Sports stats

 Wichita Thunder

Thunder Nominated for Two Team Awards

June 6, 2024 - ECHL (ECHL)
Wichita Thunder News Release

WICHITA, Kan. - The Wichita Thunder, ECHL affiliate of the NHL's San Jose Sharks, AHL's San Jose Barracuda and powered by Toyota, are excited to announce that the team has been selected as a finalist in two categories for the 2023-24 Team Awards, presented by SponsorCX.

Wichita earned a nomination for Theme Night of the Year and for the Joe Babik Award (Media/PR Director of the Year).

The awards will be presented at the 2024 ECHL Hockey Summer Meetings in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 26. The presentation will also be available for streaming on the ECHL Facebook page at 7 p.m. ET on June 26.

The Thunder's Bluey Night, presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, was nominated as a finalist for Theme Night of the Year.

Wichita became the first minor league hockey team to bring out the beloved character. The Thunder had a lower bowl sellout on Saturday, February 10 against the Fort Wayne Komets and a line that wrapped around the concourse for fans to get their picture taken with Bluey.

"The atmosphere was one of the best we have had since I've been here," stated Vice President of Ticketing, Drew Hanson. "It was awesome to see all the families that came out to see Bluey."

Along with Bluey being in attendance, the night was also Pucks 'N Pups Night, presented by Little Buster's Sports Bar & Grill. All dog ticket proceeds were donated to the Kansas Humane Society and Beauties & Beasts.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is proud to partner with events such as Bluey Night and help contribute to the Wichita community," said Mike Gerrish, Vice President and Chief Marketing Experience Officer of BCBSKS. "Kansas is where our employees live, work and play, and we are passionate about growing and supporting our communities."

Also earning a nomination is Jason Mals for the Joe Babik Media/PR Director of the Year Award. This is his fourth nomination in this category. Mals helped coordinate several feature stories throughout the season, including one on Ryan Finnegan, who became just the second player in franchise history from the state of Kansas. He also organized the team's first-ever Fight Fentanyl Night, which was featured on the local ABC affiliate.

He helped coordinate the granting of a Make-A-Wish for a young boy who received tickets for his favorite NFL team, the Cincinnati Bengals. This wish was revealed during the team's game on October 27 with the help of Bengals super fan and Thunder GM, Joel Lomurno.

Mals has been with the franchise since 2004-05. Last season, he called his 1,000th game behind the mic as the team's voice. He earned the 2013 CHL Communications Director of the Year Award and was a recipient of the 2013-14 CHL Spirit Award, which was given to a member of the league who demonstrated enthusiasm, dedication and passion to their team and the game.

Season tickets for the 2024-25 season now on sale. Save money by reserving your seats for all the fast-paced, hard-hitting action of every game.

• Discuss this story on the ECHL message board...

ECHL Stories from June 6, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Other Recent Wichita Thunder Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central