The Chicago Blackhawks have been the media darlings of the NHL since John McDonough took the reins. Many teams throughout the league are doing their best to jump start their own social media programs on the back of their successful blueprint.
Blackhawks TV is a must watch for nearly every fan and even has it’s own YouTube channel. Of course, there are interviews, pregame videos, and some fun little segments where the players hysterically decipher emoticons. However, the most beloved content is by far the #WhatsYourGoal campaign videos.
The Blackhawks aren’t the only team making the most of their social media presence; many other are following suit. While we may be partial to the Blackhawks, it is incredible to see so many teams engaging with their communities. It will undoubtedly put smiles on a lot of faces and help the league grow their fanbase.
Here are some of my personal favorites from the #WhatsYourGoal campaign and a few other standouts that the Blackhawks have shared over the last few years. They are in no particular order, but I am partial to both Corey Crawford and Duncan Keith’s #WhatsYourGoal spots!
Do you have some favorites from your team? Feel free to hit the comments below or shoot them over on Twitter!
The Power of A Goal
The Blackhawks One Goal Campaign is one of the best in hockey, and they have capitalized on it in every aspect. On the ice, they carry that with them every single night, every shift, every possession. Off the ice, it has been an exceptional campaign that has spread across their fanbase as well.
You see the hashtag all over social media, and it gives you a pretty good idea of just how far the Blackhawks reach goes. Just like their fans infiltrate nearly every arena.
One of the things that the Blackhawks do well is utilize all of their players. They don’t simply rely on Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, but the younger, or lesser known players as well. It makes them more relatable to the average fan.
Joey the Junior Reporter
Joey, the Junior Reporter, is one of the most popular segments though they haven’t done as much in the last few years. Sadly, young Joey must have outgrown the spotlight or moved on to bigger and better things in his young life. However, there are several hilarious segments that can be found on BlackhawksTV’s YouTube Channel including the last one where he appears to be passing the torch to his younger brothers.
In this particular offering, Joey chats up some of the fans favorite players on their teammates ability (or lack thereof) to grow a playoff beard. Hopefully, we haven’t seen the last of Joey. You never know, one day maybe he’ll be sitting beside Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk.
Blackhawks Honor Kids Battling Cancer with #HockeyFightsCancer
The NHL #HockeyFightsCancer campaign has grown to epic proportions with each team participating and helping to raise funds for a cause that will touch everyone in some way throughout their lifetime.
Every team has special jerseys that are auctioned off and invite special guests of honor to help kick off the night much like the Blackhawks did in this Blackhawks TV spot. It was a sight to see these big hockey players skate on to the ice with the young kids that were being honored. Several of them stood hand in hand with their favorite players on the blue line as Jim Cornelison sang the anthem.
There are a number of events that are held throughout the season like #HockeyFightsCancer, and it is a tradition that will hopefully continue to grow. Every team in the league participates, and it undoubtedly makes the days a little brighter for the kids and families who get to spend some time with their favorite teams. In addition, it helps raise funds and awareness for some great causes!
Kudos to the entire league on this campaign!
Brent Seabrook Visits Leo High School
Leo High School is on the South Side of Chicago in an area where the streets offer a distraction that makes it tough for the schools to maintain the kids focus. However, Leo High School has managed to do just that with a 100% graduation rate. Something a lot of schools in similar neighborhoods couldn’t even begin to replicate.
The Blackhawks chose to reward the schools excellence with a visit from Brent Seabrook and the Stanley Cup.
The real reward is that these kids will have an opportunity to change their own lives because of the guidance they have received at Leo High School. Hopefully, the Blackhawks visit can bring some attention to the program helping them grow and continue with their efforts as well.
The Blackhawks Bring a Marine Home For Christmas
The military and their families are always a big part of the Blackhawks organization, but even Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were awed by the experience of helping a Marine surprise his family for Christmas.
It was a special reunion that the Blackhawks pulled out all the stops for as they invited the family to a practice and made sure all of the kids got a special memento (a stick from players like Brandon Saad, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Duncan Keith). Toews and Kane remained in the background for much of the welcome as they waited in the locker room where the family would complete the tour.
They thought that the two Blackhawks stars were the prize at the end of this tour until George Handley made his way into the room to great his surprised and elated family. The moment was truly special for the family as well as all the Blackhawks players that made it possible.
