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DASH Auction Hires New Business Development Officer

Jim Forzano Pic.png

The DASH Team is proud to announce the hire of Jim Forzano.  Jim will be in charge of business development and will be the first point of contact for teams onboarding with DASH.

You can welcome Jim to the DASH family via email at

Jim has dedicated his career to the sports media industry for more than 20 years.  He’s worked in the country’s top markets producing sports content for ABC, NBC and Fox Sports.  Jim has also gained strong sales development experience in the digital signage and print media world.

"Jim is another valuable piece to the puzzle.  We have one of the strongest start-up teams in Dallas and we're fortunate to be able to bring Jim on the journey with us," says Jonathan Hufnagel, Founder of DASH, Digital Auction Showdown.



Firebirds to Auction ‘Star Wars Night’ Jerseys via DASH Auction Mobile App


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 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.

Major League Soccer, MLS Works use DASH Auction for MLS Cup '16

PLANO, TX (November 22, 2016) - Major League Soccer (MLS) and MLS Works, the charitable arm of Major League Soccer, and DASH, Digital Auction Showdown, a Dallas based start-up, have announced a new partnership.  MLS has partnered with DASH to utilize their mobile sports auction platform to support their charitable initiatives surrounding MLS Cup '16.

Major League Soccer will be offering signed, game-worn memorabilia from past MLS Cup matches, in addition to game-worn memorabilia during the MLS Cup '16 match this December.  Teams still with an opportunity to win the biggest prize in MLS are the Seattle Sounders, Colorado Rapids, Montreal Impact, and Toronto FC.

DASH was founded in 2015 by Jonathan Hufnagel in Plano, Texas. Hufnagel started his career in sports with FC Dallas, Major League Soccer.  It was working at FC Dallas that Hufnagel recognized the opportunity to launch DASH.

Hufnagel noted the struggles, and opportunities, the Team’s Foundation Director was having with her pen/paper gameday auctions.  By digitizing the auctions, fans could connect with their favorite teams in an emotional and engaging way, and at the same time get their hands on the most authentic memorabilia and team experiences.   For the teams, they could broaden their auction audience and create a revenue generating fan experience platform for their club.

"DASH is excited to partner with Major League Soccer and MLS Works to support the MLS Cup '16 charitable initiatives,” said Jonathan Hufnagel, Founder of DASH. “I’ve seen the list of auction items that Major League Soccer will be making available to their fans and they are all exceptional!  I think we’ll have sports fans and memorabilia collectors from around the world tuned in and bidding.”

For more information about DASH, visit

About DASH

DASH is a sports memorabilia auction app that benefits a sports team and is designed to enhance a fan's experience before, during & after a game. DASH is a chance for fans to get the most authentic memorabilia and team experiences right from their mobile device. DASH is the only digital auction platform built specifically for sports teams and their fans.

Melissa Werman - San Diego Gulls Community Relations

As a new team out to make a name for themselves in the American Hockey League, the San Diego Gulls have a lot to show for it. The 2015-16 season was their first and as the team sets out into the rink, the San Diego Gulls Foundation is out making strides in the Southern California community.  

Melissa Werman and Sam Kieckhefer make up the core of the community relations team at the San Diego Gulls Foundation. Speaking with the two of them about the mission of the San Diego Gulls Foundation revealed the importance of the team’s established foundation, the Anaheim Ducks Foundation.  

“We are a direct extension of the Anaheim Ducks Foundation, we are one in the same” said Werman.  Although the team operates under a different name, the core values of the Anaheim Ducks are reflected well in the initiatives the San Diego Gulls take on. These values are embodied by the three pillars in which the organization strives to focus their charitable outreach on. Children’s issues, sport of hockey awareness and health & wellness needs of the community make up the top three priorities." 

The San Diego Gulls Foundation has found that one of the strongest relationships of their young organization is with Rady’s Children’s Hospital. “Within the last six months we’ve been able to nurture and grow our relationship quite quickly” said Werman.

Supporting the amazing work being done at Rady’s is one of the most cherished parts of the Gull’s program. The players have visited the outpatient areas and spent time getting to know the children and families.  

