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Hockey Celebrations Can Boost Recruiting Efforts

By Minnesota Hockey, 12/17/12, 2:45PM CST

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Hockey Day Minnesota and Hockey Weekend Across America, two of the year's best annual celebrations, are rapidly approaching

Youth players from Inver Grove Heights celebrate Hockey Day Minnesota on outdoor ice

Youth players in Inver Grove Heights celebrate Hockey Day Minnesota on outdoor ice

When it comes to recruiting, association members are constantly looking for the best opportunities to expose hockey to new families. Every summer and fall, associations make a major push to reach out to the general public through parade involvement, fliers, advertisements, school visits, booths at events, etc.

While these efforts are critical to not just growing but maintaining participation in youth hockey, most people outside the typical hockey community don’t start thinking about hockey until, well, winter. Winter weather, especially the cold and ice, is often associated with hockey. Although most associations have been done with registration for quite a while, it is important to continue recruiting efforts during the winter when potential players may actually be the most receptive to trying hockey.

Hockey Day Minnesota

One of the most recognized and anticipated hockey events of the year is only a month away and may be the perfect time for your next recruiting event. Hockey Day Minnesota is coming up on Saturday, January 19th! As usual, the day will be highlighted by high school games on outdoor ice (Pokegama Lake in Grand Rapids), the Golden Gophers, and hopefully, the return of our beloved Wild.

Have you considered getting your association involved in the festivities? Before going home and spending the day watching non-stop hockey, take the time to invite your community out for their chance to participate in Minnesota’s favorite sport.

Hockey Weekend Across America

Hockey Weekend Across America, scheduled for February 15-17, is approaching quickly as well. USA Hockey and the NHL have teamed up to celebrate hockey with three days of fun, each with their own theme. Friday is “Wear Your Favorite Jersey Day." Saturday will feature the second national Try Hockey for Free day of the season. Then, finish out the weekend by celebrating your local hockey heroes on Sunday. Each of these themes present fantastic opportunities for local youth hockey associations to reach out to their community and get them excited about hockey.

For associations looking to make an end-of-the-season recruiting push, Saturday’s Try Hockey for Free event is a great way to introduce kids between the ages of four and nine to hockey. USA Hockey provides all host locations with jerseys, promotional items, marketing tools and advice, online registration and more to help with the planning of your event. Make sure to register before January 11th to secure these resources for your association.

Minnesota Hockey is committed to helping associations from across the state grow the game.  From very simple ideas to off-the-wall creativity, if it works we are in favor of it. And we want to share it! For more information on recruiting and retention efforts statewide or to share your story, email us info@minnesotahockey.org.

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