Jonathan Toews Helps Make-A-Wish
The Blackhawks have a long history with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and have granted many wishes for deserving children with life-threatening illnesses. However, one of those kids got the opportunity of a lifetime as he stepped onto the ice at Soldier Field ahead of the Stadium Series game between the Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins with his favorite player, Jonathan Toews.
There aren’t too many little boys who get to hit the ice against their idol, let alone spend the day with him. The Blackhawks gave Nicholas his very own locker and gear so that he could look the part as he stepped on a sheet of ice that only a select few would get to skate on. He and his family headed home to Milton, Ontario with a wonderful memory.
Patrick Sharp Makes Christina’s Dream Come True
Christina’s goal was to attend a Blackhawks game, and she would have been thrilled if the Blackhawks had simply given her and her family a seat. The Blackhawks had a better idea.
She and her mom entered the United Center expecting to be escorted to a seat, but instead they were welcomed by Patrick Sharp. They didn’t stop there because the Blackhawks don’t do anything halfway on or off the ice. Instead, she was given the opportunity to sit beside Troy Murray, a former Blackhawk and play by play analyst for WGN Radio.
Christina first Blackhawks game is one that she will remember for the rest of her life, and the fans got to share in her joy because the Blackhawks One Goal campaign exists.
Toews Buys Some Girl Scout Cookies For Sharpy
During his time in Chicago, Patrick Sharp had earned some notoriety as a the Blackhawks resident prankster, so it was really no surprise that Andrew Shaw and Jonathan Toews came up with a perfect plan to return the favor. They made a little girl’s day when they enlisted her help in exacting their revenge.
What girl scout wouldn’t like to have the Blackhawks ordering cookies from her, even if they were for nefarious purposes. While Toews may have gotten his revenge, he has a little work to do when it comes to ironing on girl scout patches.
Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey Program Hits the All-Star Game
The Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey Program has really taken off in recent years thank in part to their Youth Hockey Director Annie Camins and Coordinator Spencer Montgomery. This year, they got to send a couple of local kids to participate at the All-Star game with other kids from around the NHL’s youth hockey community.
The program is designed to give kids who might not be able to participate due to the expense of equipment and ice time, etc. The Blackhawks Youth Hockey Program provides access to top coaches, facilities, and more.
There is no telling how far these kids can go, but the program has begun to cultivate some truly talented kids in the Midwest and introduced a new generation to the sport of hockey!
Corey Crawford Makes A Little Boy’s Day
Anyone who follows hockey knows that Corey Crawford has a lot of heart, and he is having a career year between the pipes for the Chicago Blackhawks. However, that didn’t stop the Blackhawks netminder from taking a few hours out of his busy schedule to help Emilie babysit a very special fan, Ben.
Ben greeted Crawford much as you would a long lost friend before asking him where his pads were, earning him a laugh and a hug from the Blackhawks netminder.
Crow even managed to bring along a couple of friends, Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Shaw for a game of street hockey with Ben and his friend. Although Crawford might want to work on his culinary skills, there is no debating that he and the Blackhawks hit a home run with this one.
Duncan Keith Teaches A Very Special Little Girl Learn To Skate
There have been a number of exceptional #WhatsYourGoal videos produced in the last few years, but none as touching as the one that featured Duncan Keith and Cammy. There is just something about seeing these big hockey players wearing their hearts on their sleeves that will always make the Blackhawks feel like a part of their fans lives.
Duncan Keith embodies toughness, yet when he meets Cammy we are treated to a whole different side of him that we normally do not get to see. While the Stanley Cup Championships, Norris Trophies, and the Conn Smythe Trophy certainly have endeared him to the fans, this spot will certainly garner him a whole new level of adoration.
The days of the larger than life hockey heroes has been left behind for something much greater. The organization has embodied family within the locker room, the organization and with the surrounding community simply be making themselves accessible and more importantly, approachable.
Kristi is a long time hockey fan who grew up in, and around hockey rinks across the United States and Canada. A native Chicagoan, Loucks has always been an avid Blackhawks fan. Kristi also covers the Chicago Cubs and writes suspense thrillers, when not covering the Chicago Blackhawks. Follow Kristi on twitter @louckske