The Carolina Hurricanes promotions team stayed busy this summer by hosting and taking part in over 100 events including Durham Rising, Raleigh Wide Open and Downtown Live. At these events, fans were kept up to date with all the recent Hurricanes news, while free gifts, such as posters, hats, t-shirts, and cups were handed out. The Slap Shot Booth was set up as well, allowing anyone to take their best shot to win a prize. Caniacs were also given the opportunity to meet Stormy, Ron the Ref, and members of the Storm Squad at the various public appearances.
“Stormy and the members of the Storm Squad worked very hard this summer with all the events and appearances they attended,” said Mari Jeter, Promotions and Fan Development Coordinator for the Carolina Hurricanes. “Our department took part in over 100 events over the course of the summer.”
Stormy’s appearances included Durham Bulls, Wilson Tobs, and Carolina Railhawks games, as well as appearances at numerous schools, churches, ice rinks, and charity events throughout the summer. The Storm Squad appeared at events such as Holly Springs’ Dog Days in the Park, Bass Lake Draft House summer concerts, and N.C. State’s Friday Fest.
“Some members of the Storm Squad even took time to visit St. Raphael’s Cheer Camp to visit some young cheerleaders,” added Jeter. “They had a blast visiting with the campers and talking to them about the Storm Squad.”
The last event of the summer hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes’ Promotions and Fan Development department was the Storm Squad tryout that ran August 27th and August 30th. The two day event saw 90 girls tryout, as 8 new members were selected to join the 6 returnees to make up the 2007-2008 Storm Squad.
“It was an excellent summer for us in that we were able to attend so many events,” said Jon Chase, Promotions and Fan Development Manager for the Carolina Hurricanes. “It was great to see fans maintaining the same enthusiasm in the off-season that they showed during the regular season.”
However, the Storm Squad was not the only team holding tryouts this summer, as a new program made its debut in the summer of ’07. Canes Youth and Amateur Hockey, or CYAH, is a new program to the Carolina Hurricanes Hockey Club that was designed to provide sponsorship and presence to the local community in order to encourage the growth of youth hockey at all skill levels. As a part of this program, the Hurricanes teamed up with the Raleigh Youth Hockey Association (RYHA) to sponsor a new elite travel hockey team, appropriately titled the Junior Hurricanes.
“The Junior Hurricanes have AAA and AA teams at each age level that were chosen this summer at two separate tryout weekends, May 10th-12th (AAA) and June 1st-3rd (AA),” said Paul Strand, Youth and Amateur Hockey Coordinator for the Carolina Hurricanes. “The talent level that we saw at tryouts and at the Hurricanes Hockey Camp this year shows that hockey is becoming more and more popular in North Carolina.”
Over 240 youth hockey players attended the 2007 Hurricanes Hockey Camp this summer. The camp took place at the RecZone in Raleigh, as youth players could choose from three separate weeks of camp that ran from July 30th to August 17th. The first and third weeks were designed for skill development, with the second week playing host to a 3-on-3 pond hockey tournament at each age level.
“This year’s camp was one of our best yet,” commented Strand. “Special thanks go out to the Hurricanes players and coaching staff for all their help. Rod Brind’Amour, Cam Ward
, Erik Cole, Jeff Daniels, and Peter Laviolette all helped make this year a huge success.”
Additionally, in an effort to raise awareness to the sport of hockey this summer, the Carolina Hurricanes hosted youth hockey clinics at Triangle area YMCA’s, community centers, schools, and summer camps. Youth programs at locations such as Jellybeans, Lake Lynn Community Center, and the Durham YMCA were able to take advantage of this free opportunity and enjoyed having the Hurricanes’ promotions team visit to carry out the clinic.
"The entire Carolina Hurricanes organization is truly a class act, and their dedication to the community is remarkable,” said Nick Errato, Associate Director for Durham Branches of the YMCA of the Triangle area. “Recently, the Durham YMCA had the privilege of hosting a hockey clinic provided by the Hurricanes for many of our inner city and outreach campers. The staff was amazing with our campers, teaching skill development, teamwork, and sportsmanship. As if this great clinic wasn't enough, our Y received tons of hockey equipment donated by the Hurricanes. For many of our campers, this was their first introduction to the sport.”
The goal of these hockey clinics were to give kids a chance to learn some basic hockey skills and the rules of the game. The clinics provide kids with an opportunity to try a sport that they otherwise might never experience.
“It was great to get hockey sticks in the hands of such diverse groups of kids without much hockey exposure and see how they embraced the game,” said Paul Strand. “In one or two hour clinics, the kids maintained enthusiasm throughout and had vastly improved by the end of the session. This shows that they really took something away from the clinic and will continue to try and learn new things in the future, whether it be in hockey or anything else in life.”
The Hurricanes’ summer promotions calendar wrapped up on September 16th, as the Caniac Carnival preceded the Hurricanes’ first pre-season game against the Washington Capitals. The Hurricanes begin the 2007-2008 season on October 3rd, with their home opener against the Montreal Canadiens at 7:00 p.m.
For a complete promotions and fan development schedule, click here