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 Springfield Thunderbirds

T-Birds' Front Office Staffer Wins Howdy Award for Hospitality Excellence

April 30, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Springfield Thunderbirds News Release


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds earned their second-ever Howdy Award recognition on Monday night during the 27th annual event inside the MassMutual Center. T-Birds Manager of Brand Development and Merchandise, Drew Supernor, earned the Howdy in the "Attractions" category, one of 10 local hospitality workers spotlighted on Monday.

The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau presents the Howdy Awards annually to recognize the outstanding service hospitality industry employees provide. Supernor's award victory marks the second time the Thunderbirds organization has taken home a Howdy. Team mascot "Boomer" captured the same honor in 2018.

"We want to thank the GSCVB for recognizing Drew and Lauren Blanchard from our staff as finalists for their category," said Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa. "As someone who has been with our franchise since our first day in 2016, Drew has embodied what it means to be a service champion to his customers. On top of that award-winning trait, he has been instrumental in creating some of the best merchandise lines of any team in the American Hockey League, and we could not be prouder to have him represent our organization for this much-deserved honor."

During the T-Birds' immensely successful 2023-24 season, the box office records also translated into the brand and merchandise space. Supernor's team was instrumental in generating a 10% increase in online and in-arena sales compared to the prior season. The store's full rebrand on specialty nights led to big crowds looking to stock up on T-Birds gear, including the single-game record for merchandise sales on the club's annual Ice-O-Topes Night this past February.

Since their inception in 2016, the Thunderbirds' merchandise sales have grown in each of the team's first seven seasons of play. Total merchandise sales for the Springfield AHL franchise have grown 6x from the final year of the Falcons organization in 2015-16 to today.

"Merchandise plays a vital role in representing your brand in the area and is not just a means of generating revenue," explained Costa. "When you visit downtown Springfield on game nights, you can see T-Birds gear everywhere. People of all ages wear it proudly, which speaks volumes about Drew and his team's ability to bring in products that people genuinely want to wear and show off."

While the 2023-24 season has concluded, fans can still get their hands on T-Birds merchandise online. Fans can also reserve seats for Thunderbirds' hockey action in the 2024-25 season with a ticket membership by calling (413)-739-GOAL (4625) or visiting www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.


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