It's a busy week for our Founder, Jonathan, as he's traveling to both the ECHL League Summer Marketing Meetings (June 14 & 15) and the AHL League Marketing Meetings (June 19 & 20) in the next 7 days.
What will Jonathan be speaking about? Click the video for a little teaser.
Whether they meant to or not, the New England Black Wolves of the National Lacrosse League, gave us all an ‘ah-ha’ moment that gameday auctions held by professional sports teams can put butts in seats.
Q: Who said ‘must be present to win’ meant items up for auction? A: quite a few people actually.
The Black Wolves had a different approach...
The Black Wolves offered youth lacrosse teams in attendance the opportunity to win proceeds from the jersey auction taking place that night. The winner would be announced during intermission and brought on to the field for a check presentation. What was the catch (b/c there’s always a catch)?
Not much: Winners had to be present to win. Meaning, they had to buy a ticket. The more youth lacrosse players and families who bought tickets and were in attendance, the higher the odds of winning the pot!
One youth lacrosse team went home with $3,000 that night.
This simple idea can drive hundreds of tickets to a game and be a TON of fun for those attending and creating memories that last forever.
Have a youth baseball, hockey, lacrosse, or soccer sales rep in your office? Let’s have a conversation about the finer details to ensure your success putting butts in seats with this auction opportunity.
Have a great day!
Founder, DASH Auction
Bullying is by no measure a new phenomenon for schools. However, in recent years there has certainly been a heightened recognition of bullying’s prevalence and the toll it takes on our youth.
In Allentown, Pennsylvania that recognition has turned into action. Dan Fremuth, the Director of Public Relations of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, has headed the organization’s efforts to combat bullying through the team’s community outreach.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms are not a new team, but they are new to Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Having spent most of its notable years in Glen Falls, New York under the name of Adirondack Phantoms, the team has quite the task of getting the word out about its presence.
While the Lehigh Valley Phantoms players build up team repertoire and spirit on the rink, Dan and the team’s mascot, meLVin are out in the community aiming to aid in the anti-bullying campaign.
For the team, a huge component of their efforts is driven by needs of the community. Specifically, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms charitable initiatives concentrate their efforts on a couple of local school programs. One of which is the Bully Busters Unite program, where Dan and meLVin head out to dozens of schools to educate children on bullying in a friendly and effective way.
Bully Busters Unite came on the heels of the team’s health initiative goals which was launched while the team was still located in Glen Falls, New York. The team has since carried on those health goals into their G.O.A.L. (Get Out and Live) Program.
Bully Busters Unite was created with the humble hope that a few schools would welcome Dan & meLVin into their classrooms and allow them the opportunity to make a difference.
Looking back at the past year, that humble hope was actualized to a far greater extent than predicted. Last year alone, Bully Busters Unite did 32 performances, visited 14 school districts and spoke to about 10,000 kids.
The program focused on sharing the right anti-bullying tips while walking that fine line of presenting valuable information when discussing an incredibly serious subject. By incorporating the team’s Mascot, meLVin, the program has been able to express issues in a friendly manner while allowing for a deeper understanding to take place by means of clear goals for the students.
“By means of trial and error, seeing what translated and what really worked best we landed on what I think is a really solid finished project,” said Dan.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms know the importance of having a robust game plan, and the same goes for their charitable initiatives. Dan says that the sustainability of programs such as Bully Busters Unite is crucial. Dan and meLVin learn on the fly and adapt quickly to changes. That kind of training has proved to be a winning formula for the program.
Upon examining the results of the Bully Busters Unite program, Dan admits it can be difficult to ascertain the effects the program has on some of the youngest students.
“You’re never quite sure because elementary kids tend to be the most unpredictable section,” said Dan. “Are they going to respond to the messages we want them to pick up on? That is one of the big things we struggle with.”
Although impact may be difficult to measure, Dan and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms make sure to follow up with teachers and ask what their observations have been since the program took place.
These checkpoints provide a valuable feedback loop for the Bully Busters Unite program. In turn, Dan and meLVin can continue honing in on the best practices while expanding the team’s philanthropic efforts.
Dan believes that considering the nature of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms potential for outreach, it is crucial that the team continues to remain a force of good.
“It is our civic duty and responsibility as a pro sports team in town,” said Dan. “We have a platform and a voice that people want to be a part of and listen to. We absolutely need to give back to the community that has supported us so much.”
