A lot of junior hockey
clubs make up a ton of excuses about why their communities don’t support the
team at the gate.
Teams that want
support from their communities should do something to support their community.
Just about every team across the spectrum of junior hockey tries to get some
kind of gate revenue. The following concept is something I would generally not
just give away… but today is going to be a freebie
Prospects at Schools-
We hear a lot about
how teams will make appearances at local schools to read or talk about certain
social awareness issues like drugs or tobacco. That’s all fine and dandy and it
may even drive a few of the students to the game. My program takes things a bit
further while delivering a tremendous boost to each team’s bottom line.
Every team has a
weekly schedule that gives players a regular day or two off. Yea, we all know the
kids need that day. Well, I’m going to take one of those days away and replace
it with a substantial boost to each club’s bottom line while delivering a monster
dose of character development.
For this example, let’s
say that day is Wednesday.
Step 1- The team
identifies how many players from the organization are available for the school
day during the week. Let’s say that number is 15.
Step 2- Contact the 15
elementary and larger pre-schools closest to the home rink. Contact those
schools about allowing one player to be a volunteer at that school for a full
day each Wednesday. There will be a bit of paperwork and a background check is
Step 3- Make sure the
players understand the significance of the assignment. They must present
themselves professionally. Team polo and slacks are a smart bet. Player has to
take the position very seriously and understand that a college recommendation from
the principle will likely come at the end of the season. Players will be at the
schools when the students first arrive in the morning until the end of the day.
The principle will give the player assignments that maximize the player’s
exposure to the student body of the school.
The team supports the
schools with educational awards, fundraisers, and whatever else can assist the
school in the educational development of the students. In return, the player
gains a fan club made up of students from each school and their families.
You see, in the same
way a player and billet family get attached to each other, the young children
from the school will quickly grow very fond of the hockey players. It’s inevitable. Don’t think for a second that those feelings
won’t be mutual
I’m a dad. Trust me on
this…if the kids pester me enough, I’ll generally fold to their demands. If
that demand is the take them to watch a volunteer from school play hockey, it’s
going to be very hard to say no.
The payoff for this
program goes beyond gate revenue and bottom line; there is also a huge return
in the way the program helps develop the character of each player. Folks, our
society can sure use a lot more of that.
* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Stephen Heisler, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.ca. JuniorHockey.ca does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.