The Arizona Coyotes are encouraging fans to stay active while staying inside with a new social media initiative called #HockeyAtHome.
The team is urging fans to set up street hockey gear and document their experience using the hashtag #HockeyAtHome. Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski kicked off the campaign by posting a video of him playing street hockey with his son. Right wing Michael Grabner has also been posting videos of him playing hockey with his kids.
“It’s nice to be able to see these players when normally this is the time where they don’t really get to be with their families,” says Lyndsey Fry, the Coyotes’ manager of marketing strategy and special projects. “Seeing them continue to train at home and get their kids involved is really resonating well with fans.”
Fry says #HockeyAtHome has created a chain reaction of different online challenges, such as the “Slap Shot Challenge,” where players teach their parents how to take a slap shot.
“It’s just been a nice way to keep everybody positive and keep spirits up,” Fry says.
Ordinarily, April would be the end of the hockey season, which Fry says is when fans “really come alive.” However, the season was suspended in March due to mounting concerns about the spread of coronavirus.
“We were expecting to have a couple sellout crowds, which would have been super exciting, so to have that rug kind of ripped out from under everybody is hard, especially for some of our hardcore fans,” Fry says. “I think to be able to have something that really connects them from all levels of the game is really good for keeping spirits up, but also building a community when we all have to be away from each other.”
Those that participate in #HockeyAtHome also have the opportunity to win prizes. The grand prize winner will receive a “Neighborhood Hockey Game Set” which includes two nets, 10 sticks, five balls and 10 reversible Coyotes jerseys. Two runners up will win a “Hockey at Home Practice Set” which includes one pop-up net, two street hockey sticks, one street hockey ball and a Coyotes-branded Green Biscuit stickhandling puck.
“It’s been awesome to have some of our players sending in some videos for us to use and just keeping everybody as a whole connected and continuing to play while we’re all at home,” Fry says.