Best of 2017 (Page 3)

The Best of 2017 Awards complete with seven categories. Congrats to all our winners.

Best Act:

The touring act or halftime show that excels in providing quality entertainment for your fans. Touring acts, halftime acts and non-mascot performers are considered. Consider drawing power, entertainment quality, cooperation of the act, ability of act to promote appearances, added media exposure for team, act innovation and value.

Winner: Cameron Hughes

Cameron Hughes is not your traditional touring act, in fact he is sui generis ion every sense.  Instead of standing at center court with an expertly crafted precision based routine Cameron is often first spotted in your seats eating popcorn.  What happens from there puts Cameron into a class by himself.

Cameron’s ability to unleash fan energy is unmatched.  He gives everything to the crowd and in nearly every case they give it right back. This isn’t an act that gets big round of applause after 5 minutes on the court, its an act that juices your audiences for 3 hours and makes fans stand and cheer all night.

In the words of one team executive: “Cameron is a real life mascot, sans the costume. In a new city with a new team, or a subdued arena on any given “sober” Tuesday night game he’s just what the doctor ordered. He gives permission and a crowd allowance to go nuts and the best thing to do to see what his presence does to a fan base is watch EVERYONE in the background of the section where he is. ALL SMILES. ALL JOY. I have never seen anything so “over” with the crowd in such a short amount of time.”

Stand out winner with our panel this year, with Red Panda Acrobat, Amazing Sladek, and Christian and Scooby also receiving consideration.

Category Winners:

Listen to the Best of 2017 Audio Round Table discussing all the categories and winners with out panel of Jon Cudo, Scott Carter and Benjamin Hill. – December 2017 Podcast

Best Team Introductions:

Which team introduction is the best produced, executed, fresh and innovative. Consider creativity, value to fans, execution, quality of presentation, fan interaction and attention to detail. We level the playing field by considering budget constraints to minor league teams. The category will focus primarily on the standard introduction (opening night variations will be considered, but the focus is on the standard game production). Due to the category we will also rely heavily on video reviews (YouTube, etc.).

Winner: Atlanta United (MLS)

Having the world’s newest most technologically advanced area might provide an edge in this category (it does) or perhaps it provided the creative spark…either way the Atlanta United used the Mercedes Benz Stadium Halo boards to rise above the competition in the Best Introductions category.

This Game of Thrones edition of their introductions is interesting, beautifully shot, with a theme, tells an effective story and maximizes the new technology.   Atlanta United is off to a great start in Georgia with crowd-pleasing video work like this.

One panel member noted “You install a Halo Board, you win.” however this clearly goes beyond the fancy hardware. It also should be noted that creating in a new format like a halo also includes some careful editing to make the theater-in-the-round style work smoothly.

Another panelist added “The new Mercedes Benz Stadium is an absolute technical marvel and I’ve had several Atlanta residents tell me that the MLS product brings the building to life even more than the Falcons do. Emerging sport in the world’s most as-of-right-now advanced stadium. Case closed under the awesome roof closure.”

Honorable Mention: Atlanta Hawks

The United weren’t the only Atlanta-based team impressing the panel with eye-popping introductions. The Atlanta Hawks soared to an Honorable Mention win with their best-in-the-NBA floor projection work coupled with a thoughtful showcase of their team assets and players.

Their court projection is just heads and tails above almost anything out there, and they capitalize on it for introductions, time outs and halftime presentations alike.Here is a more dated version that show cases the work they are doing.


Clippers, Celtics and Minnesota Wild also received favorable reviews from the panel this year.

Category Winners:

Listen to the Best of 2017 Audio Round Table discussing all the categories and winners with out panel of Jon Cudo, Scott Carter and Benjamin Hill. –  December 2017 Podcast

Related articles

January 2021 Party in the Back Podcast

Host Jon Cudo is joined by Tyler Scheuer star of Tyler’s Amazing Balancing Act, Emperor of Fun David Raymond and Game Presentation wiz Amanda Greco. It’s a balanced discussion about touring acts, whether mascots should wear masks, Joe Biden’s hair and playing Simon Sez via Zoom. In other words, it is a Party you won’t want to miss.