Hockey’s Biz In VanCity
Businesses in die-hard hockey cities across North America can usually count on additional revenue and leveraging of partnerships with NHL teams to spike for six in-season months out of the year.
But for the first time in years on the North West coast, Vancouver will have nine months of time to capitalize on the Canucks’ steam in 2011. Those additional three months are making a big difference for local businesses’ bottom lines, even in some surprising industries.
Even though the intense playoff run ended in chaos on the June 16th Stanley Cup final, things changed in the city this summer.
Local hockey programs received an increase in registration as kids chose to hit the ice over the pool. Hollyburn Country Club in West Vancouver, the hockey facility that Paul Reinhart’s boys Max, Griffin and Sam train at, had full hockey schools throughout the summer months.
The club also organized family-friendly playoff parties to meet the demand for kids and parents wanting to watch the game together after practice.
This season, the restaurant and bar at Hollyburn are preparing for a full house on every game night.
Being officially pro-Canucks boosted employee morale and sense of community through autograph signings and official Canucks days.
Affiliating with the Canucks through thick and thin has attracted fans to Auto West’s BMW dealership and garnered connections and in-depth conversations about players and games over social media (@AutoWestBMW).
Even companies in new technology have leveraged the hype surrounding the Canucks in Vancouver. Atimi Software, the developer of the official Canucks mobile application, was able to use the team marketing and streaming fan tool by pitching further NHL teams on branded apps.
Atimi has since developed NHL apps for the Calgary Flames and Chicago Blackhawks.
The Canucks 2011 playoff run created an atmosphere in bars and restaurants across the city that made watching the games in public a social celebration that no one wanted to miss out on.
Establishments across the city are expecting fans to come out in droves once again, looking for the same experience in 2011-12.
Places like the Charles Bar in Gastown, which has only been open for a year, became a hot spot to watch the game with its big screens and great selection of beer.
The restaurant has hired additional staff to manage the amount of customers they expect to come in on game nights.
It’ll be interesting to see how Vancouver’s economy continues to be impacted into the 2011-12 season depending on how well the Canucks do.