For Kieckhefer , seeing the expressions of gratitude and excitement for the players makes his role at the San Diego Gulls ever more meaningful.  “We’ve been in the community for about a year, the greatest gift we get back is smiling faces. When players visit schools or the children’s hospitals, it’s the joy and warm reception of what we’re bringing to them that makes it so impactful” said Kieckhefer.  

Addressing children’s health and wellness needs hits on two of the three top priorities making the endeavor that much more integral to the foundation’s efforts. In addition to visiting the hospital, the foundation hosted the well-recognized Teddy Bear Toss during their game against the San Jose Barracudas. For the Teddy Bear Toss, fans were asked to bring a brand new teddy bear to toss onto the ice after the Gulls scored their first goal. All bears were donated to the San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Teddy Bear Drive to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital.  

Unlike other organizations that may attempt to spearhead their own programs, the San Diego Gulls truly want to make sure to support those already making a difference.  “Instead of recreating, we focus on adding value through the enthusiasm of our team and our fan base to bring attention to the issues facing our community” explained Werman.  

Broadening access to hockey is of special importance to the San Diego Gulls. In San Diego, there are many who have never played hockey, much less attended a hockey game. To bridge the gap, the team aims to build awareness by visiting schools to share the sport of hockey with children.

“Our goal is and always will be to connect the dots through the sport of hockey,” emphasized Werman.

Thus far, efforts to implement hockey programs in local schools have been received with open arms. The foundation is in talks with multiple schools and local non-profits to introduce, teach and engage the community with hockey.  

“That was the coolest accomplishment, we had expectations and they were constantly achieved. Seeing the support of our fan base shows we are truly making an impact in the community” said Kieckhefer.  

As far as goals for the foundation go, Kieckhefer & Werman plan on pushing awareness through the Greater San Diego area, up into Orange County, and even down into Tijuana. In order to execute on the vision, the San Diego Gulls plan on partnering up with some big names to ensure success.  

“In the future, we are looking to extend our relationship with large non-profits so that we are making an impact on a national level” said Werman.   


What does a meaningful auction for your club look like?

Traditionally, sports teams gauge the success of their auctions by two metrics: did we raise a lot of money, and did we sell all of our items? 

One could argue, that these metrics are out dated.  Of course, we want to raise money and sell all our items, but the digital auction provides so many more opportunities for a sports franchise to drive further business.  Here are two examples:

  • Fan impressions:  Do you believe it would be useful to know who has been visiting your auctions, how long they were there, and how many times they interacted with your auction?  Strong numbers in these categories could prove useful in having a sponsor partner with your auction and utilizing auctions as a marketing vehicle for your club.
  • Meaningful items: Teams come in all shapes, sizes, and ages.  For this reason, auctions should not be exclusive to memorabilia or jersey auctions.  Items should be utilized to support other areas of a sports franchises’ business.  To elaborate, some teams will have 50% of fans attending their games as a first-time ticket buyer.  Wouldn’t it make sense to offer items that drive fans to come back to games for a second and third visit?

As the trend of digitizing auctions continues to grow throughout sports, the purpose of auctions will vastly differ among teams and leagues.  No two teams are the same, nor their fanbase.  Driving the highest dollar amount is not always the indicator of true success.

Charlotte Checkers - One of the Most Giving Teams In Sports

As a young athlete, Kelsey Young developed an appreciation for the sports industry as a whole. From the legions of fans that fuel sports teams, to the various charitable organizations funded by the industry, Young felt the pull to join.

Fast forward to today, that vision has come to fruition. Since August of 2015, Young has served as the Director of Charitable and Community Programs for the Charlotte Checkers.


Leading the charitable efforts of the Charlotte Checkers Foundation is no small task, considering the well-recognized philanthropy of the organization. Since 2006, the Charlotte Checkers have donated an incredible total of $3.7 million to the community. In recognition of this, The Charlotte Checkers have been awarded the American Hockey League’s Award of Excellence for Community Service, three out of the last six seasons.


When speaking about the types of initiatives the Charlotte Checkers Foundation focuses on, it’s hard not to note the owner’s involvement in the process.


“Our owner, Michael Kahn, loves the sport and even more so loves the opportunity to help out the community,” said Young.


For Kahn, it’s an understood notion that acquiring the Charlotte Checkers served as a community play for him because at the end of the day the team is a community organization.


“We wouldn’t be anything if it wasn’t for the people in Charlotte”, said Young.


