Amerks Hire New VP of Sales and Marketing

The Amerks and Knighthawks hired Kerry Atkinson as the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, a move that should have a positive impact on the overall game night experience.

Atkinson is a former employee of both the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills so he’ll be yet another known figure that should be able to help bring the Amerks back to top billing in the community.

One of the many reasons that Curt Styres hired Ted Nolan was because he’s a person that is well known in the hockey world.  Styres had said that if he called someone up to do business they would ask, “who is this?”  When Nolan mentions his name he already has someones attention.

I would imagine that in the business community Styres and Staats have had to start from the bottom introducing themselves.  Based on the resume of Atkinson it seems as if they’re bringing someone else on board to help them along.

This is not a big name free agent signing to help the team on the ice, but the franchise still needs a lot of help off the ice and this new addition to the Amerks staff seems to prove that Curt Styres is serious about owning a sports franchise.  Hopefully anyone who wasn’t a believer is finally becoming one.

For Immediate Release
August 14, 2009


(Rochester, NY)… The Rochester Americans and Knighthawks announced today the hiring of Kerry Atkinson as the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In his new role, he will oversee sponsorship and ticket sales, and marketing initiatives.

“I am very excited to be joining the Amerks organization, and honored to be a part of the tremendous commitment made by Curt Styres to mold the Amerks into a successful franchise both on and off the ice,” said Atkinson. “I also look forward to working once again with Ted Nolan, a man who I deeply respect personally and professionally and is truly one of the most talented people in hockey. I know that by teaming up with Curt, Ted, Lewis Staats, Jody Gage and all members of the Amerks family, we can restore the pride and deep tradition of Amerks Hockey and build an organization that Rochester will be very proud of.”

Atkinson brings 15 years of experience in professional sports to the position, having spent 10 with the Buffalo Sabres as the Senior Vice President of Sales (1993-2002) and as the Director of Corporate Sales with the Buffalo Bills (September 2006-January 2008). He also served as the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing of Empire Sports Network and WNSA 107.7 All Sports Radio in Buffalo.

“We continue to make strides by restoring the pride and deep tradition of Amerks Hockey. In order to move forward we must improve all areas of our organization and with the addition of Kerry Atkinson, along with our existing staff, we made another step to re-establishing a strong team that the city of Rochester can be proud of,” said Amerks Vice President of Hockey Operations Ted Nolan, who worked with Atkinson when he was the head coach of the Sabres.

Most recently, Atkinson served as the Chief Operating Officer for Showcase Sports Marketing in Buffalo. During his tenure, he developed two major events: the Kevin Everett Golf Classic and Farewell Old Friend and The Final Salute to Memorial Auditorium at the Buffalo Convention Center in November 2008. He also spearheaded Showcase’s acquisition of Western New York Hockey Magazine.

Atkinson currently resides in Lancaster, NY, with his wife, Jill. He has two children. His son, Brent, is a junior at SUNY Brockport, while his daughter, Kerianne, is a sophomore at Lewiston-Porter High School. Atkinson is a graduate of St. John’s University (New York) and holds a degree in communication arts.