K-WINGS NAMED NSF 2024 ‘SAMMY’ AWARD WINNER  - Greenleaf Hospitality Group


group of men and women holding an award

Kalamazoo’s 2022-23 ‘Cause Game’ lineup & execution takes home National award over NFL, NBA and others.

KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Wings, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks, announced Thursday that the team has won the National Sports Forum’s (NSF) 2024 SAMMY Award.

The NSF SAMMY (Sales Advertising Marketing Management Idea of the Year) Award recognizes the year’s most outstanding idea regarding the overall objective, action, and results.

Kalamazoo took home the award via its ‘GEM IDEA,’ leaning on its DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) efforts from the 2022-23 season specific to Autism Awareness, Hockey Fights Cancer, Rainbow Ice, Coats for Floats, and Pink Ice. The K-Wings beat out the Cleveland Browns (NFL). Sacramento Kings (NBA), two major marketing firms that created Super Bowl ads for Staples and PetSmart and the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL).

This is the first award the Kalamazoo Wings have earned outside of the ECHL,” said Toni Will, Kalamazoo Wings general manager and governor. “It affirms the hard work and dedication put into our DEI efforts every hockey season. This award represents the makeup of our staff and players and the Kalamazoo Community. I couldn’t be more proud.”

A superior judging panel, consisting of sports industry professionals from the pro and collegiate teams in San Diego, CA reviewed all of the SAMMY submissions and narrowed them down to the six best ideas of the year.

After securing the nomination last Fall, the K-Wings presented with the five other finalists at the 2024 National Sports Forum in Pittsburgh, PA, last week.

About the SAMMY Award
The NSF SAMMY was developed to give recognition to organizations that came up with a stellar and prestigious idea that all other organizations industry could learn and benefit from, and want to take it back to their organization. Finalists were chosen based on how well teams executed their ideas. Each of the six finalists gave an eight-minute presentation for a special SAMMY Award finalists session at the 2024 National Sports Forum in Pittsburgh, PA, February 26th – 28th, where NSF Attendees determined the winner.

About the Kalamazoo Wings
The Kalamazoo Wings are a professional hockey team located in southwest Michigan that has been a staple in the Kalamazoo, MI professional sports landscape since 1974. The K-Wings compete in the ECHL and are the AA affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks and the American Hockey League’s Abbotsford Canucks. Kalamazoo plays their 36 regular season home games at Wings Event Center from October through April.

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