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Since 2001 the Best of Gameops.com Awards have been presented for excellence in game operations and entertainment.  Over the years we have updated award categories and currently announce awards in these seven categories. 

Best Mascot:
A mascot whose work in was creative and enthusiastic, serving as a valuable tool for their team and in their community.  Consider ability to engage and entertain fans, create fresh innovative content, and create a multidimensional character who is effective in-game, in-community, online, and through social media.  All sports team characters and college mascots are eligible (updated 2/13).

Best Act:
The touring act or halftime show that excels in providing quality entertainment for your fans. Touring acts, halftime acts and non-mascot performers are considered. Consider drawing power, entertainment quality, cooperation of the act, ability of act to promote appearances, added media exposure for team, act innovation and value (updated 2/13).

Best Game Promotion:
What single game or series promotion was most effective and creative, serving as a tool for teams to entertain and draw more fans. Consider creativity, entertainment value, media exposure, drawing power, and execution of the operations.  We also level the playing field by considering budget constraints to minor league teams.  A promotion with the ability to positively affect the entire fan experience by touching multiple areas of marketing and presentation.  For example: A Military Appreciation Night which positively pays tribute to the military with a camouflage hat giveaway, military ticket discount, use of military families for in-game promotions, video package of players speaking to their appreciation for military families, and a surprise reunion of a soldier and their family  (updated 2/13).

Best Contest or On-field Promotion:
What promotion or contest is the most entertaining. For example, a "Chuck-a-puck" contest. This is a repeatable on-field promotion that is held in-game. Consider entertainment value, creativity, local connections, sponsorship possibilities, cost, and repeatability.

Best Team Operations:
Which team is doing the best job in their game operations and game presentation. We level the playing field by considering budget constraints to minor league teams. Consider creativity, value to fans, overcoming sport and budget limitations, quality of presentation, and attention to detail.

Best Team Introductions:
Which team introduction is the best produced, executed, fresh and innovative. Consider creativity, value to fans, execution, quality of presentation, fan interaction and attention to detail. We level the playing field by considering budget constraints to minor league teams. The category will consider focus primarily on the standard introduction (opening night variations will be considered, but the focus is on the standard game production). Due to the category we will also rely heavily on video reviews (YouTube, etc.).

Best Entertainment Group:
Performance Group whose work was fresh, creative and interesting, serving as a valuable tool for their team and in their community. Providing quality entertainment and additional value for fans. All sports team performance groups are eligible. Consider quality, uniqueness, and marketplace value. 

Best Vendor:
The provider of quality services or products that are most helpful for game operations. Consider service, products offered, and value. (Award presented 2001-2006).

Past Winners

Our Panel

Gameops.com canvasses a panel of selected industry leaders for our "Best of Awards". Their names are not used to encouraged them to add as much information as possible. Their collective input is considered when building the final award selections.  It is not a vote from the panel, since most panelists see only a slice of the industry.  

Our panel consists of active leaders in the game operations community and people who have the opportunity to see a range of teams and leagues. We do allow our panel to nominate their own act or services, but of course that bias is considered in the process. We also make note of any award that is also provided by Gameops.com.

Best of Gameops.com: The Golden Steagle™

The Best of 2007 Awards is also the first year of our new award, The Golden Steagle™. For the first years of the Gameops.com Awards, winner received notice on the website. In later years winner also received a small glass engraved plaque.

For the last few years we have been looking for a new award, to better reflex on the industry as a whole. We liked the idea of a golden bobblehead, but we never had a suitable character to use.

Enter Stephen Colbert.

The Saginaw Spirit held a vote on their website to name a new secondary mascot for the 2006–07 season. The mascot was named Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle after Stephen Colbert. Colbert had promoted the contest on his show, The Colbert Report. After naming the mascot after Colbert, the Spirit won seven straight games before losing to the Sarnia Sting on October 20. Since then, The Colbert Report has featured ongoing comedy sketches related to the team, the mascot, and other teams in the Ontario Hockey League, especially the Oshawa Generals, and Oshawa, Ontario, mayor John Gray. (from wikipedia)

On Feb. 27th, 2007 Colbert noted on his show that Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle was named a top mascot on Gameops.com in 2006, behind only the Toronto Raptor. Colbert's mock outrage at a Canadian mascot being named ahead of Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle resulted in the Toronto Raptors being moved from "On Notice" to Colbert's "Dead to Me" list on his show.

In the segment Colbert covered the Gameops.com Best Mascot award, noting "Gameops.com is the big time" which lead to the most single day hits in the site's history (showing that Colbert was actually "big time"). The nexus of Gameops.com, the Steagle Colbeagle Character and Colbert's self-professed greatness lead us to The Golden Steagle™as our bobblehead character award.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Dead to Me - Raptors
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Special thanks to Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle and the Saginaw Spirit for allowing us to use the likeness for our new award. We also thank Steven Colbert for his generous assessment of our importance and also for his inherent greatness.

Starting in 2007 Best of Gameops.com award winner will receive The Golden Steagle™ Bobblehead trophy to commemorate their award.

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