Dan contends that family and teachers play an enormous role in the shaping of children’s experiences with bullying. All he hopes is that the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and meLVin can be a different voice, and an outlet to pass along outlined tips. That way, the performances serve as a reinforcement to the ideas that parents and local administrations convey already.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel,” said Dan. “These tips are simple but powerful ideas.”
628 bids placed - A new DASH record set by the Norfolk Admirals Friday night during their Military Appreciation game. The auction was comprised of FOUR Phases, all ending 30 minutes apart during the game. The four phases, all having 5 - 6 jerseys drove urgency, engagement, and a 'fear of missing out' (FOMO) from fans wanting to meet players, get an autograph, and take their favorite player's jersey home at the end of the night.
Of the 50+ bidders, less than half won... leaving a considerable number of fans who all indicated to the club they're willing to put down serious dollars for Norfolk Admirals gear. Is there a team who wouldn't want to call 50+ fans Monday after an auction for an upsell opportunity or to offer team merchandise or tickets, to those who lost out on bidding?
This is the second auction in a row the Admirals, lead by Ex-NAHL front office man Walt Ruff, have shattered DASH Auction engagement numbers. Walt knows a thing or two about engaging a fanbase through digital auctions and team social channels. Not only did the Admirals break the bidding record, but also broke DASH impression numbers with more than 10,000 impressions from fans.
Flint Firebirds – Ontario Hockey League
The Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League started searching for a digital auction company to help us with our Chewbacca themed Star Wars jersey auction in December of 2016. After talking to a few companies, we decided on DASH Auction. We chose DASH because it is easy to build the auction and easy to navigate for the bidders - in other words, easy on our end and easy for our fans. We also chose DASH based on the community of teams using DASH and because DASH was born from a sports background. We worked directly with the founder and his sports knowledge was above and beyond the knowledge of competitors, allowing us to communicate effectively with him about our goals and what we needed out of the app.
DASH allowed fans at our Star Wars Night game and fans not attending to bid on jerseys, which allowed us to target a larger audience. During our Star Wars Night game, our defenseman scored the game-winning goal in overtime and when the auction closed, his jersey had doubled in value. Because fans were able to connect to the app during the game without having to leave their seats, moments during the game have an effect on the jersey auction to a larger degree than a pen and paper silent auction. The usability and ease of DASH helped us auction off all of the jerseys.
We loved working with DASH Auction and are planning to continue using the app for future auctions.
Corporate Marketing, Social Media
Flint Firebirds Hockey
FC Dallas – Major League Soccer
DASH has proven to be one of the most solid partners the FC Dallas Foundation has worked with. They have changed the auction experience for the nonprofit as well as the bidders. We have raised 90% more on our in game and event auctions by using DASH. We have saved countless hours by being able to pop an auction up with 30 items or sometimes just 3. Our fans look for the ‘in game item’ that can appear after a big save or game winning goal! The social media engagement of DASH and innovative auction ideas to raise more funds have proven to help make our auctions successful. We are looking forward to our 2017 season and being able to offer our fans even more engagement with players and special memorabilia through DASH.
Executive Director, FC Dallas Foundation & Community Relations
FC Dallas & Toyota Stadium
9200 World Cup Way
North American Hockey League – League Office
The North American Hockey League has been very pleased with our partnership with DASH. Their innovative and groundbreaking app make it possible for the 115 hockey teams under our umbrella to generate valuable revenue and audience information utilizing auctions that make it easy and convenient for both the customer and the team.
Best of all, any item or idea fits the profile and model of what the DASH app is built for. Not only does it include traditional items such as sports memorabilia and game-used items, but also includes experiences and interactions with team members and staff.
Jonathan Hufnagel has been nothing but professional from the moment he walked in our door and we have seen the company grow before our eyes, with new teams taking advantage of the partnership on a weekly basis. In today’s digital and technology-based age, it is a tool we expect to utilize for many years to come and are excited about growing and expanding the partnership.
Director, Communications & Sales
North American Hockey League (NAHL)
Tulsa Oilers – ECHL – Team General Manager
We have been very pleased with our partnership with the DASH Auction App, and the relationship we've built with DASH Founder Jonathan Hufnagel. Not only does DASH provide us a creative new way to boost revenue, but from the feedback we've received, DASH has been a great experience for our fans.
Our goal in working with DASH was finding another platform to enhance the experience of our many fans all over Tulsa, the U.S. and internationally. Throughout the season, Mr. Hufnagel has been very helpful in providing us valuable information about our fans and new ideas to incorporate into our mobile auctions. We are excited to hear of DASH's growth in such a short amount of time, and highly recommend Jonathan and DASH to any pro sports team (major league or minor league) as an effective way to sell product and engage fans.
