PHILADELPHIA (January 18, 2018) - The New York Red Bulls won two Club Executive Awards on Thursday night at the annual MLS Club Executive Awards in Philadelphia. The Red Bulls were named the Marisa Colaiano Community Relations Club of the Year presented by MLS Works and also won the Operations Staff of the Year Award.
Red Bulls Senior Director of Field Marketing and Community Relations, Christina Giunta-Quarino, accepted the Marisa Colaiano Community Relations Award on behalf of the team. The award, presented each year by MLS Works, recognizes the league's top community relations department.
The Operations Staff of the Year Award was accepted by Vice President of Operations, Shaun Oliver. The award recognizes the club's success while faced with challenges of stadium operations, security, and match day logistics.
"We are extremely proud to be recognized for these two prestigious awards," said New York Red Bulls General Manager Marc de Grandpre. "Christina and Shaun have done an excellent job of leading their teams in areas that directly reflect our commitment to community and fan engagement. The diligence and dedication put forth by the entire Community Relations and Operations departments have been nothing short of exemplary to our entire organization."
The club's community efforts resulted in over 300 player appearances and 7,500 tickets donated to charities in 2017. Highlights included the 11 Days of Service initiative during the month of September. The Red Bulls created 11 Days of Service to run in conjunction with September 11 - the national day of service and remembrance. Players and front office staff participated in 11 different community activations throughout New York and New Jersey as a tribute to both the victims and survivors from the attacks of September 11, 2001. The initiative has become one of the most powerful 360-degree philanthropic efforts in all of professional sports, integrating all parts of the organization in order to collectively make an impact. During the 11 events, New York Red Bulls players and employees dedicated more than 700 hours for volunteer opportunities.
Also, five Awareness Nights were held at Red Bull Arena that brought together community engagement, marketing partnership activation, in-stadium elements, ticket packages and funds donated to specific charities. Around Autism Awareness Night, the Red Bulls became the first team in MLS to create a permanent Sensory Room. The area is sensory-friendly for families affected by Autism or any family need. The club consulted with the Family Services team from Autism Speaks to design the room, which provides space for families to enjoy Red Bulls matches while sitting inside a room that significantly reduces noise levels.
The Red Bulls Operations staff left their imprint throughout the organization in 2017, which featured the club earning the top ranking in the J.D. Power Fan Experience Study for the second consecutive year. The organization earned the highest scores amongst New York teams in areas of security and ushers, seating area and game experience, and game arrival.
In addition to running Red Bulls home matches, the operations staff was also tasked with managing events that further established Red Bull Arena as the premier soccer venue in North America. Events included a U.S. Men's National Team World Cup Qualifier, SheBelieves Cup and hosting high-profile clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur and AS Roma, and open training sessions for star-studded FC Barcelona. International teams from Honduras, Costa Rica, Canada, Ecuador and El Salvador also made appearances at Red Bull Arena. In September, the venue hosted the Danone Nations Cup Final, the biggest youth soccer tournament in the world with 40 teams from 32 countries.