The State of Women’s Hockey in Canada

The State of Women’s Hockey in Canada

There were many disappointed fans and players in Canada this month as Canada’s Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) announced it was shutting down on May 1, 2019, due to financial issues. The CWHL has played a significant role in the world of sports in the country for over a decade, and many fans, women, and young girls were sad to see it come to an end so abruptly. The news was considered a significant blow to women’s hockey in the country—a sport that already struggles to stay in the headlines. This news has also led many to wonder, what’s the state of women’s hockey in Canada? There’s Hope to Come Fortunately, the US National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) will be expanding into Canada next season to offer Canadian players a place to play. The plan is to first establish teams in the country’s biggest cities, Toronto and Montreal. The NHL has also committed to increase its financial backing to the NWHL. While the CWHL’s folding was shocking and disappointing to all, the NWHL is helping to advance the game at all levels, while ensuring female hockey players have a professional league to enter in the future. Young Girls’ Hockey Programs Still Going Strong While there have no doubt been struggles at the professional level, young girls in Canada are still excited and eager to join girls’ hockey programs. Every year, young girls across the nation are signing up and lacing up to play the game. In fact, a growing number of girls are joining every season. This can only give hope to those who are wondering about the state of...
Why Work With a Sports Marketing Agency for Rinkboard Advertising in Canada?

Why Work With a Sports Marketing Agency for Rinkboard Advertising in Canada?

If there is one thing that we Canadians love more than our beautiful country, it’s community sport. And when it comes to sports, nothing brings people together better than hockey. As the action on the hockey rink intensifies, the aahs and oohs are palpable while dozens, hundreds, or even millions watch yet another scintillating game of hockey. Now, imagine having your company’s ad prominently displayed on the rinkboards. While the audience’s attention may be focused on the puck and the players, they will never forget your ad if it’s strategically placed to coincide with just the right epic moments of the game. To maximize your rinkboard ad exposure and increase its impact during community and professional hockey games, you should consider securing the services of a sports marketing agency. Here’s why. Market on All Sports Levels The beauty of using a sports marketing agency to execute your rinkboard advertising is that they help you market on multiple sports levels. Your brand can be prominently displayed in community arenas, as well as on professional NHL rinkboards. This gives your brand both local, national, and even international exposure. Customized Solutions By letting a sports marketing agency spearhead your rinkboard advertising campaigns, you get customized solutions that are specifically tailored to meet your marketing goals. It’s not a one-size-fits-all package but, instead, a marketing solution that speaks to the exact needs of your brand. Your arena advertising campaign is customized to respond to your demographic targets, location, media type, and timing. The result is that your brand becomes instantly recognizable in a unique and compelling way. Timely Install and Photo Proof With...
Marketing Goals:  Be on the Backdrop of Epic Moments with Rinkboard Advertising

Marketing Goals: Be on the Backdrop of Epic Moments with Rinkboard Advertising

Do you want your brand immortalized in some of the greatest, most poignant hockey moments, both big and small? You should be thinking about rinkboard advertising as a way to gain brand awareness. This is one of the most effective advertising strategies that assures brand visibility and impact. Be at the Centre of the Action of Professional Ice Sports With rinkboard advertising at the professional level, you get to feature your brand at the centre of the action. Imagine thousands of eyes peeled on one area of the rink where serious action is taking place. Now imagine your logo splashed across the rinkboard as a stray hockey puck smashes into it. Everyone following the puck will get an exciting glimpse of your brand. One thing you can be sure of is fans will not be forgetting that poignant moment any time soon, and your brand will be burned into their minds for a long time. Rink board advertising places your brand at the centre of the action. Some hockey games attract massive coverage from both the mainstream media and social media. One game could end up being viewed by tens of thousands of viewers from across the nation and beyond. You can, therefore, get extended brand exposure with rinkboard advertising. Be on the Backdrop of Family Moments Professional rinkboard ads aren’t your only option. A more affordable and impactful option may be to purchase in arena advertising at the grassroots level. For most communities, sports bring everyone together. Community hockey games are especially popular in Canada. The competition between the various teams and the excitement among the fans is...
Marketing on Multiple Levels of Sports: Branding Comes Full Circle with Arena Ads

Marketing on Multiple Levels of Sports: Branding Comes Full Circle with Arena Ads