Taylor Hall | Tulsa Oilers | General Manager
9128 E. 46th St. | Tulsa, OK74145
Lone Star Brahmas – North American Hockey League
We started using DASH in the off season before the start of the 2016-2017 campaign. We found that DASH is an easy and fun way to engage fans. The first auctions were team signed helmets, jerseys, and sticks. Once the season hit we began auctioning off experiences like riding on the team bus, guest color commentator, and VIP seating options not normally open to the general public.
Our fans love the DASH app, and are constantly asking me when the next auction is and what we have in store for it. The sky is the limit with this app. Jonathan and his team are incredibly easy to work with, and very responsive when we have questions. If your team is not using DASH you are essentially leaving money on the table.
Lone Star Brahmas Hockey Club
Colorado Switchbacks FC – United Soccer League
The Colorado Springs Switchbacks Football Club of the United Soccer League worked very closely with DASH Founder Jonathan Hufnagel during our 2016 season. Jonathan provided a unique experience to our fans where they were able to access unique auction items in an easy-to-use app to help drive our engagement with fans. Jonathan and DASH put in a lot of time and effort in making sure our auctions would bring the greatest experience possible to our fans in addition to making the process of setting up the auctions as simple and easy to use as possible. As the Communications Manager, I was the primary person responsible for setting up our auctions and I would highly recommend DASH for the Blue Star Accelerator program. Jonathan’s professionalism and DASH's position as a top-level auction app have made them a perfect fit for us that we wish to continue in 2017.
Joel Huber - Communications Manager
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
234 N Tejon
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903
Charlotte Checkers – American Hockey League
I’m very thankful for the DASH Auction App and for the partnership that the Checkers and I now have with Jonathan. Not only is the app incredibly easy to use for the fans, but also for the auction host. In just three short months the Checkers Charitable Foundation has been able to bring in addition revenue. This is money that we wouldn’t have been able to receive otherwise or donations that otherwise wouldn’t have been as large in size. We are very thankful for what DASH has been able to do for our foundation.
A great product becomes an incredible product based on the customer service the company is able to give. I couldn’t speak more highly of Jonathan and of the DASH Auction app. I am more than happy to refer him to everyone else that I know in the sports world and truly believe DASH will become the norm for all sports teams in seasons to come. The Checkers Charitable Foundation looks forward to using the platform for season to come.
Director of Charitable and Community Programs
Charlotte Checkers Hockey Club
Checkers Charitable Foundation
Norfolk Admirals - ECHL
Hello! I am writing this memo to you to share the positive experiences I have had working with DASH Auction. It has been brought to my knowledge that Jonathan and DASH are applying for to the Blue Star business accelerator and this is something that the entire staff is very excited about the prospect of.
Jonathan has a fantastic vision for his company and his willingness to be flexible, personable and complete the extra mile to create and maintain a beneficial partnership for both parties is what really sets DASH apart from many partnerships I have ever had.
I hope this message finds you well and encourages your decision regarding DASH.
Norfolk Admirals Hockey
ECHL Affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers
201 E. Brambleton Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23510-2411
OKC Energy FC, United Soccer League
DASH app is an excellent and innovative auction app that has been a valuable asset to Energy FC of the United Soccer League. With sincere and dedicated employees/owners, DASH app has helped our soccer club cultivate new ideas, execute high quality plans, and produce noteworthy revenue.
It is clear that DASH app is on the cutting edge of online auctions and has a great vision for how online auctions can and will affect sports, especially in-game. DASH app is a fun way to intrigue fans, increase reach and engagement, produce revenue, and improve the overall game experience.
Choosing DASH app will not disappoint.
Magean De La Torre
OKC Energy FC
University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
It was a big win for us last night nationally. I can’t say enough good things about the auction and the feedback we received. We raised a good amount of money, but the exposure and chatter that the DASH app created was second to none. Everybody that we heard from loved it and we had zero complaints/issues. About 2/3 of the winners were either on site or parents so we only have to ship 8 or 9 of them. We will get them sent out first thing on Monday.
We can’t thank you enough for your support and help during this. You have a great product but provide even better service. You have done a lot for us, but now please let me know what we can do for you! Anything we can do on our end to provide positive feedback/exposure for you, please let us know we would be glad to do so.
Men’s Hockey Associate Head Coach
Strength Center Coordinator
University Wisconsin-Stevens Point
For most brand-new sports teams, developing a fan base in an unfamiliar city can be an intimidating task. So, when the Greg Odde founded the Aberdeen Wings, there was quite a bit of uncertainty about how the community of Aberdeen, South Dakota was going to welcome the team.
