Kurt Landes, the 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.
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 several 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, Northampton Community College’s “Community Fabric Award” 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. Landes previously served as the Board Chair of Discover Lehigh Valley and currently sits on the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber’s Board of Governors. 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 programs. IronPigs Charities has distributed more than $1.9 million in cash grants to local non-profits since debuting in 2007.
A two-time League Executive of the Year, 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’s “Promotion of the Year” Funeral Giveaway and then again later for a Urinal Video Gaming promotion. The 2014 "Smell the Change" bacon-themed campaign also landed numerous industry and marketing honors as well as the #WeWantLebron viral campaign in 2018. Landes' promotions have routinely been featured by the national media. Kurt, once named one of SportsBusiness Journal’s “Rising Stars,” is credited with being the first in Minor League Baseball to bring the popular “Education Days” (school themed morning games), on-field Home Run Derby hospitality seating and even branded food identities to the baseball industry.
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 2023 season is his 30th in Minor League Baseball.