Did you know Canada has over 3,300 indoor and 5,000 outdoor hockey rinks? Now, imagine placing arena ads in each of these venues. When you only advertise your brand in professional hockey arenas, there is one key segment of your audience your ads are not reaching–the millions of community hockey players, parents, supporters, and coaches dotted across the country. Why Advertisers Should Use Community/Grassroots Advertising If you are not advertising your brand at community arenas, you are leaving huge sections of your target market untouched. Your audience may watch big games on TV, but it’s at the community level where junior hockey is played and the passion for the game really comes through. There’s something to be said for the grassroots advantage. You can leverage your community involvement to improve the connection you have with young players and their parents, grandparents, and coaches. By sponsoring teams or events or providing revenue for the local arena through advertising, you can create brand loyalty. How Advertisers Benefit from Professional Arena Ads There is a good reason most big companies concentrate on professional arenas when advertising. First, these games have a wider national reach as opposed to community arenas. For instance, when the big boys such as the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, and, of course, Team Canada, are playing, the media coverage is a marketer’s dream come true. No marketer can afford to ignore an opportunity to reach a national audience. However, the impact of these ads could be even higher if advertisers were to consider advertising in community arenas as well. Why...
The Community Hockey Arena: A Marketer’s Dream

The Community Hockey Arena: A Marketer’s Dream

As the winter months grow closer, more and more families are beginning the time honoured tradition of early morning wake up calls, coffee to go, and the pre-dawn trek to the local community hockey arena. There is a reason so many commercials show this same scene over and over again, because it is true for so many people across Canada. The community hockey rink is where people of all ages go to not only play sports but to congregate, gather, and share time with others in their community. That alone should make any marketer’s ears perk up. Where else will you get a wide variety of people, spending hours upon hours weekly in the same place, exposed to the same environment? If you want your brand to have extended facetime with a range of target audiences, look no further than community hockey arenas. Massive Advertising Opportunity Hockey arenas are huge! Most people immediately think of the playing surface and rink boards when they think of hockey arena advertising, but think outside the ice! Outside the arena, staircases, walls, video screens, windows, scoreboards, dressing rooms, almost any surface inside and outside of an arena can become a creative space for marketing. Room for Creativity Per week, the typical Canadian spends on average seven hours engaging with hockey. Think about your friends, family members, and coworkers who discuss the weekends and nights they spend at the rink. That’s a lot of eyeballs that need something to look at. Give the people what they want! Arenas are the perfect place for fun and creative marketing campaigns that ask for engagement, make people...
6 Must-Know Arena Advertising Tips

6 Must-Know Arena Advertising Tips

During the average Canadian winter, thousands of families wake up early for morning practice at their local community arena. This typical scene is repeated day after day, weekend after weekend, allowing community rinks to become a big part of a city’s fabric. This is exactly why both local businesses and national corporations invest in arena advertising. If you’re considering starting an arena advertising campaign, here are six must-know tips. 1.        Consider the Whole Audience Arena advertising is unique in that it reaches entire families at the same time. Most youth visitors are accompanied by at least one family member and return multiple times a week. When designing your campaign, think carefully about which audience within an arena ecosystem you are targeting and consider it when deciding on creative strategy, placement, and tone. 2.        Think Outside the Boards On-ice and rink board advertisements are what come to mind when most people think of arena advertising. But there is so much more real estate within, and outside, of an arena that may allow more creative flexibility and visitor interaction. When brainstorming campaign strategies, consider locations like outside the main entrance, walls and doors, banners by main waiting areas, scoreboards, or outside dressing rooms. 3.        Get Creative The typical Canadian spends, on average, seven hours per week engaging with hockey. This means many people who spend hours and hours of time in arenas are used to seeing the same old ads in the same old places. With arena advertising, you are grabbing the attention of someone who is on their own recreational time, so have fun! Get creative and make your campaign...
Arena Advertising:  7 Things You Need To Know

Arena Advertising: 7 Things You Need To Know

The sights and sounds of the local hockey arena can be instantly recalled by almost every Canadian. Thousands of families from Vancouver to Newfoundland spend hours each week during hockey season (or all year long) at their community rink, which soon becomes like a second home. For this reason, arena advertising has grown to become an excellent way for brands to reach this specific target market. Here are seven things you need to know about this unique advertising method. The First NHL Rink Board Ad Appeared in 1980 While NHL teams were permitted to sell ad space on their rink boards for the 1978-1979 season, the first ad wasn’t displayed until 1980 by the Minnesota North Stars franchise. By the end of the decade, every single NHL team featured advertising on its boards. There Is More Advertising Space Than You Think Many people focus on rink boards and ice when they think about arena advertising, but you need to consider all the available ad space arenas have to offer. This includes Zambonis, staircases, doors, seats, and any free wall space both inside and outside the arena. There Are Nearly 2,500 Arenas in Canada The local rink is still a massive part of the landscape of Canada. Nearly 2,500 rinks are found from coast to coast in both large cities and small towns. Arena Advertising Reaches the Entire Family While other forms of advertising may only speak to one individual or need a second touch point to reach the decision maker, arena advertising reaches entire families at the same time. Families visit local arenas multiple times a week and many...
Hockey Arena Advertising:  What is “dwell time”?

