WASHINGTON, D.C. - D.C. United has been named as a finalist for the University of Massachusetts Amherst Sport Management program's prestigious 2005 PRISM Awards (Professionalism, Results and Innovation in Sport Management). The Black-and-Red are joined by the Chicago Fire as the two Major League Soccer clubs make up half of the four-team field of finalists. The PRISM Awards are presented annually to franchises at both the major and minor league levels that demonstrate organizational excellence in five categories of sport franchise management: strategic mission, innovative marketing, community relations, customer service and employee relations.
"On behalf of everyone associated with our club, I am very proud to be chosen a finalist for this prestigious award," said United President and CEO Kevin Payne. "Hard work, commitment to excellence, and a dedication to community service. Those are the values we live by every day, and the be recognized for our respect for those principles is gratifying."
Other 2005 Finalists in the Major League category are the Memphis Grizzlies (NBA) and St. Louis Rams (NFL). The PRISM Award winner in both major and minor league categories will be announced in June. In addition to on-field presentations at the winners' venues, both winners will be honored and invited to make presentations at the 3rd Annual Sport Marketing Association Conference in Phoenix in November 2005.
Being named a PRISM finalist is tribute to the commitment of D.C. United to the core principles, which have guided the organization from its inception. An unwavering commitment to the brand image guides all of D.C. United's commercial activities. The club's dedication to its community is evidenced by the wide variety of programs the team, and its non-profit foundation, manage and assist each year. Because the image of the club and what it stands for is so clear, the team's players, staff, and fans come together in an environment of shared commitment and passion, which has made D.C. United the most successful team in the history of American soccer.
Past PRISM Award winners in the major league category are: Minnesota Wild (2004); Houston Texans (2002-03), Washington Capitals (2001) and Orlando Magic (2000). Past winners in the minor league category are: Dayton Dragons (2004; 2002-2003), Sacramento RiverCats (2001) and Chicago Wolves (2000). For more information on the PRISM Awards, visit www.umass.edu/sptmgt.