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Stars Now Making Waves

by Staff Writer / Dallas Stars

September 7, 2005

You don't have to be from Texas to know that the summers can be pretty brutal. However, if you're a native of North Texas, you might have a few ideas of how to beat the summer heat. There are a few places you can be sure to find North Texans during the summer, and that's typically on one of our many area lakes lounging on a boat, beverage in hand and working on a nice golden tan. As everyone knows, area lakes in Dallas are the best places to see and be seen when the mercury rises.

Coming off a hockey season that never happened, armed with the daunting task of reconnecting to a fan base hungry for hockey in any fashion, the Dallas Stars Hockey Club set out on a mission to provide the most exciting and worthwhile strategy to rekindle the relationship with their fans. Known for their innovative marketing strategies, the Dallas Stars developed an outside-the-box concept with a new promotional vehicle - the Dallas Stars Boat. The club will offer one lucky Stars fan the opportunity to win exclusive use of the Rinker Catpiva 262 sport speedboat for the 2006 boating season.

"The number one reason we wanted to do the boat promotion was to provide our fans with a great giveaway item for the last game," stated Geoff Moore, executive vice president of sales and marketing. "More than any other year, we have to go where people are, and we were intrigued by the idea of going to area lakes to directly communicate with our fans. This is a unique idea and it has definitely grabbed people's attention."

In conjunction with Steve Ballard of Slalom Shop Boats and Yachts and Pier 121 Marina on Lake Lewisville, the 55 thousand dollar boat has become a fantastic way to reach out to a new market. Thanks to Kent McDaniel of Traffic Grafix and Rinker, the Stars have been able to create a moving billboard for the team that has played host to numerous outings during the 2005 boating season. The boat has been on several of the area lakes taking out staff, customers and sponsors in general promotional capacities, and has been a successful tool for creative advertising for the Dallas Stars.

"The Dallas Stars Boat is dynamically creative, and to our knowledge has never been done before," said Ben Cahalane, director of sponsorship sales. "Whether on the lake, parked at an event, or in transit, the boat is a creative billboard without competition. Fans have the opportunity to register to win the usage of the boat for the 2006 boating season, and with this being the year of the fan, we feel the boat promotion is right on target."

Coming off of a lockout situation, every team in the NHL has faced the very difficult task of winning the fans back. The Dallas Stars have been no exception. It was absolutely imperative to the Stars organization to find out who the fans were and the best ways in which to reach them. Due to a colorful graphic vinyl covering on the boat provided by Traffic Grafix, the boat is a highly visible marketing tool for the club. By using the Stars Boat, the club has been able to develop a more direct relationship with fans and develop a higher level of interest. By directly communicating with fans, the organization can offer more promotions, breaking news, and enhance everyone's Dallas Stars experience.

"We are so excited that hockey is back," said Moore. "We wanted to reach out to our fans, both old and new, and offer them something they would not only value highly, but would find really fun and exciting. We are at our best when our fans are having fun."

The boat is a classic 28-foot speedboat with a state of the art sound system provided by Rinker. Fans can register to win exclusive use of the boat beginning this January during the last 21 Stars home games of the regular season. The boat will be on display outside the west entrance to the American Airlines Center, and fans will have several chances to register to win not only at the games, but also on the website,, and other partnered events. The boat will be given to the winner on the last game of the year, which has already been dubbed Fan Appreciation Day (April 15). The club has plans to make the Stars Boat an annual event and will procure a new and different boat each year with the same promotion. Each year, a fan will have the opportunity to win exclusive use of the Stars Boat for each upcoming boating season.

After 18 months of no hockey, this truly is a new NHL and a new Dallas Stars Hockey Club. While the Stars have been front-runners in the league for years with new, innovative and creative marketing ideas, this season was the most important in club history. This truly is the year of the fan, and in the spirit of all things new, what could be a more perfect way to reach out to the fans than with a new idea - the Dallas Stars Boat!


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