“In a town of just under 30,000 people, we were unsure of how we would draw with the community,” said Pete Sauer, General Manager of the Aberdeen Wings.
It had taken about a year to go from having the idea for a hockey team to dropping the first puck. Considering the tight knit feel of the city, Greg and Pete knew that the players were not only going to have to play the role of sports professionals, but also as role models.
“One of the very first things we discussed was how we wanted these guys to be role models in the community and that is still true today,” said Pete.
The team’s owner, Greg Odde, is a hometown guy and he plays a very hands-on role when it comes to the team, which is not always the case in professional sports.
“We have a small team but big heart,” said Pete.
The Aberdeen Wings have a way of blending in with the town and respond to the immediate needs of the community. Pete likens their approach as being on the frontlines, wherever the greatest need is.
“We don’t necessarily attach our name to a large charitable organization, much of what we do is behind the scenes,” said Pete.
The players serve as role models to many children in Aberdeen and the players take that role seriously. In addition to visiting the schools to encourage kids to keep up with their studies, the players will invite students to stay active by skating at the rink after a practice.
The players make appearances at the local grade schools and hospitals but some of the most impactful instances are when the players make it personal.
For example, the players make the effort even in their own time to visit members of the community that are going through tough times.
After learning that one of their younger fans had gone through a serious surgical operation, a group of the players made sure to be there when the young fan woke up from surgery.
“This was even after the season was over and many of the players had already flown back home for the off-season. This was not coached, the players did this on their own,” said Pete.
The players also have a special attachment to the South Dakota School of the Blind. The Aberdeen Wings have been visiting the school for years and always make sure to support the school in whichever way they can.
The Aberdeen Wings have one of the largest fan bases in their division, and after learning about their style of community engagement, it’s not difficult to understand why. The community supports the team in a remarkable fashion and makes every effort to commit, especially when tragedy befalls the players.
When a couple former players were touched by cancer, they were invited back to Aberdeen for a special event. In an effort to raise funds for their treatment, a hockey helmet was passed around the arena to collect cash donations. By the end of the night, nearly $10,000 was raised for each former player to aid in their medical expenses.
“I truly believe our fan base is built one fan at a time. We’re in a small town so the support we receive is unbelievable,” said Pete.
The Aberdeen Wings and their fans believe in the mantra “Once a Wing, Always a Wing” so there is no hesitation in coming together for the good of one of the team’s former players.
The Aberdeen Wings play a heartwarming benefit game every single year for a local organization. The team raises funds by auctioning off unique jerseys made specially for the organization being honored. Aberdeen’s local National Guard, YMCA and Humane Society have benefitted from participating in these games. For the National Guard game, the funds raised went to local families who had a relative on deployment, Year one was for your local National Guard post.
‘We do some very big numbers for these games due to generosity of our fan base,” said Pete.
Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds are introducing a new way to acquire unique game-worn memorabilia and experiences with the help of Digital Auction Showdown (DASH), a mobile and online sports auctioning platform.
The Firebirds host the Saginaw Spirit Friday, Dec. 30 for the second-annual “Star Wars Night” at the newly renovated Dort Federal Event Center. The Firebirds will be wearing special Chewbacca themed jerseys throughout the entire game. Fans in Flint and around the world will have the opportunity to bid on these unique jerseys through the DASH app. The bidding process will begin at the Dec. 28 game vs. the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds at the Dort Federal Event Center and will end on Friday, Dec. 30 at 11:59 p.m.
To download the free DASH mobile app, log on to dashapp.io and download the app through either Google Play or the Apple App Store. Fans can also locate the free app through their respective app store by searching “DASH Auction.”
10 Star Wars characters to be in attendance on December 30th and the first 1,000 fans through the doors will receive free lightsabers. Parking at the Dort Federal Event Center has been reduced to $5 for the remainder of the season and one lucky fan will always have the chance to shoot for $10,000 during the second intermission at all Firebirds’ home games.
DASH was founded out of a need to find a better way to reach more fans at team-hosted auctions. Founder and CEO of DASH, Jonathan Hufnagel, began his career with FC Dallas in Major League Soccer (MLS) and noted the difficulties with pen-and-paper auctions during games. With the prevalence of smart phones and mobile technology, Hufnagel saw a window to help elevate auctions and interactions through a mobile application while connecting fans with their favorite team in a more personal way. Today, DASH works with professional sports teams such as FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Midland Rockhounds and the Charlotte Checkers.