With the 2012-2013 PIHA season behind us and the new season steadily approaching, PIHA Media wanted to look back before closing the book on another successful year. This week the league caught up with Nick Pilotti of the Inferno to again recognize the franchises’ first Organization of the Year award.
PIHA: PIHA Organization of the Year – congratulations. Is this something that the Inferno will rally around for future years?
Nick Pilotti: We are very excited to be named Organization of the year for the 2013 season. It is something that we take extreme pride in. We want to make our games as exciting as possible for the fans and the players. Our organization takes this very seriously and want to draw in more people to the sport that we love playing. We have a great relationship with a Dance Studio, a local Roller Derby Group, and Karate Organization that were able to come out and perform during our halftime to keep our fans entertained. We are fortunate to have Armstrong Television, the local television station, want to televise our games and we wanted to show everyone in our community that we are more than just a random adult inline hockey game. This is a great way to showcase our talents and the sport of Inline Hockey.
PIHA: During the Finals the league had only spectacular reviews from the people that watched the LIVE internet broadcasts; will you continue to do these?
N.P.: We not only do live stream for our Pro and Minor Inferno games, but our Youth and Adult house league games as well. We feel that it is a cool feature for our facility to offer those who cannot attend games live, the opportunity to follow along online.
PIHA: There were several games broadcast on TV this year. How did these go and do the players enjoy the attention?
N.P.: I was constantly getting bombarded with people asking for my autograph on a regular basis before this season, but now that we have our games televised, I did notice that more of the locals were recognizing me in our local Wal-Mart. Other than that, the players did enjoy watching themselves play on TV. The organizations that did perform during our halftime were very excited to have that same exposure. As for Hot Shots, we did use the television broadcast as an opportunity to draw the interest kids to start playing our sport. We advertised a Free Learn to Play Hockey Clinic run by our Inferno players that included free rental equipment. We ended up getting 30 new kids that have never played before to come out for the clinic. It was a great marketing tool for our home rink.
PIHA: What does the organization look forward to improving in the 2013-2014 season?
N.P.: We will keep looking for new ways to draw new fans and entertain them during our games. In addition to the halftime shows that we put on, this past year we added a new light show with fog machines for our player introductions. Who knows what we will come up with next, but it is our goal to provide a professional atmosphere for the players and the fans.
PIHA: Lastly, any hints on future plans to keep the trophy at Hot Shots Arena and in the Inferno organization next year?
N.P.: Like I said before, we take great pride in providing a professional atmosphere at all times. We have a few ideas, but I am going to keep everyone in suspense till next year.