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"Superfan" Cameron Hughes paid up to $2000 per game to attend sports events
Cameron Hughes: Management's Secret Weapon
How great would it be to get paid for attending football games? Free NBA basketball anyone? NHL hockey no admission fee? Sounds like a daydream for many of us. To sweeten the fantasy even more, how about if it was your job—the way you made your living? Most of us pay good money to watch our favorite teams play, not the other way around, except if your name is Cameron Hughes. Known as “Superfan,” Hughes, a native of Ottawa, Canada, was attending a Senators game one night when the action on the ice was anything but riveting. The crowd was silent. The arena was quiet as a tomb. Disgruntled by the lack of enthusiasm, Hughes took it upon himself to start cavorting about the stands like a maniac, hollering, dancing, and wildly jumping up and down in an effort to infuse life into the zombie-like fans. Though he feared the crowd might turn hostile on him, surprisingly, it went the other way. After recovering from their shock people started cheering him on, applauding his efforts. Unwittingly, Hughes antics that night had launched a whole new career for himself. Senator’s management had noticed Hughes wild success with the crowd and later invited him to perform his crazy routine regularly for free tickets, team gear, and autographed Senator’s products. The following year they actually paid him.
For eighteen years the stoutly built, six foot red-head has been touring across North America entertaining crowds at sports events, employed by the front offices of professional sports organizations to do what he does best—whip the crowd up into a frenzy. He’s worked minor league hockey such as the Missouri Mavericks and the Bakersfield Condors, to the NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, and Phoenix Coyotes. He’s brought his act to the NBA as well, performing at OKC Thunder games as well as for Cavalier and Knicks fans. In the MLB, he’s been employed by both the L.A. Dodgers and the Toronto Blue Jays. Hughes has even done tennis—the U.S. Open, where Novak Djokovich did an impromptu dance routine with Hughes in the locker room after the match was over.
In total, Hughes has been paid to attend 1010 games in 36 states, and four countries, entertaining over 10 million sports fans in his professional career. But despite all the money and the perks, being “Superfan” isn’t all fun and games. Due to his strenuous performances, Hughes is no stranger to bumps, bruises, and pulled muscles. In fact, the professional fan trains like an athlete regularly and keeps in shape through a rigorous workout routine that includes pushups, sit-ups, stretching, and other types of calisthenics. For the 2010 Winter Olympics, he even hired a nutritionist to design a special diet for to optimize his performance.
So, the next time you’re at a sporting event and see a fan going berserk in the crowd, don’t be surprised if it’s Cameron Hughes plying his trade. In today’s massively competitive world of professional sports, keeping the seats filled often involves more than just the home team’s win/loss record. Management is always looking for an edge. Sometimes that edge comes in a hefty, six foot package of zany energy known as Superfan.