Kurt Landes, the first and only General Manager in franchise history, has helped steer the IronPigs to extraordinary success under his leadership since the club's inception.
The IronPigs have led all of Minor League Baseball in average attendance per game since their debut season in 2008 and have received numerous industry honors under Landes' guidance. Those include the prestigious Bob Freitas award (honoring sustained excellence in Minor League Baseball), the Larry MacPhail Award (recognizing baseball's best promotional success) and in winning 5 'Golden Bobblehead' awards - the most of any team in Minor League Baseball - recognizing the industry's best promotions.
Landes was named the International League Executive of the Year in 2009 and 2010, becoming just the fifth person ever to be named to the honor in consecutive years dating back to the award's founding in 1964. In 2011, Landes was named the Morning Call's co-sports personality of the year (along with Ryne Sandberg) after helping guide the IronPigs to Minor League Baseball's top attendance total and in 2010 he received the honor of being named one of four "Rising Stars" in Minor League Baseball by the SportsBusiness Journal.
Landes served an invaluable role in bringing the 2013 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game and the 2010 Triple-A All-Star Game to Coca-Cola Park as the IronPigs became the first team ever to host both of Triple-A Baseball's marquee nationally televised events. During the All-Star festivities, the IronPigs also hosted a sold-out Home Run Derby that featured industry-acclaimed unique seating and hospitality on the infield during the competition, a first of its kind.
Since 2008, the IronPigs have consistently averaged over 9,000 fans per game - a number that drastically exceeds Coca-Cola Park's fixed seating capacity of 8,250.
In addition to a number of industry awards, the IronPigs have received numerous business accolades during Landes' tenure, including being named Business of the Year by the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and Ballpark of the Year by Ballpark Digest.
An extremely active member of the Lehigh Valley community and the 2019 winner of the LifePath Community Service Award, Landes can be seen at dozens of local community events each year and most recently served as the Board Chair of Discover Lehigh Valley. He has chaired or co-chaired numerous nonprofit fundraisers helping to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for local agencies. Landes is also President of IronPigs Charities, a non-profit organization that strives to provide educational and recreational opportunities for children in the Greater Lehigh Valley area and awards tens of thousands of dollars annually to other local non-profit organizations through their grants-based program. IronPigs Charities has distributed more than $1.5 million in cash grants to local non-profits since debuting in 2007.
Landes was introduced as the first General Manager in IronPigs history on October 4, 2006, after spending the previous five years as General Manager of the Hagerstown Suns. Previous to that, Landes was the General Manager in Daytona Beach, FL. During his tenure with both teams, average attendance increased each year. Landes has also directed franchises in Erie, Pa., and Staten Island, N.Y., and has worked within Minor League Baseball in Akron, Ohio (1996-2000), and Toledo, Ohio (1994-1995).
Under his direction, Kurt's teams have received continual national praise, awards and media attention including ESPN the Magazine's Promotion of the Year for a Funeral Giveaway and then again later for a Urinal Gaming promotion. The 2014 "Smell the Change" bacon-themed campaign also landed numerous industry and marketing honors as well as the Lebron-themed viral campaign in 2018. Landes' promotions have routinely been featured by the national media.
Originally from Ohio, Landes graduated as the sole recipient of the distinguished Outstanding Senior Award from Bowling Green State University. He is also a member of the Northwestern (Ohio) High School Alumni Hall of Fame. The 2020 season is his 27th in Minor League Baseball.