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...