Dan Lehv Named USHL Executive of the Year
Thursday June 13, 2013
Dan Lehv helped the Dubuque Fighting Saints earn a championship off the ice as well as on the ice. (photo courtesy of the Dubuque Telegraph Herald)
Dubuque Fighting Saints team president earns League recognition
The United States Hockey League today announced that Dan Lehv, President of the Dubuque Fighting Saints, has been named the 2012-13 Dave Tyler USHL Executive of the Year as determined by a vote of USHL Member Clubs.
In his second season in the USHL, Lehv was instrumental to the Saints achieving success off the ice that matched its championship season on the ice. He led ticket sales efforts that saw the team draw over 100,000 total fans to the Mystique Community Ice Center during the 2012-13 season, the highest amount in Dubuque hockey history. Ten times this season, the Saints recorded sellouts at the 3,079-seat arena which helped create a home-ice advantage that was a key factor in the team earning a League-best record of 25-3-4 at home.
Average attendance for Dubuque games was 2,562 during the regular season, which represented an increase of over 100 more fans per game than the previous year.
“It’s been a pleasure getting to know Dan,” said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince, “and just as enjoyable watching him bring his professionalism and intelligence to the Fighting Saints and the Dubuque market. Dan is a leader, for a team that has become a signature USHL property and this vote, by his peers in the League, is an indication of the respect he has earned. Congratulations from all of us.”
Lehv developed creative marketing efforts that gained national attention, including the “Backwards Game” that was featured in the Sports Business Journal and other national media outlets. The preseason game by the Saints was played completely in reverse as it started with a shootout and ended with the pregame lightshow and player introductions. Another theme night for the team was “Kids Run the Rink” as local youth took the role of taking tickets, working on the promotions staff, helping with the public address announcements, and even contributing to the team’s radio broadcast.
The president spearheaded community involvement which was highlighted by the team donating over $100,000 in cash and goods to Dubuque area charities and non-profit organizations. One of the biggest nights of the season was the “Pink the Rink” game and player jersey auction in October that generated over $35,000 for the Wendt Regional Cancer Center and Mammography Program at the Visiting Nurses Association.
The Fighting Saints developed an integrated partnership with the Dubuque Hockey Association and re-branding the youth organization as the “Dubuque Junior Saints”.
Lehv was also heavily involved in USHL Senior Manager meetings, sharing best business practices, sales tools, and marketing ideas with fellow USHL Member Clubs.
It is the first time a member of the Dubuque Fighting Saints has been recognized as Dave Tyler USHL Executive of the Year since the award’s inception in 2007. The award is named in honor of Dave Tyler, recognizing his leadership and dedication to the USHL and junior hockey in the United States. He served as President of the USHL from 1982-94 and his tenure with USA Hockey ran from 1975 to 2007.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrated its 11th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2012-13. With 19 NHL Draft picks on team rosters and over 300 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools this season, the USHL has emerged as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).
It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.