It is an honor and privilege to present SportsEvents Magazine’s 2016 Eclat Awards—our way of recognizing exceptional performance and sharing insights from industry leaders who genuinely are making a positive difference for us all. SportsEvents debuted the éclat awards in 2014 to celebrate the best of the best in the sports events planning industry. Those featured on the pages that follow were nominated by their peers for recognition in this special awards issue. More than 4,000 votes were cast for people, organizations and events from all sides of the table including sports event planners and rights holders and others throughout the industry. We also recognize and appreciate the great destinations in this issue that have received your votes for our annual “Readers’ Choice Awards.” They, too, exhibit “éclat” of brilliant performance in hosting sports competitions of all types and sizes. Congratulations to this year’s winners!
Sports Event Planners & Rights Holders
The sports events industry is not for the faint of heart. It takes creativity, resourcefulness and perseverance to make it in the ever-changing and growing sports events landscape. These award-winning planners put their heart and soul into their business and they love every minute of it. Their events reflect that dedication and spirit.
Kevin Mann, President of 200 x 85 LLC, didn’t set out to create the largest youth hockey tournament, but that’s what happened after setting a series of goals and accomplishing them step by step.
“We never set out to be the largest AAA hockey event in the world. We didn’t measure our progress in relation to some benchmark,” he says. “What we did focus on was the attention to detail and the process of doing the work. When you focus on the detail instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present at the same time.”
Today, approximately 568 teams for boys and girls and more than 10,000 hockey players attend the largest youth hockey tournament.
It’s a big undertaking, but Mann says the staff is energized and excited to plan and execute the event.
“Our entire staff loves the process and detail of coordinating 25,000 plus people to attend a hockey event over the course of three days,” he says. “There is no better feeling seeing 10,000 people come through the building on Opening Night to experience everything that hockey has to offer.”
Opening Night includes a Coaches and Managers Reception hosted by the Chicago Blackhawks with food, drink and live music. Additional opening night activities for parents and players feature interactive games, hockey matches and Bauer hockey demo experiences.
Mann credits engaging activities, such as equipment demos, reception parties, interactive games, sponsor tents and celebrity appearances for boosting participation in his events.