Friday, May 11, 2007

Spirit's Goslin named top OHL executive

The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Saginaw Spirit managing partner Craig Goslin is the OHL Executive of the Year for the 2006-07 season.

Goslin, a 46-year-old native of Bay City, is the first repeat winner of this award, having also won the Executive of the Year honours in 2005-06. since Jim Rutherford of the Detroit Jr. Red Wings, who was the successful recipient in 1992-1993 and 1993-1994.

Goslin has been instrumental in the success of the Saginaw Spirit franchise during their first five years of operation, establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of first class, quality sports entertainment.

Goslin joined the Spirit prior to their inaugural season in 2002, as VP of sales, following a distinguished 19-year career with Hilti Corporation. He was named part owner, managing partner and alternate governor of the Spirit, in 2005.

During the season, Goslin and his staff hosted a very successful 2007 OHL All-Star Classic in Saginaw . The two-day event marked the first time in OHL history that the All-Star Classic has left Ontario . Goslin and his business staff organized the first annual “Saginaw Spirit Ice Festival” the weekend prior to the All-Star Classic, partnering with the entire community of mid-Michigan to celebrate and educate fans on OHL hockey in Saginaw. The festival was estimated to bring in over $3 million to the local economy.

Goslin and his staff introduced a new mascot during the 2006-07 regular season, which was named “Steagle-Cobeagle the Eagle” following a campaign by Stephen Colbert from Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” who encouraged his international television audience to vote for the name on the Spirit website. People from all parts of the globe were exposed to the Spirit and the entire OHL through this campaign. Stephen Colbert has continued to cover “Steagle-Cobeagle the Eagle” as a regular feature on weekly or bi-weekly basis on “The Colbert Report."

Goslin and his business team were instrumental in generating over $1.5 million in corporate advertising in 2006-07 and sold 2,600 season tickets throughout the season. The Spirit also continued to produce the largest laser system operated in the mid-Michigan community, enhancing the overall game day experience for Spirit fans.

Goslin also created positive relationships with high schools, colleges and universities providing Spirit players with multiple educational opportunities.

Goslin is the chairman of the business development committee for the OHL, which he helped spearhead the creation of in 2005. Under Goslin’s leadership, the committee helps lead the 20 OHL member teams in an effort to encourage communication and cooperation for the purposes of leveraging each member team’s marketing strengths while raising the level of business operations throughout the OHL.

Goslin has spent tireless hours working to improve the business operations and structures of not only the Saginaw Spirit, but the entire OHL.

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