Kahn and the Charlotte Checkers Foundation have placed special emphasis on “promoting the health, character, education and success of children and adolescents.”


“We host four school programs where we set up hockey times with players and students to highlight health and wellness all while teaching kids a bit about hockey”, said Young.  


Each of the four school programs has its own theme. For example, the Science of Hockey Program educates students on the actual physics behind playing hockey. Students get hands on experience with experimenting and physical demonstrations of skating, shooting, ice-resurfacing, among other topics.


The school programs are a hit not only with the kids, but also the teachers and parents.

“My kids don't really get the opportunity to see a lot of professional players and they were just super excited that someone would take time out of their day to come teach them about science,” said Marsha Brenes, of Shamrock Gardens Elementary School.


Young says that the real treat is when longtime mascot, Chubby, comes out to spend time with the kids. “Chubby is the cutest little polar bear, and the kids go crazy over him”, said Young.


In addition to school programs, fundraising nights make up a huge portion of the foundation’s funding efforts. These fundraising events serve as high energy spirit nights for nonprofits to generate as much revenue as possible for their organization. The Charlotte Checkers funnel the support of their fan-base and team to bring attention and raise awareness for much needed causes.


“Last year alone, we worked with over 125 fundraising groups and they were able to raise $120,000,” recalled Young. Historically speaking, both numbers have grown year after year, and Young expects the trend to continue in 2017. 

In addition to expanding the number of organizations, the Charlotte Checkers Foundation hopes to increase the breadth of their initiatives. “Due to our close proximity to the border, we are able to help out other nonprofits in South Carolina as well,” said Young.


One of the team’s signature events is the Pink in the Rink night, where the foundation raises awareness and funds for the fight against women’s cancers.  Having hosted the event for 16 seasons, the staff and team have a special connection with the survivors and fans who come out to support the effort. Multiple organizations benefit from the funding including Pretty in Pink, Carolina Breast Friends, Cindy’s Hope Chest, and more.


Although the Charlotte Checkers boast a team of excited youth ready and willing to head out into the community, one player in particular stands out the most. Kyle Hagel, forward for the team, implemented two of his own reading programs at McClintock Middle School in Charlotte. He has spent more hours at the Checker’s scheduled school programs and makes more community appearances than any of his fellow teammates.  


In recognition of his contributions to Charlotte, Hagel was awarded the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for the 2015-2016 season.


“Anytime we have any sort of community event, Hagel is always the first to sign up and show up,” said Young.

Young has high expectations for future foundation led events, and it seems that she has the right team to fulfill those expectations.

NAHL announces partnership with DASH, Digital Auction Showdown

<Press Release via North American Hockey League>

The North American Hockey League (NAHL) has announced a new partnership withDASH, Digital Auction Showdown, as the preferred digital auctions provider for the NAHL, North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) and North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL). DASH is the only digital auction platform built specifically for sports teams and their fans.

Everyone wins using DASH, including the teams and their fans. DASH is a sports memorabilia auction app designed to enhance a fan's experience before, during & after a game and allows fans to get the most authentic memorabilia and team experiences right from their mobile device. The list of auction ideas teams have to choose from is endless.

“All of our teams use auctions throughout the season to support great community causes and organizations and the DASH app is the next generation and cutting edge of getting team’s memorabilia into the fans hands,” said Alex Kyrias, Director of Communications and Sales for the NAHL. “Using DASH is also about the experience for fans and teams. It’s quick and easy and provides a much smoother fan experience in a crowded arena.”

DASH was founded in 2015 by Jonathan Hufnagel in Plano, Texas. Jonathan started his career in sports with FC Dallas, Major League Soccer.  It was working at FC Dallas that Jonathan recognized the opportunity to launch DASH, Digital Auction Showdown. He noted the struggles, and opportunities, the Team’s Foundation Director was having with her team memorabilia auctions.  The auctions were rudimentary pen and paper auctions with little fan engagement and money raised. With the prevalence of smart phones in every fans’ hand, Jonathan recognized the potential in digitizing the team auctions. Through the auctions, fans could connect with their favorite teams in an emotional and engaging way, and at the same time get their hands on the most authentic memorabilia and team experiences.   For the teams, they could connect with their fans and drive revenues for other business units of the club as well, such as merchandise, concessions, sponsorships, and ticket sales.

