Branding
Repeat Customer Success Cycle
Schedule KeyChains™
Podcast - October 2011
Bart Rogers on Using Celebrities
Hockey Skate Mat 
Sign up for our Monthly Content Alert


Punch List

More Punch List Items

Opening Night
Page 1 of 1

The Pulse: Opening Night

The Pulse is a quick trip around sports asking Game Operations personnel a topical question regarding their production or event. We then bulk the answers together in an effort to showcase what's happening around the country at different levels and in different sports.

Opening Night Pulse

Teams in hockey and hoops discuss what they did this year on Opening night and what they attempt to accomplish via their event production on that night.

Matt Canavan
Director, Corporate Sales
Texas Tornado Hockey Club

Gameops.com: What are you doing opening night this year in terms of Game Presentation that you do not do every game?

Canavan: This year for our opening night we added a few new elements. We had a small but effective indoor fireworks show, and placed 2 air flames at the end of our inflatable tunnel on the ice for introductions. We also performed a 12 man (City Council) ceremonial puck drop and a ceremonial slap shot signifying the first goal scored on the year by the Mayor of the City.

YouTube of Pyro Flames. Pyrotechnic Terms

Gameops.com: Did you/Will you give fans a Premium Item (giveaway) opening night?

Canavan: We have heavy a schedule of promotional items and giveaways. Opening night we distributed Schedule Magnets to everyone in attendance.

Gameops.com: Did you or will you sell out opening night?

Canavan: Our team recently relocated to a new market and is playing out of a new facility. We sold out on opening night and were able to sell an additional 300 standing room only tickets. (capacity 3,700)

Gameops.com: What is more important to your team, winning your first game or presenting the most entertaining evening possible for your fans?

Canavan: It is definitely more important to our organization to present the most entertaining evening possible for our new fan base. It also helped that we won 9-2 and there were several altercations during the game.

Tony Dufek
River CIty Lancers Hockey

Gameops.com: What are you doing opening night this year in terms of Game Presentation that you do not do every game?

Dufek: This year was unique in the fact that we retired the jersey of a fallen player. Then unveiled our new lighting show that we have implemented into our game night excitement.

Gameops.com: Did you/Will you give fans a Premium Item (giveaway) opening night?

Dufek: Opening night we always hand out our magnetic pocket schedule.

Gameops.com: Did you/Will you sell out opening night?

Dufek: We did not sell out opening night.

Gameops.com: What is more important to your team? Winning your first game or presenting the most entertaining evening possible for your fans?

Dufek: For the Lancers both is important. We want to win every home game that we can and put on the best show possible night in and night out.

Kelly Crane
Utah Jazz

Gameops.com: What are you doing opening night this year in terms of Game Presentation that you do not do every game?

Crane: We will be using a "Premier Night" theme where fans will enter the building on the red carpet. We are bringing in special bands, a "paparazzi", celebrity guests, and using a limo service for lucky fans to arrive at the game in.

Gameops.com: Did you/Will you give fans a Premium Item (giveaway) opening night?

Crane: We will be giving away a magnetic schedule on Opening Night. This way, the fans have something they can put at home or at work, that tells them when the Utah Jazz games are.

Gameops.com: Did you/Will you sell out opening night?

Crane: That is the goal.

Gameops.com: What is more important to your team? Winning your first game or presenting the most entertaining evening possible for your fans?

Crane: We can't control the outcome of the game, but we can control the atmosphere we provide for our fans. Therefore, I think that providing an overall entertaining experience for our fans is what is most important. When we win, it makes the whole experience that much better.

Scott Sproat
Fort Wayne Komets Hockey

Gameops.com: What are you doing opening night this year in terms of Game Presentation that you do not do every game?

Sproat: We're coming off a Championship - so we will be doing the following:

  • Our Captain will be skating the Cup around the Ice one "final time for 2003"
  • We will present all of our returning players (14) with their Championship Rings
  • We will be raising a Championship Banner

In addition - we also do something "Grandiose" with our mascot in the way of a "First Look" for the new season (usually involving some method of "transport"), utilize pyrotechnics, enhanced lighting effects, Gobos, introduction of new/alternate jerseys, roll-out of new promotions and game events, etc.

Gameops.com: Did you/Will you give fans a Premium Item (giveaway) opening night?

Sproat: Premium Item: Continuing the theme - we will be passing out commemorative "Championship Team Picture Posters" courtesy of several sponsors. In 2007 we will give away Schedule Pens™.

Gameops.com: Did you/Will you sell out opening night?

Sproat: Yes. We traditionally sell-out.

Gameops.com: What is more important to your team? Winning your first game or presenting the most entertaining evening possible for your fans?

Sproat: Winning is always secondary to putting on a great show for the fans. Winning is definitely a part of that "overall product" - but that is an uncontrollable, so we will focus on that which we can control ---- namely: customer service, entertaining presentation, an abundance of information on new programs, policies, and promotions, and a fantastic kick-off for our corporate partners in the overall scheme of our "product."

The Archive of Pulse Questions

More links

Football Schedule Magnet with 4 color imprint
July Mini-Podcast with Jon Cudo
Repeat Customer Success Cycle
Schedule Pens™
Schedule Static Cling Sticker
Lottery Scratchers