Hockey Arena Advertising: What is “dwell time”?

The phrase “dwell time” can mean a variety of things, depending on the context and who you’re speaking with. To a transportation specialist, this metric refers to the amount of time a bus or vehicle is stuck in traffic, and someone managing SEO might study the amount of time people spend on certain ads or pages. But in the world of hockey arena advertising, dwell time is the term used to describe the amount of time players, staff, parents, and ticket holders spend in the arena. So Much Idle Time Think about the atmosphere inside almost any hockey arena around the world. It doesn’t change much from place to place! You have families waiting outside rinks for their children to finish their post-game equipment ritual, spectators watching games, visitors hanging out by the canteen, groups meeting up in the main lobby, and the flood of people standing around warming up during intermission. This translates into a significant amount of dwell time seen in hockey arenas and other sporting venues everywhere. Parents and families who are supporters of a certain team or have children playing organized hockey in local arenas spend hundreds of hours in arenas every year. These are hours of time spent walking around, waiting, and cheering on their children, all within the same venue. How Can Hockey Arena Advertising Leverage This Dwell Time? When advertisers are creating their newest ads, they want to make sure they create attractive designs that will not only get people’s attention but also maintain their attention. In the case of hockey families and arena visitors, they spend so much time waiting around...
A Brief History of Hockey Rink Advertising

A Brief History of Hockey Rink Advertising

Most of us have come to expect advertisements on rink boards, on the ice, and even on hockey jerseys. The white rink boards of the past were a blank slate for connection between brands and the passion and energy for the game. In the future, we’ll no doubt see advertising used in more creative ways both during NHL games and in local community rinks. But how did it start? When did hockey rink advertising become a sought-after branding opportunity for brands all over North America? Here’s a quick history of how advertising merged with the sport of hockey. Humble Beginnings Before the 1980s, the boards of a hockey rink were completely white—except for the black puck marks made by hockey players during ice time. In the 1978-79 season, NHL teams were given permission to sell ad space on the rink boards, with the first pair of boards selling for only $3,000! By the end of the decade, every NHL team had featured advertising on their boards. In the 1990s, ads began popping up on the ice. Ads placed next to center ice and in the neutral zone were coveted because there was no way spectators could miss them during TV broadcasts and while sitting in the arena—it was a prime opportunity. Compared to European and lower-level professional leagues, most rinks are quite conservative in the ad coverage on the ice surface. As advertising in NHL arenas expanded, community rinks and local arenas realized the potential revenue stream and sponsorship opportunities for using the vast white space in arenas everywhere. Soon, rink board, ice, and in-arena ads started appearing in...
5 Must-Know Tips for Hockey Arena Advertising

5 Must-Know Tips for Hockey Arena Advertising

In arenas all over the country, hundreds of thousands of people come to play and watch hockey every day during peak season. Whether it’s the local junior team, a youth house league team, or an NHL game, you will no doubt see hockey arena ads across every surface. Promoting your brand at what is the heart of most communities is an excellent way to grow awareness and reach your market, but there are some things to consider before getting your next campaign started. Here are five tips for any organization looking to get noticed with a hockey arena ad. 1. Not All Rink Board Locations Are the Same When people think of hockey arena advertising they tend to think immediately of rink board ads. These ads—placed around the inside boards—allow your brand to be displayed throughout the game to anyone watching. While these ads are extremely popular, not all of the space on the rink boards is created equal. Especially in smaller local rinks, take some time to consider what side of the rink the majority of fans sit, which end the home team uses most, and the proximity to crucial spots on the ice like the net, faceoff dots, and centre ice. 2. Be Creative Most people today are quite good at ignoring or avoiding ads, but everyone loves a great and well-placed advertisement. There is also significant “dwell time” in arenas, when fans are sitting, watching, and able to actively engage in an advertisement or a call-to-action. Try to make your hockey arena advertising campaign different and add a bit of your organization’s creativity into it. Arenas...