"DASH is excited to partner with the NAHL, NA3HL and NAPHL to continue building out our Digital Auction Platform for sports organizations,” said Jonathan Hufnagel, Founder of DASH. “Our mission is to connect sports fans with the most authentic team memorabilia and experiences directly from their favorite sports teams. We want to make the lives of our partner teams easier, develop ideas and programs with teams to use digital auctions and help grow other parts of their business such as ticket sales and merchandise.”

DASH’s current clients range from Major League Soccer teams, the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers, MiLB baseball teams, United Soccer League (USL) and already a handful of NAHL clubs.  We are a boutique auction platform servicing sports teams.  The goal with our partner teams is to help them turn their auction business into a strong asset for their club and utilize the auctions they’re hosting on DASH to drive ticket sales, merchandise and sponsorship dollars.

For more information about DASH, visit


About DASH

DASH is a sports memorabilia auction app that benefits a sports team and is designed to enhance a fan's experience before, during & after a game. DASH is a chance for fans to get the most authentic memorabilia and team experiences right from their mobile device. DASH is the only digital auction platform built specifically for sports teams and their fans.

Joey Cummings - FC Dallas and DASH Fan

Joey with 2016 FC Dallas Ball.png

Greg Cummings is the patriarch of a soccer family: in the late-1970s when he worked for Cities Service in Tulsa, one of his favorite activities was cheering on the original Tulsa Roughnecks that competed in the NASL. All of his children are happiest on the pitch, and Cummings, now of Flower Mound, Texas, is all-in with FC Dallas.

            But this is not just a story of a superfan. Cummings’ son Joey, who lives with Down Syndrome, plays for FC Dallas’ Special Olympics team. Greg coached Joey for seven years in Coppell Soccer’s special needs team, eventually leading Joey to join FC Dallas’ SO club along with his best friend, Yousef Malallah, and Joey’s older brother Matt, who plays as a partner on the team.

            “Joey’s been part of Special Olympics since he was six,” Cummings said. “What FC Dallas does for these kids is just fantastic. We tell everybody about it. There’s a whole group of kids who want to try out the next time they build a team.”

            FC Dallas’ SO team is coached by Cindy Schroeder and her sons, Kyle and Craig. Cummings said the coaching staff is exemplary in how they put the team through its paces.

            “Kyle runs practices just like a regular soccer practice,” Cummings said. “I was impressed with how he was able to bring along Joey and Yousef, along with some of the lower-functioning kids, on drills. I knew they could play soccer, but I didn’t know how they’d do with the drills. It’s amazing.”

            The FC Dallas Special Olympics team gets the full professional treatment, with each player signing a two-year contract and posing for team photos and posters. Players are assembled from throughout the DFW metroplex, and while the players come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, FC Dallas builds a strong sense of camaraderie among the members.

            “It’s Allen, it’s Plano, Grand Prairie, Flower Mound,” Cummings said. “But it’s amazing what they’re like when they’re together.”

            Cummings describes Joey as being a strong soccer player but not particularly fast, but speed deficits don’t keep Joey Cummings down. In September 2015, the player wasn’t happy with his performance, having not scored during the season, and as FC Dallas squared off against the L.A. Galaxy, Joey was subbed out during the second half and begging Craig Schroeder to put him back in. He wanted a chance to put one into the net, and Joey felt like it was his time. With five minutes left in the match, Joey subbed back in and successfully crossed to execute a crucial score, finishing off the L.A. Galaxy 3-1.

            “He scored against the L.A. Galaxy,” Cummings said. “They caught it on video – he came running off the field and jumped into the coach’s arms.”

            Cummings said the ongoing experience helps his son develop teamwork, sportsmanship, social skills and self-esteem.

            “Everyone is so nice with the kids,” he said. “The athletes and the unified players get along so well. It’s so good for them, and some of these other kids, this is the first time they’ve been around this scenario. How well they all work together – the coaches, the partners and the special needs kids – is just wonderful.”

Lauren Simone, Executive Director of the Florida Panthers Foundation

Coming up on her one year anniversary as Executive Director of The Florida Panthers Foundation, Lauren Simone recalls the difference between the organization then and now.

“When I had come to the Panthers, the position had already been open for two years...not having any staff, the foundation had not had an event in a few years” said Simone.