I’m going to be honest here. Some teams out there already do a great job at this, but there are also a bunch who need some help. I’m going to throw out a whole bunch of ideas for you here to help you get some butts in seats. When you get a large group of people to do something together, you get the feeling like you’re all coming together for a common cause, and peer pressure can be a powerful thing to harness for good!
Sure, many of you do a Pink the Rink for breast cancer, and maybe you do a teddy bear toss or a military appreciation night,or even a youth hockey night, but there are a bunch of other possibilities here:
Back to school night asking for donations of school supplies
A charity game against police, fire, or other first responders. You could even run a costume contest for fans who dress up as superheroes.
Healthcare Professionals night, maybe coordinated with a blood drive or a limited edition scrub top available for purchase. Or you could auction off special jerseys and donate the proceeds to the children’s hospital or another medical charity like Doctors Without Borders
“Socktober” where one game or weekend in October, fans donate new socks for the homeless or local family crisis center
Ladies night asking for donations of feminine products or diapers and baby wipes for the local women’s shelter
Ugly sweater night with special jerseys that could be auctioned off for charity. You could have someone dress as Santa for pictures and for a skate with the team and Santa after the game
Food drive for the local food shelf
Toys for Tots night asking for donations of new, unwrapped toys (you heard their spiel in your head just now, didn’t you?)
Hawaiian shirt night, again with special jerseys that could be auctioned off for charity or call it beach night and give away promotional beach balls or leis. You could have the concession stand put those little paper umbrellas in every beverage
Camouflage night where everyone wears camo. Again, opportunity for special jerseys or limited edition merch.
Patriotic night where everyone wears red, white, and blue. Again, opportunity for jerseys or merch
90s night where everyone dresses up in 90s attire. You could have jerseys or merch with that classic paper cup graphic. Google it. You’ll remember it when you see it.
I could go on forever with this, but think about things that are prominent in your community and incorporate those. If rodeo is big in your area, have a cowboy/cowgirl night, for example. If you have a large Hispanic community, maybe you have a Hispanic night and have a guest announcer speaking Spanish or a guest play by play announcer calling the game in Spanish. Maybe you have a special food item at the concession stand that night.
Theme nights and promotions like this give you something else to hype up on social media or on radio, TV, or newspaper ads. You can partner with local businesses to sponsor these nights, and they can hand out coupons or a promotional item or samples.
And speaking of social media, you can’t just post about the next game every day because that gets boring. Mix it up with posts about your players, alumni, or staff. You could do posts about team history--quiz your followers and draw a name for a couple free game tickets. Post about main camp and pre-season training. Post game highlights throughout the game as well as after. Post about the team’s community service. Post about birthdays. Highlight your billet families. Ask your fans questions and get them engaged. With all of these things as well as the team’s community service efforts, you’ll have a solid social media marketing plan to get your team name out there to generate interest.
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