The Washington Capitals owned by Greek-American Ted Leonsis have been named a finalist for the Professional Sports Team of the Year at the 2010 Sports Business Awards, presented by Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily. The Capitals are one of five nominees and the only NHL team in the group.
“This nomination is an honor and a tribute to how hard our organization works to deliver value for our fans,” Washington Capitals chairman and majority owner Ted Leonsis said. “We are committed to achieving excellence in this organization, and we are extremely humbled to be chosen as a finalist for this award. We had a great year in 2009, and we shared it with great fans; without them, recognition like this would not be possible.”
The Sports Business Awards recognize excellence and outstanding achievement in the business of sports for the period from Jan. 1, 2009 through Feb. 28, 2010. During this time the Capitals were 68-24-11 in 103 games. They sold out 59 of 61 home games (regular season and playoffs), while advancing to the second round for the playoffs for the first time since the 1997-98 season.
Local television broadcast ratings increased 60% from the previous year, while merchandise sales and web traffic saw similar spikes. Washington held the first Capitals Convention – which drew a sold-out crowd of more than 5,000 – before the 2009-10 season.
Joining the Capitals as finalists for the Professional Sports Team of the Year are the Cleveland Cavaliers from the NBA, New Orleans Saints from the NFL, Philadelphia Phillies from MLB and Seattle Sounders from the MLS. Professional sports teams in the major and minor leagues, in leagues whose central offices are located in North America were eligible.
The winners will be announced at an awards gala at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City on May 20
The Greek-American owner of the Capitals
Ted Leonsis,a Greek American, is known as one of the country’s premiere businessmen having held numerous leadership positions at AOL. He is also a professional sports team owner, a film producer, a private-angel investor, an active Board member and a committed philanthropist.
Early in his career, Ted was the founder of several new media companies including Redgate Communications Corporation, a pioneering new media company which, in 1993, was the first company acquired by AOL. He was also the founder of six personal computer magazines, authored four books and worked on the introduction of the IBM PC and the Apple Macintosh. He co-invented a very successful board game called “Only in New York,” and served as a marketing executive with Harris Corp and Wang Laboratories.
Ted is also the founder, chairman and majority owner of Lincoln Holdings LLC, a sports and entertainment company that holds ownership rights in several Washington, DC entities including 100% of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. Lincoln Holdings also owns approximately 44% of Washington Sports and Entertainment Limited Partnership (WSELP), which owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards, DC’s Verizon Center and the Baltimore-Washington Ticketmaster franchise.
During Ted’s tenure as majority owner of the Capitals, the team has won two division titles and recorded the second-most points in franchise history. Under his leadership, several Washington Capitals business units have been recognized nationally, including game presentation by IDEA, media relations by the Professional Hockey Writers Association and the website by Sports Business Journal and Forbes magazine.