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GEICO Skytypers Earn Air Show Industry’s Top Showmanship Award

December 8th, 2016

LAS VEGAS - The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) at its 49th annual convention presented its highest showmanship award to a Farmingdale, NY-based air show team Thursday night in front of nearly 1,000 air show industry professionals attending the event’s closing banquet at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.

The GEICO Skytypers earned the industry’s prestigious Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award for more than just their hallmark formation demonstration, in which they fly six WWII-era SNJ-2 planes to perform a low-level flying demonstration featuring a six-plane delta, diamond and opposing solos.

The team’s most unique proposition and contribution to the air show industry is their ability to “type” giant messages in the sky; 1,000 feet tall and visible from 15 miles in any direction. These promotional messages generate significant and themed awareness for air shows as the team uses special software to create the giant billboards in the sky at high attendance venues or locations. The uniqueness of sky typing generates interest from those otherwise unaware of aviation related activities going on around them. 

The team also conducts personalized events with community groups, support groups, schools, youth organizations, and veterans in the communities around where they perform. Their air show performances share their passion for aviation with air show fans helps others develop an interest and become involved.

Squadron Commander Larry Arken, together with his partner and Squadron Marketing Officer, Steve Kapur, have extended the team’s reach by developing a fully integrated marketing and public relations effort designed to promote the team, their sponsor, and the air shows in which they perform.  

Their Sky’s the Limit community outreach program shares their passion for aviation beyond the air show community. Developed to engage and inspire people in the markets around air show venues, the program creates awareness for aviation while sharing messages related to the team’s core competencies: teamwork, precision, dedication, education and disciplined lifestyles. 

A webisode series entitled “In-Formation” provides an insiders’ perspective into air shows and creates a deeper bond with fans. The series’ first episode was developed and themed based on one of the Sky’s the Limit events and focuses on the team members, their aviation experiences and professional lives. The remaining episodes provide air show fans a behind-the-scenes vantage point of air show life. 

About the Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award

Since 1986, the International Council of Air Shows presents the Art Scholl Memorial Showmanship Award to the air show act or performer that best exemplifies the qualities of showmanship demonstrated by Art Scholl. Scholl was killed while filming a flying sequence for a movie off the coast of California in 1985. A long-time and active ICAS member, he was a renowned aerobatic pilot and air show performer having flown in front of an estimated audience of 80 million people over 20 years, and appearing in more than 200 motion picture films, documentaries and television commercials.

About the International Council of Air Shows

Headquartered in Leesburg, Va., ICAS was founded in 1967 as a trade and professional association by industry professionals to protect and promote their interests in the growing North American air show marketplace.