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 Springfield Thunderbirds

Two T-Birds Front Office Staffers Recognized as Howdy Award Finalists

April 10, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Springfield Thunderbirds News Release

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The Springfield Thunderbirds are proud to announce that two of their front office staff members have been nominated as finalists for the 27th Annual Howdy Awards, presented by the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB).

Thunderbirds account executive Lauren Blanchard and brand development/merchandise manager Drew Supernor are among the finalists in the "Attractions" category. One of the 12 finalists in that group will be presented with the Howdy Award at the annual event on April 29 at the MassMutual Center.

In addition to Blanchard and Supernor, two other Thunderbird representatives were recognized as part of the original pool of nominees: partnership activation & events coordinator Alana Mather and team mascot Boomer.

"One of our core pillars as an organization is always to do right by our fans and customers," said Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa. "We could not be more proud to have Drew, Lauren, Alana, and Boomer represent our team and city in forging meaningful relationships with our fans. We encourage all of our fans to vote for Drew and Lauren for this much-deserved honor."

Blanchard joined the Thunderbirds' full-time staff in 2021 after interning with the team during the 2019-20 season. She and the ticket sales team have quickly established themselves as one of the best in the American Hockey League, selling out the MassMutual Center an incredible 43 times since the start of the 2021-22 season, including each of the last 11 T-Birds games. The average attendance inside the Thunderdome has more than doubled in the past eight seasons, dating back to the final season of the Springfield Falcons in 2015-16. This season, an average of 6,278 fans have flocked to the 6,793-seat arena.

Supernor, an original T-Birds staff member from the club's inception in 2016, has led the T-Birds to immense success in team merchandising. Innovative new product lines inspired by marquee events (i.e., Throwback, Ice-O-Topes, Pink in the Rink, Military Appreciation) have led the team to merchandise revenues increasing six times from the Falcons era. He also has implemented a T-Birds Authentic line, which allows fans to get their hands on game-used items like sticks, jerseys, goal pucks, and more.

The Howdy Awards was established by GSCVB in 1996 to recognize front-line employees in the hospitality industry. The 72 finalists are from throughout western Massachusetts and were selected from businesses, organizations, and activities in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties. The judging panel will be comprised of recognized industry professionals, and one winner from each category will be chosen on April 29th at the MassMutual Center.

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