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Colorado Rapids capture Major League Soccer awards

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Friday, January 17, 2014) – Major League Soccer announced on Thursday the winners of year-end awards that recognize individuals and clubs for outstanding contributions off the playing field. The Colorado Rapids front office took home several honors, including Merchandiser of the Year, website Article of the Year, and several group sales awards for the club’s ticketing staff. Many of the winners were presented with their awards at league meetings on Thursday in Philadelphia following the MLS SuperDraft.
“After what was a landmark year for our club in many ways, it’s gratifying to see MLS recognize our staff for their hard work and excellent results in 2013,” said Rapids President Tim Hinchey. “Our sales staff has made incredible growth on all fronts, and we’re proud to remain a league leader in group sales. Altitude Authentics did a great job showcasing our products this year, as our alternate kit was seen far and wide as one of the best jerseys in league history. Our winner for Article of the Year told a difficult story in an elegant, positive way, and our digital and communications team deserves a great deal of credit for that piece of content.”
The Rapids had the club’s best-ever year in merchandise sales in 2013, leading Jon Waldron, the Senior Director of Retail Operations for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, to earn the award for Merchandiser of the Year on behalf of his staff and Altitude Authentics. Waldron and Russell Cripps, who manages the Rapids Team Store at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, helped capture the award. The Rapids’ blue alternate kit was the top selling jersey in team history.
Colorado also took the award for website Article of the Year, for the piece “Sudden death of daughter Elysa has Rojas family on a mission to help others,” written by Rapids Director of Digital Media German Sferra. The September article focused on the tragic death of Elysa Rojas, daughter of the club's head athletic trainer Jaime and wife Jana, with the goal of helping others become aware of Myocarditis, the heart disease that caused Elysa's passing at just two-years old. The article was viewed over 33,000 times and shared via Facebook over 25,000 times. Following the publishing of the story, the Colorado Rapids Sidekicks held a sidewalk sale in which they raised over $10,000 for the Myocarditis Foundation.

Finally, the Rapids were once again near the top of MLS in group sales, with the Sales Department earning the MLS President’s Club Award for having sold between 75,000 and 100,000 group tickets in 2013. Individual winners included Alex Teal at the Silver Level, and Morgan Wurzburger, Lionel Orozco and Matt Barnes at the Bronze Level. Three Rapids staffers were also named “All Rookie” for achieving high group sales numbers in their first year at the club: Barnes, Wurzburger, and Sawyer Frank.