In February, 2018, the Bonnyville Pontiacs announced the hiring of Certified Hockey Professional (CHP) candidate Robb Hunter as their Director of Business Operations. They have been reaping the rewards of this decision ever since.
In his new position, Hunter has overseen off-ice operations for the Pontiacs, including their business and financial strategy. On top of this, Hunter has also managed day to day operations for Pontiacs home games and coordinated volunteer and fundraising efforts. Combining his years of industry experience and knowledge gained from the MBA in Hockey Management program, Hunter made a sizable impact in Bonnyville during his first season in his new role.
Under Hunter’s leadership, the Pontiacs increased regular season gate revenue by 90% and increased season ticket revenue by 36%. Hunter also saw to the development of sleek new jersey’s featuring a new logo and color scheme. The Pontiacs’ faithful responded positively to the rebrand, and merchandise revenue was up 202%. General Manager, Rick Swan, took notice.
“We are extremely pleased with the significant impact that Robb Hunter has had an our organization’s improvement in all areas over the past year. Over the past year, Robb has played a lead role in raising revenues which has had a tremendously positive impact towards the health of the Bonnyville Pontiacs both on and off the ice.”
With a renewed energy in Bonnyville leading towards the 2018-19 season, the Pontiacs responded on the ice as well, winning 41 games and racking up 86 points, a franchise record.
Hunter was also instrumental in the success of the 2018 World Junior A Challenge, hosted in Bonnyville for the second time in the last three years. The tournament brought players, coaches, and fans from around the world to Alberta to celebrate Junior A hockey and compete for the WJAC Championship Trophy.
“Robb was co-chair of the most successful World Junior ‘A’ Challenge in the tournament’s existence and he helped create an organizational brand that positively resonated in the business and fan community,” noted Swan. “Robb’s servant approach and passion to bettering the organization from a Business Operations perspective is unmatched and because of his efforts to the organization, to the community of Bonnyville and to the World Junior ‘A’ Challenge the credibility of the Bonnyville Pontiacs, in the hockey world, has soared to new heights.”
Hunter believes that his experience in the MBA in Hockey Management program was integral to his success with the Pontiacs.
“The Business of Hockey Institute offers an in-depth learning experience which has been hugely beneficial to my career progression. BHI’s set up with Athabasca University offers a true co-learning experience that fosters a deeper understanding through dialogue with peers. Course topics closely align with real-life situations which has allowed for the opportunity to apply educational learnings directly into the business environment with the Pontiacs.”
The Business of Hockey Institute is proud of Robb Hunter and his accomplishments and look forward to his continued success in Bonnyville.