Mark Willand will serves as Managing Director for The New England Sports Village. He oversees all facility operations including marketing, administration, ice operations, hockey operations, sponsorships, public relations and NESVTV. In addition, he assists the Hockey Director, creating internal programming for both youth and adults, various leagues, and NESV-branded skills and camps.
Mark has enjoyed a long and successful sports management career with such entities as the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Hartford Whalers, Fox Sports and the AHL CT Whale.
Most recently mark was a business consultant for several high-profile clients including: DAJ Hockey/NHL Alumni Camps, The Boston Bruins Alumni Association, NESV and the Technology Learning Center.
Previously, Mark was President and COO Whalers Sports and Entertainment, in Hartford, CT. WSE was the management group of the CT Whale, the AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers. In that role, he oversaw WSE’s marketing, branding, communications, community relations, human resources, game operations, merchandising, sponsorships and ticket sales. and events.
Among the CT Whale players who advanced to the NHL were Cam Talbot, Ryan McDonough, Carl Hagelin, Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Chad Johnson and numerous others.
Willand also created The Connecticut Hockey Hall of Fame and “Whale TV” which produced a full slate of TV games and features on CPTV Sports, Comcast Xfinity and the internet. Willand also produced the CT Whale’s official “Take it Outside” video.
His career began as Assistant Director of Public Relations with the National Hockey League’s Hartford Whalers (now the Carolina Hurricanes) in 1986. During Willand’s six-year career in Hartford, the Whalers were recognized for having the NHL’s premier media guide (1987,1988, 1989) and top press box (1988, 1989, 1990).
In 1992, he was hired by the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins to spearhead the team’s pay per view cable network, PenVision. In addition to marketing the new entity, Willand also produced a home shopping program and television commercials for PenVision.
Later, he managed seven Penguins Pro Shops in the greater Pittsburgh area and the NHL’s premier catalog operation.
When the Penguins sold their TV and marketing rights to Fox Sports in 1995, Willand joined the network and made a major impact on the Pittsburgh sports media scene. While with Prime Sports and later Fox Sports, Willand created and produced the “Players’ Show”, a sports magazine program that served as the pre-game show for the Penguins and Pittsburgh Pirates.