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Fan Marketing, Literally.

by Staff Writer / Dallas Stars

Winners of Stars Billboard Campaign Announced

The Dallas Stars Billboard Marketing Campaign for the 2007-08 season has been a big hit – so much so that the hockey club decided to ask our fans to come up with slogans for what they think would make a great billboard.

The Stars received over 2,000 entries for the contest and there were many different ideas to choose from. There were clever entries, humorous entries, good ideas and bad ideas. All were definitely interesting.

Choosing a winning slogan to place on an actual billboard was a fun challenge. The staff went through each and every entry and made lists of favorite contenders, comparing thoughts and opinions. When it was all said and done, four ideas were made finalists.

That’s when the tough decisions came in.

“This whole process was very fun because there were so many good ideas,” said Brooke Fendrick, assistant vice president of marketing for the Stars. “Honestly this was a very tough decision.”

How tough was the decision? So tough that it took two winning entries to decide what slogan would land on the billboard. “Guaranteed Free Checking” got the nod, and it was actually submitted by two different Stars fans – Kelly Silander of Allen and David Michel of Dallas.

Many fans sent in multiple entries in as a possible winner. Kelly and David’s winning slogan happened to be the only one submitted by each.

“This was my only entry,” said Kelly. “Checking is one of my favorite parts of the game. My kids actually encouraged me to submit it. They're 12 and 8 so I had to clue them in to what it means! They looked at each other and both said, ‘Mom! You're brilliant!’ And I love being brilliant!”

It was David’s only entry as well.

“I heard about the power play contest while watching a game early in the season. So I went to the website and entered,” said David. “While I was there, I saw the contest about the billboards. I recalled all the national media attention it garnered, and how clever the whole campaign was. (The advertising department scored a home run on this, in my opinion!) A few days later, I was driving on a local highway and ran across two billboards that were advertising the free checking promotion. Then about 20 minutes later a commercial came on the radio. Then the correlation hit me when I remembered that Guaranty bank had that big green logo under the scoreboard at American Airlines Center. I though that Guaranteed Free Checking was a no-brainer, and the next day, on a whim, I entered it. I told my wife and a friend about my submission a few nights later while we were watching the Stars on TV. I told them I thought it would win, believe it or not!”

He was right. Like all of us, David and Kelly each have their favorite billboards that have been rolled out by the Stars.

“The one I liked the best had to be the one that got all the national attention – “The Only Thing our Refs Shave is the Ice,’” said David. “A close second would probably be the one poking fun at football only having one game a week; since it is a regular argument I have with many friends regarding how tough hockey players are compared to football player. (See Deion Sander’s ‘turf toe’ incident!)”

Added Kelly, “I Love the NFL Billboard...Is the N for Nancy?  I'm thinkin' the L is for Lily!

“I started watching hockey when my son started playing in 2004. It's an addiction! In the off-season our family has to have group therapy!!!  I love Boucher and Turco, but my favorite player is probably Brenden Morrow. He’s a wonderful captain. We try to go to a few games but we really enjoy Ralph and Razor and miss hearing them at games.”

Hey Kelly – we have some good news for you – bring your headphones and radio to every Stars game and tune in to 97.5 FM to get the radio broadcast and listen to Ralph and Razor.

“I was ecstatic when the Stars moved here in 1993,” said David. “I can count on my hands the number of games I’ve missed since then. It’s practically a way of life now. I’ve had many favorite players over the years -- Joe Nieuwendyk, Brett Hull, Pat Verbeek, Shane Churla, Neal Broten, Eddie Belfour, the list goes on and on.

“I’ve been a huge hockey fan since I was very, very young. We used to go and watch the Fort Worth Fire play at Will Rogers way back in the day. Those were good times with my dad!”
Both Kelly and David expressed their excitement and pride in winning the Stars Billboard Contest.

“It's exciting and fun,” said Kelly. “I feel part of the Stars family - we've invested a lot of time into watching the Stars, cheering them on and just being a fan!  This is definitely a top shelf goal for our family!”

As part of winning the contest, David and Kelly each win four tickets on the glass to an upcoming Stars home game, and of course their winning slogan on a Stars billboard.

“Oh, I’m definitely excited,” said David. “My wife and I have never seen an NHL game from the glass and we’re eagerly anticipating it. I’ve never really won much of anything before, so this is really a welcome prize. It means I’ll finally get redemption with a few people who think I never have any good ideas!”

Their Billboard is scheduled to be up by the first week in December at a site to be determined soon.

So, Kelly and David, what will your first reaction be in seeing your winning billboard in-person for the first time?

“Knowing me, I'll see it and say, wait a minute...someone stole my idea!” said Kelly.

As for David: “That’s easy. I’m going to stop the car, stand by it, and have someone take my picture! I’ll also have to drive a few friends past it just to gloat a bit! I wonder if this is my 15 minutes of fame we’re all promised?”

The runners-up for the Billboard Contest were definitely quality contenders.

Heath Goddard of Richardson submitted “Hip Checks, Not Just for the Elderly.” Ed Morzak of North Dallas (at the request of his daughter) sent in, “Bring Your ‘Eh’ Game.” And Dustin Holmes sent in “Our Players Walk on Water.”

Indeed all clever and definitely all worthy.

Congratulations to Kelly Silander and David Michel on winning the contest, as well as to Heath Goddard, Dustin Holmes and Ed Morzak for submitting some great entries that easily could have won. Thank you to the thousands of people who entered. We appreciate all of the input to find a perfect Dallas Stars Billboard to add to the campaign!

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