LAS VEGAS – The 10th Annual ECHL Marketing/Communications Meetings were attended by more than 160 representatives ECHL teams, including the newest members – the Phoenix Roadrunners and the Stockton Thunder.
Following a league reception sponsored by Pro Specialties Group and Globe Ticket on Sunday evening, the meetings opened Monday with Commissioner Brian McKenna speaking to the more than 160 attendees. McKenna reviewed the highlights and challenges of 2004-05 and outlined the goals for the league and teams as well as specific team and league objectives for the upcoming season. Following the presentation of league awards and a review of ECHL Properties, B2 Network spoke about its plans for the future and specifically its involvement with the ECHL.
Mike Emrick spoke to the general session on Monday, talking about working in sports as well as the value of community involvement for both individuals and teams. The Hall of Fame broadcaster remained throughout the day, spending the entire afternoon with league announcers and media relations directors.
The afternoon ticketing breakout began with Scott Carmichael of ANC Sports speaking about ticket sales as well as product branding and how to structure staffing to maximize sales. Becky Schmid of The Migala Report spoke on ticket trends and highlighted successful sales practices from teams. The teams also had a presentation from Ticketmaster. Following the presentations by Carmichael and Schmid, the teams broke into roundtable discussions with the groups determined by market size. The first day concluded with Passport International presenting a vendor showcase where more than 20 licensed vendors displayed their products for teams. The grand prize of the showcase was a drawing for a complete set of dasherboard graphic, donated by AMI Grafix and won by the Charlotte Checkers.
In addition to the league meetings, the ECHL in conjunction with Work In Sports held the first ECHL Job Fair, giving league teams the opportunity to interview prescreened applicants.
The morning session in Tuesday featured Glenn Gelabert of Smart Strategies, who spoke to the entire session about believing in what you are selling and how to raise their level of performance. The afternoon session featured Dallas Stars president Jim Lites and National Basketball Association consultant Bill Sutton, who conducted a ticketing workshop, as well as each team presenting one creative and successful sponsorship idea.
The final day began with Smart DM discussing database management followed by Mike Veeck. Described as a “maverick marketing whiz” and author of “Fun Is Good,” Veeck talked about the importance of teams being a part of their community and most importantly to remember that they are selling entertainment.