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.
Winner: Cameron Hughes
For those who have seen him live, no explanation is needed. For those who have not, no explanation will do. Cameron Hughes in person is a force of nature. How one admittedly bad dancer can electrify a crowd of 20,000 people defies logic and adds to the power of his show. For the second year in a row and for the third time Cameron Hughes wins the Best Act award.
A NHL hockey team executive explains “At the end of the day though, from a value standpoint Cam Hughes remains the best buy in all of promo acts – 2.5 hours of entertainment vs a 5 min act plus the big benefit of Cam’s act is his antics while play is going on, always keeping the crowd engaged and IMO is more valuable than the actual TV TOs (which always are a hit too!).”
“Cameron Hughes is a force of nature.” -Minor League Hockey Team Owner
Cameron’s act continues to evolve and he’s popping up at larger events each year. Now seemingly a regular at NHL Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Finals and the US Open, the world is now finding out what many game operations directors have know for years; Cameron Hughes will get your fans up and excited. He also helped the Vegas Golden Knights
- Best of 2017 – Cameron Hughes
- Best of 2016 – Red Panda Acrobat
- Best of 2015 – The Amazing Sladek
- Best of 2014 – Red Panda Acrobat
- Best of 2013 – Simon Sez Steve Max
- Best of 2012 – Cameron Hughes
- Best of 2011 – Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey
- Best of 2010 – Remote Kontrol
- Best of 2009 – King Firecrackers
- Best of 2008 – Quick Change
- Best of 2007 – Red Panda Acrobat
- Best of 2006 – Red Panda Acrobat
- Best of 2005 – Bucket Boys
- Best of 2004 – Red Panda Acrobat
- Best of 2003 – Quick Change
- Best of 2002 – Quick Change
- Best of 2001 – Blue Man Group
Listen to the Best of 2017 Audio Round Table discussing all the categories and winners with out panel of Jon Cudo, Scott Carter and Benjamin Hill. – December 2017 Podcast
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 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.).
Winner: Vegas Golden Knights
With our diverse panel and subjective nature of the awards runaway winners can be rare, but this year we had a couple categories just dominated by one nominee. The Best Introductions category was such a case with the Vegas Golden Knights rewriting the script on how to set-up the game and prime your audience. Vegas merged Vegas Strip Showmanship, broad storyline arcs and stylized team branding and elements to reimagine how introductions in sports are done. They captured the eye of their fans, team executives in all sports and our panel.
They also captured the 2018 Award for Best Introductions.
Panelist feedback included:
- “Their use of live action theatrics put the hockey world on notice.”
- “The live element of the Knights intros is totally unique”
- “Every game director in the sport received dozens of emails/texts asking to be more like Vegas”
- “Incredible combination of live action and technology.”
- “Game changer in the NHL and arena sports.”
Honorable Mention: Little League World Series
Our baseball expert, Roundtable analyst and long-time panelist Ben Hill noted “The LLWS intros do a great job of reminding you that these are just kids. Appropriately goofy and light-hearted.”.
These TV introductions are playful and winning, doing the basic job of introducing these young stars to the audience while reminding us this is a game played by kids.
Also receiving praise from our Panel was the LFL Seattle Reign introductions and the amazing Toronto Raptors Home Opener Hype video (which has been removed from the web). Both are also noted in the Best of 2018 December Audio Roundtable Podcast.
- Best of 2017 – Atlanta United (MLS)
- Best of 2016 – Saint Paul Saints
- Best of 2015 – Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Pistons
- Best of 2014 -Chicago Blackhawks
- Best of 2013 -Chicago Wolves
- Best of 2012 – Miami Heat
- Best of 2011 – Colorado Eagles
- Best of 2010 – Portland Trailblazers
- Best of 2009 -Wake Forest Basketball
- Best of 2008 -Philadelphia Flyers
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
Game operations and entertainment in sports is growing, lively and diverse world. We are pulling together to talk about all aspects of event production and entertainment, and to get better along the way. Join us to connect, grow and advance. Memberships include a weekly Huddle Zoom Call with industry leaders and network members. September guests are Heather Wojciechowski-DeCaire from the Milwaukee Admirals, Barry Anderson from Chicago Mascots and Kari Norvell from the Austin Gilgronis. Conversations will focus on virtual takeaways from the pandemic season of 2020, performer-first costuming to empower your performer and creating custom music in an era that is increasing difficult to navigate music rights and clearances. Free One Month Trial is available now on Gameops.com PLUS.