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What now? Junior Hockey News

Published: Friday, 13 Mar 2020  
By: Cliff Cook, 5-Hole Graphics

Well, what now?

I wasn’t planning on posting anything else this soon, but there is a need right now.

It’s easy to say we have entered unprecedented times, but that’s not entirely true of course. Sadly just 19 years ago we saw a stoppage at the beginning of the junior hockey season due to 9/11, but we were eventually able to begin the season again and for most of us it was the escape we needed.

So, what’s different this time and why is this a scenario that would get the attention of a marketing/graphics business?

Timing. The timing of the postponement or cancellation of every junior hockey league in North America at a time when recruiting is ramping up towards its highest peak has created uncertainty for teams everywhere. The teams that will have the most success coming from this are not only the ones who have had consistent on-ice success, but the ones who have a solid marketing plan moving forward.

OK, so I realize this is an extreme example, but it makes a serious point. During the Great Depression (see, told you extreme) the companies that were able to survive and still thrive to this day were the ones who made the difficult decision to not only continue marketing and advertise their product, but INCREASE their marketing budgets during one of the most difficult times in history.

During that time where businesses were forced to make the difficult decisions on what to cut in order to survive, there is tangible evidence that the companies that advertising was the main factor in the downfall or growth of a company at that time. The customer, in this case hockey players and their families, need to know what your program can offer, and that the commitment is there. 

Consumers in the 1930’s migrated to the companies who continued to advertise and didn’t cut their advertising budgets. Aggressive marketing at a time when others were cutting back put companies in better position for success then and in the future.

So, what does this mean for your team? Now is not the time to avoid adding a marketing or advertising budget. It’s simple really, putting together a strong marketing plan using social media, in concert with a strong web presence that provides all the information a hockey family could need to feel like your team is the right fit. And all of that begins the even more important conversation directly with the coaching staff. 

How many of you have a visible Contact Page on your site? How many of you have an online Prospects Form? These are simple things that can make a huge difference. Sounds simplistic right? Because it is. You would be shocked at the number of players who will fill out a form that provides pertinent information that any coach would find useful in the recruiting process.

We don’t know what the status of the summer showcase schedule will be at this point. But you can control what you can control. Don’t we all try and teach that to our players? So, why not put someone in place to control the public, digital face of your program?

Let us help. Am I looking to take advantage of a tough situation? Of course, not hiding that. But my goal has always been to help make junior hockey better than it is and this business, along with coaching, is my way of doing that. And with the right people in place, you too can take better advantage of a difficult time to help your team grow in a positive way.

Contact my directly at and let’s discuss how we can fix your team or league’s image. Special package rates available or pick and choose what you need. We can discuss it all, tell you how we can help and if we can’t, we’ll point you in the right direction.

Author: Cliff Cook from 5-Hole Graphics

* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Cliff Cook, and not necessarily the views of does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.
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