Toronto Rock owner and president Jamie Dawick won the 2013 NLL Executive of the Year award for his efforts to grow the game. (Photo: Graig Abel)
The National Lacrosse League has announced that Jamie Dawick, the Owner, President and Governor of the Toronto Rock, has won the NLL Executive of the Year award for the 2013 season.
"Jamie's goal is to make the Rock a world-class sports franchise," said NLL Commissioner George Daniel. "He's very passionate about his team, our league and the sport as a whole. He deserves this recognition and award by his peers."
Dawick has made tremendous contributions to the team, league and sport over the past 12 months as his efforts have resulted in the Rock's on-field success in addition to a state-of-the-art training facility, high attendance figures and television contracts, all of which have helped grow the game.
"I'm honored to win the award especially because it's voted on by my fellow Board members," Dawick said. "To me, it just tells me that people recognize my commitment to growing the league and that's all I'm trying to do – help better my franchise but also help improve the NLL. Whatever I can do to achieve that, I'm all in."
One of Dawick's most significant contributions was his investment in the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (TRAC), which opened last September in his hometown of Oakville, Ont. as the first venue in NLL history specifically intended for lacrosse. TRAC, which hosted the 2012 NLL Combine along with various training camp sessions and preseason games, saw seven of the nine NLL teams pass through the facility in December in preparation for the 2013 campaign.
"The TRAC is great for the sport and the NLL," Dawick said. "I'm thrilled that it's open and operating. It will only increase things that we can do with the league. There's benefit to the Rock and Oakville lacrosse community, but the NLL is a huge part of it too. I think it can be a great hub for our league."
Restoring the Rock's rich winning tradition was one of Dawick's main objectives when he took ownership of the team in 2009 and the club continued strides towards this goal in 2013 by earning the NLL regular season title with a 10-6 record while again finishing in the top one-third of the league in average attendance.
"We work very hard at it and our fans support us," Dawick said. "We'll continue to try and fill seats. Our fans are very supportive and we're fortunate to have a good number of them up there at Air Canada Centre on a regular basis."
As more evidence of his continued efforts to grow the game, Dawick secured TSN as the official television broadcast partner of the Rock for the fourth year in a row with a league-high 10-game package of live coverage of home and road games. Viewership numbers have increased each year and many of the TSN-produced broadcasts also aired live across the U.S. on ESPN3.com in addition to regional sports networks.
"We hooked up with a great partner in TSN – who I believe is the best in the game," Dawick said. "It was something I felt we needed to do in our market to get us more visible on TV. When you can do things that help your team and the league, it's a 'win-win' situation."
Dawick, who has owned the Rock for four seasons and helped the team win a title in 2011, said the award is also a credit to the strong commitment and dedication of his staff members.
"I also accept this award on behalf of my hardworking staff," he said. "Especially [Director of Business Operations] Terri Giberson and [Director of Communications and Lacrosse Operations] Mike Hancock, whom are my left- and right-hand people. They're a huge part of what we're doing here."
The Executive of the Year award is determined by a vote of the league's Board of Governors. The announcement of season awards concludes on Wednesday with the Tom Borrelli Award, which is annually given to the Media Person of the Year.