the team added nearly 6,000 Facebook “likes” and just under 1,600 new Twitter followers, to push the number of fans linked to the team’s social media pages to over 31,000 and 4,000 respectively.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this award for the Toledo Walleye. Our team – the players and the front office, work very hard to provide a great experience at a great value. The hockey team excels at community involvement, and our staff and sponsors have worked in collaboration to present educational and profitable events for the community. The Toledo Walleye have the best fans who support the team and the community by turning out at the games and by giving generously when we have our auctions and fundraising events. I am happy to share this recognition with all involved.” – Joe Napoli, General Manager, Toledo Mud Hens and Toledo Walleye
“Many people in the community are meeting the Walleye for the first time. We created marketing campaigns to encourage people who might not be hockey fans to come out to a game and give us a try. The community has responded enthusiastically. A Walleye game is an event the entire family can attend. The environment is clean and attractive – one of the best of its kind in the world – it’s easily accessible, and the games have something everyone, no matter what your age or interests. That’s why the campaign, “Not a hockey fan? Perfect!” has struck a chord with so many people. Millions of people have attended Mud Hens games and had a great time. They’re discovering that the fun doesn’t stop at the end of the baseball season – the Walleye games are exciting and just as much fun.” – Kim McBroom Chief Marketing Officer, Toledo Mud Hens and Toledo Walleye
ECHL Award of Excellence Winners
2011-12 Toledo Walleye
2010-11 Bakersfield Condors
2009-10 Toledo Walleye
2008-09 Stockton Thunder
2007-08 Gwinnett Gladiators
2006-07 Stockton Thunder
2005-06 Alaska Aces
2004-05 Pensacola Ice Pilots
2003-04 Florida Everblades and Johnstown Chiefs