Tom Borrelli Media Award Nomination: Pat Gregoire and Charlie RagusaJun 22, 2020
The Tom Borrelli Award is presented to the league's "Media Person of the Year" honouring members of the lacrosse media community for their excellence in broadcasting, social/digital media, writing, and overall coverage of the sport. The award is named for NLL Hall of Fame member, Tom Borrelli, a writer for The Buffalo News, who covered the Bandits from the team's inception in 1992 until his death in 2008.
The Halifax Thunderbirds are proud to nominate two members of the organization for an award that has been presented to the likes of Teddy Jenner, Jake Elliot (2), Paul Tutka (3), and more.
For Pat Gregoire, months of back and forth conversation materialized into a dream come true for the young broadcaster. Gregoire signed on as the team’s inaugural colour commentator in the fall of 2019, and has played an integral role in producing one of the league’s best broadcasts.
"First of all, I am completely honoured to be nominated for the Tom Borrelli Award amongst some of the best people in lacrosse media,” said Gregoire. “I want to thank Curt Styres, John Catalano, and Charlie Ragusa for giving myself the opportunity to join the Thunderbirds broadcast team. Working with two consummate professionals like Pete Dalliday and Dana Jackson made my job easy.”
With over 10 years of broadcasting experience, Gregoire is no stranger to the National Lacrosse League, serving as an insider with NLL Productions and appearing on the league’s weekly show, ReLax. Gregoire currently contributes to the Lacrosse Flash, Inside Lacrosse, and IL Indoor. He has served as the colour analyst for the Oakville Rock of Major Series Lacrosse, and for the MSL Finals & Mann Cup in 2016 and 2018.
Gregoire played NCAA DIII lacrosse with Medaille College, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Communications. He spent time playing in the Jr B circuit with the Markham Ironheads and has coached the past seven seasons for the West Durham Ironheads of the Ontario Jr B Lacrosse League. In 2019, Gregoire received the league award as Coach of the Year.
"The first season in Halifax was almost picture perfect. Not only did the team capture the city, but they grabbed the hearts of an entire province. Although the season was cut short, the impact of the first season was such a great success and is going to lead to only bigger and better things. I couldn't be more proud to be a small part of such a special thing happening in the Maritimes."
Charlie Ragusa, Director of Business Development and Digital Media, has spent the last decade with the Styres organization, where he began with the Rochester Knighthawks and Americans (AHL) as an intern. Since then he has held various jobs within the organization, including ticket and corporate sales, community relations, and eventually director roles in Ticketing and Digital Media.
Ragusa graduated from St. John Fisher College in his hometown of Rochester, NY, with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management, specializing in Communications and Journalism. He began his start in social media while covering the SJFC Division III Baseball team, and has since covered the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships, representing the Iroquois Nationals in 2019.
Following the 2015 NLL season, Ragusa transitioned into Digital Media for the Knighthawks, and since then has managed the organization’s social media strategies, created the team’s graphics and web content.
Ragusa followed Styres and the franchise to Halifax at the completion of the 2019 season and has played an integral role in the start up of the Thunderbirds, designing the team’s jerseys, turf, branding and marketing material, as well as a partnership with Ambassatours for a Thunderbirds branded bus.
Alongside President & CEO, John Catalano, and VP of Marketing and Corporate Partnerships, Avery Light, Ragusa brought on Riley Strowbridge who has captivated the market with behind the scenes video storytelling and the excitement of Thunderbirds games. With a small digital staff, Ragusa, Strowbridge, Trevor MacMillan, and Brian Munroe have created a league-leading digital strategy, ranking in the top three each month in digital engagement, impressions, and growth.
The Thunderbirds saw a 375% growth in impressions on Facebook and a 990% spike on Twitter in the past year, with a 535% increase in followers on Instagram. The team also launched the Virtual Nest, an online portal for virtual content providing fans with unprecedented access to Thunderbirds players and staff.
“At the end of the 2019 season, I had a phone call with Curt (Styres) about the possibility of moving to Halifax and remaining part of his ‘family’,” said Ragusa. “I knew in my gut it was the right decision, and I couldn’t be more thankful to this day. Being able to start an organization from the ground up alongside some of my best friends has been a dream come true. I am excited for the future of Thunderbirds lacrosse in Halifax, and cannot wait to see what’s in store for franchise.”
Fans can check in the with @NLL on all social platforms next week for the finalists in each category of the 2019-20 league awards. To learn more about the Thunderbirds nominations, check in daily @HFXthunderbirds, and at HalifaxThunderbirds.com.