WENATCHEE - True sports fanatics probably know Don West. They might remember him from the late night Sports Memorabilia Show on the Shop At Home Network. Others may know West as an announcer for TNA Wrestling (Total Nonstop Action Wrestling) on Spike TV.
Wenatchee Wild fans will soon remember West for a different reason. The 48-year-old Chicago native has been hired as the team's Director of Sales and Marketing.
"We are excited about Don joining the Wild team," said Wenatchee Wild President and Managing Partner Bill Stewart. "He brings expertise in the entertainment industry and new energy to the organization."
West began working for TNA Wrestling in 2002 as a television commentator on Spike TV. He became TNA Wrestling's Director of Merchandise in 2007 and Director of Merchandise for Live Events in 2008. TNA Wrestling eventually made its way to the Town Toyota Center, affording West the opportunity to see the Wenatchee area.
"I fell in love with the area," said West, who majored in Sports Broadcasting at Purdue University. "I've been to Wenatchee for a couple shows and literally just fell in love with the place. When the opportunity came up to join the Wild, I knew it was exactly what I've been looking for."
West's career kicked off in 1991 when he was hired as a television show host for the Shop at Home Network.
His big break came in March of 1993 when he began hosting the Sports Memorabilia Show.
The late night show, which featured sports cards, autographed memorabilia and other collectibles, was tremendously successful. In fact, sales ballooned from $10 million per year to $150 million per year in just three years, West said.
The show was so popular that Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan spoofed West and co-host Eddy Lewis, respectively, during three episodes of Saturday Night Live.
West has called Nashville home for the last 13 years. For six of those years, from 2002 through 2008, he hosted a sports talk radio show on WNSR in Nashville in addition to his duties with TNA Wrestling.
"I just can't tell you how excited I am and how much I'm looking forward to getting started in Wenatchee," West said.
West and his wife of 20 years, Terri, plan to move to the Wenatchee area this summer.