Best of 2018

The Best of 2018 Awards complete with seven categories. Congrats to all our winners.

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.

Winner: BYU Cougarettes

The BYU Cougarettes are a pom and dance team for Brigham Young University.  Performing at athletic events on the BYU campus and they also compete in national events. As of 2018, they have won 16 national championships and now they have won the Best Entertainment Team of 2018.

One NBA front office executive explained “There routines are tight and dead on, they also are ahead of nearly all other major programs as there routines are entertaining, tight and not provocative in the current climate.”

While some teams struggle to find the balance of talent and sexuality on their dance teams, BYU is showing that this team bursting with talent doesn’t need to vamp up in order to ramp up their entertainment value.

One panelist even overcame her personal dislike (as a U of Utah alumni) and proclaimed “I hate BYU, but love their dance team.”  They also gained some noted appreciation for their ability to incorporate the BYU Mascot into their eye-popping viral dances.

Honorable Mention: Golden State Warriors Jam Squad

Junior teams have a really high ceiling and a low floor.  Meaning they can blow the doors off when done well, combining crisp fun dance choreography with the wow factor that its being done by elementary-aged kids. The Warriors Jam Squad showcase this high ceiling perfectly.  Cute with technical precision that is just plain fun to watch.

The panelists also gave high praise for the Brooklyn Nets Hype Team noting “(they) bring a great Brooklyn attitude to a Brooklyn venue. It just fits.”

Past Winners:

Listen to the Best of 2018 Audio Round Table discussing all the categories and winners with out panel of Jon Cudo, Amanda Greco, Rob Wicall and Benjamin Hill. – December 2018 Podcast

Best Game Night 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.

Winner: Joseph P. Reilly and the Amazing Technicolor Ballpark (Charleston Riverdogs)

The Charleston Riverdogs created a memorable experience for fans with their Joseph P. Reilly and the Amazing Technicolor Ballpark Promotion (often called “Color Night”).  The game featured a crazy 7th inning stretch with corn starch colors being tossed around to create a messy spectacle as the centerpiece of the night.

The whole night at “The Joe” was bursting with color.  They also included food specials including tie-dye grilled cheese and a rainbow sugar funnel cake. There were kids coloring stations, painting areas, and Fox Music will be providing a piano to the RiverDogs to be painted that night by Kris Manning,

“The RiverDogs emphasize the experiential above all else, and the Technicolor Ballpark was a truly unforgettable experience,” explained a well-traveled baseball expert.

Our panel was very diverse in their praise for promotions this year.  Also receiving votes were Bob Ross Night #2, The Saint Paul Saints Giant Animal House Food Fights, Backyard Baseball Night from the Lansing Lugnuts, Millennium Nigh from the Montgomery Biscuits, and the Durham Bulls Stranger things Night.

Past Winners:

  • Best of 2017 – Total Eclipse Game and Bob Ross Night
  • Best of 2016 – Purple Game, Purple Game
  • Best of 2015 – Swipe Right Night – Atlanta Hawks
  • Best of 2014 – Seinfeld Night – Brooklyn Cyclones
  • Best of 2013 – Star Wars Night – Toledo Walleye
  • Best of 2012 – Silent Night at Taylor University
  • Best of 2011 – Boston Bruins Military Appreciation Night
  • Best of 2010 – Salute to Bubblewrap (Lowell Spinners)
  • Best of 2009 – LeBron’s Powder Toss Night (Cleveland Cavaliers) and What Could Have Been Night (Bowling Green Hot Rods)
  • Best of 2008 – World’s Largest Pillow Fight (Kane County Cougars) and Fan Bailout Plans (St. Louis Blues)
  • Best of 2007 – Bob L. Head Bobblehead Giveaway (Portland Beavers)/150 years of Toilet Paper (Pensacola Pelicans)
  • Best of 2006 – Brazilian Carnival (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • Best of 2005 – Michael Jackson Tribute (Lake Elsinore Storm)
  • Best of 2004 – Mullet Night (Manchester Monarchs)
  • Best of 2003 – Awful Night (Altoona Curve)
  • Best of 2002 – Hawks Playoff Guarantee (Atlanta Hawks)
  • Best of 2001 – Red, White & Blue Out 9/11 Tribute (Texas A & M)

Listen to the Best of 2018 Audio Round Table discussing all the categories and winners with out panel of Jon Cudo, Amanda Greco, Rob Wicall and Benjamin Hill. – December 2018 Podcast

Also on Gameops.com

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Our annual review of all things operations and entertainment was done by polling a dozen of our most trusted non-biased industry pros. Six categories have been selected for 2002.

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