Mark Willand - Executive Director
Mark Willand, President of Mark Willand Productions. MWP is the holding company for several properties including: Mark Willand Video Productions, The Connecticut Hockey Hall of Fame and Connecticut Hockey Legends.
He is also Senior Vice President of Business Operations, Whalers Sports and Entertainment.
In his current position, Willand is responsible for running day-to-day activities of a 30-person sports marketing firm, which manages the American Hockey League's Connecticut Whale and the successful 2011 outdoor Whalers Hockey Fest. He oversees WSE's marketing, branding, communications, community relations, human resources, game operations, merchandising and events. He works closely with ticket sales, corporate sales and finance departments.
Here are a few of his accomplishments:
* Created and produced the Whalers Summer Fest at Rentschler Field (home of the UConn Huskies). The event attracted over 5,000 fans and gained significant media coverage.
* Created and marketed the "Whalers Hockey Fest," a 14-day outdoor hockey event at Rentschler Field. The marque day featured an AHL clash between the CT Whale and Providence Bruins as well as a legends game between the Hartford Whalers and Boston Bruins Alumni Teams. The paid attendence of 21,547 set the all-time AHL record for a single game. Willand also organized much of the amateur schedule working with numerous colleges and universities such as The University of Connecticut, Providecne College, Sacred Heart University, AIC and Army.
* Oversaw creation of the company and was responsible for all hires and company procedures
* Managed ten press conferences, all of which garned significant media coverage. Produced all press releases and media packages related to the event.
* Created and developed numerous web sites and social media sights, which drove significant traffic and revenue to the organization: Whaler Nation.TV, CT Whale.com, CTwhale.com, and numerous sites on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. Web traffic increased from 450,000 in 2009 to over 1.1 million in 2010-2011 under Willand's direction.
* Managed the design and creation of numerous logos, including Whalers Summer Fest, Whale Bowl, Corporate logo and team logo as well as CT Whale uniforms and logos.
* Produced the CT Whale's official "Take it Outside" video and many other promotional team videos.
* Managed the CT Whale gamenight entertainment productions, highlited by special nights such as "Gordie Howe Night", "Catch the Wave Night" and many more.
During Willand's six year career in Hartford, the Whalers were recognized for having the NHL's premier media guide (1987,1988, 1989) and top press box (1988, 1989, 1990).
In 1993, he was hired by the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins to spearhead the team's pay per view cable network, PenVision. In addition to marketing the new entity, Willand also produced a home shopping program and television commercials for PenVision.
When the Penguins sold their TV and marketing rights to Fox Sports in 1995, Willand and his staff joined the network and made a major impact on the Pittsburgh sports media scene.
While with Prime Sports and later Fox Sports, Willand created and produced the "Players' Show", a sports magazine program that served as the pre-game show for the Penguins and baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates.
In addition to televison production,Willand secured lucrative marketing deals with hockey legend Mario Lemieux and produced numerous TV commericals and the Penguins official team video, "Fire on Ice."