Vancouver Canucks: What can the team improve off the ice? Part 2

SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 24: Fin the Whale of the Vancouver Canucks participates in the 2019 NHL All-Star - Mascot Showdown on January 24, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 24: Fin the Whale of the Vancouver Canucks participates in the 2019 NHL All-Star - Mascot Showdown on January 24, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /

In the second of a two part series, “What can the Vancouver Canucks improve off the ice?”, we look at what the team can do to strengthen their connection to the fanbase beyond the in- game experience.

The Vancouver Canucks have put in a lot of work this summer to make their 50th anniversary season special for the fans. In part one of this series, I identified just five ways that the Vancouver Canucks could improve their in game experience for fans.

You can review that here before continuing, if you haven’t already. With this second and final part of the series, I want to identify five ways that the Canucks could improve the connection with their fans beyond the walls of Rogers Arena.

The Canucks are an exemplary franchise when it comes to charitable events and outreach, so I didn’t add any new suggestions in that regard. Awhile back, I posed the question of “what the Canucks can do to improve off the ice?” on Twitter and received a fantastic amount of feedback and ideas. Compiling those and adding a few of my own, this is the top 5 things that the Canucks can do off the ice and away from the in game experience to connect with their fanbase even better.

1. Social media

The Canucks have a social media presence but it lacks the activity and impact that franchises like the Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, Vegas Golden Knights and New Jersey Devils have. The overall tone of the social media accounts seem overly corporate and lack personality. Because of that lack of personality, it doesn’t encourage or promote interaction or engagement. Just because you are in a hockey crazed market, it doesn’t mean that you can’t stoke that fire and engage your fanbase in a fun and meaningful way online.

2. Fin

Building off of the last point, Fin can be better utilized in marketing. Give him a persona that he can embody.

The Philadelphia Flyers have flipped the mascot world on its head with the birth of Gritty and other teams have made attempts to better market their respective mascots since then. Fin is a great mascot and needs to be spotlighted more online and in marketing campaigns.

Make him fun, funny and relatable by creating a defined character for him to portray. Who knows, maybe you could even become the first team to employ a mascot tandem by adding a Johnny Canuck mascot. It could give you a dynamic interaction between two different characters for the fanbase to connect with.

3. Team dog

I know, I know. Everyone is getting dogs now. But come on. How adorable is that? Adopt a dog, doesn’t matter what kind, name them something adorable and team related (do a fan poll!) then share that puppy with everyone. Literally can’t be an easier marketing scheme than that.

4. Celebrity fan

There are many franchises throughout sports that utilize various local celebrities or celebrities that are known fans of the team. The Seattle Seahawks for example, have a different celebrity fire up the crowd each home game by raising the 12th Man flag.

More from The Canuck Way

It’s true that it would be significantly more difficult to do that same idea with an NHL team simply because there are far more home games. That being said, there are many celebrities from the Vancouver area or that are known fans of the Canucks.

How fan would it be to have Brent Butt get the crowd going?

Cobie Smulders wearing a Mason Raymond jersey, Dallas Smith, Tyler Johnston, Ryan Reynolds, Seth Rogen, Bryan Adams, Alexander Ludwig, Emily Bett Rickards, Hayden Christensen on Star Wars Night, Drew and Jonathan Scott, Carly Rae Jepsen, Michael Bublé, Josh Ramsay, various players from other Vancouver sports franchises and Canucks alumni can create a nice tie in to the community and celebrate stars that call Vancouver home.

5. Jason Botchford memorial

I saved the most special suggestion for last. Finding some way to honour the legacy and work of the late Jason Botchford and his family would forever bond the Canucks with the Botchfords and the many fans that belong in Botch’s Army.

How special would it be for the Canucks to create a space for the media that is named in Jason’s honour. It gives me goosebumps to think about how that would feel for the next generation of journalists that Jason inspired, many of which he mentored in some fashion, to walk into that space and celebrate his incredible legacy. Vancouver has been so blessed to enjoy world class journalism and sports coverage. It is important for the Canucks to recognize that in a touching and permanent way.

It is exciting that we are so close to finally seeing the puck drop on the highly anticipated 50th anniversary season for the Canucks. There will always be ways to improve your fan connection and fan connection, but I hope you’ve enjoyed this two part series of ways that the Canucks can improve off the ice.

Next. Whatever happened to 2003 Canucks' draft class. dark

It was fun to have the input and interaction with all of you as this Top 10 list was compiled. Thank you all for that input. We all have a great deal to be excited about this season and I personally can not wait to enjoy it with all of you.