There is fun in the air around Columbus.
Not only are the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-3-0 and exceeding expectations with young players like Cole Sillinger leading the charge, but a new pregame tradition is also taking the city by storm. Fun Dip.
Fun Dip is a candy that has been on shelves since the 1940s. It is made up of flavored sugar in various flavors that you eat off an edible stick you dip in the sugar. However, in Columbus, it is starting to become much more than candy.
I sat down with Kathryn Dobbs, chief marketing officer of the Blue Jackets, who is responsible for starting this trend, to discuss what she hopes to come from this trend, where it could lead, and what it truly represents.
The Blue Jackets’ New Tradition Has Simple Origins
People from all walks of life are enjoying Fun Dip around Columbus, but how did this all come to be? It simply started with employee engagement from the Blue Jackets.
“Every year, as we lead up to opening night, our HR team does things to have some fun around the office while everyone’s working so hard. And one of the things they do each year is they find out everybody’s favorite candy,” Dobbs said. “And then one day we come in the office, and we all have on our desk our favorite candy with a great note just reminding everybody to have fun and how much we appreciate what they do around here every year.”
For Dobbs, that candy is Fun Dip, and she felt silly that as an adult that was her favorite candy, so she admitted it on social media, and it got a lot of positive feedback.
“This year, when they brought around the Fun Dip, I felt a little foolish that at my age that I love Fun Dip,” Dobbs said. “I confessed that on social media during the preseason that I love Fun Dip. And as a big believer of pregame rituals and that if we won our game that night against St. Louis, I said that I was going to adopt the Fun Dip as my pregame ritual this year. A lot of other people thought that that sounded like a fun idea. And so fans and 614 Hockey and various groups all jumped on this idea of ‘wouldn’t it be fun for us to celebrate that way.’ And it just started connecting people.”
Dobbs Hopes Fun Dip Can Bring the Community Together
While the Fun Dip tradition may have just started, Dobbs believes it has the potential to grow into something special that brings a city together, and everyone can enjoy.
“I think it’s got a lot of potential [to bring together the team and community],” Dobbs said. “The other nice thing when you talk about something like Fun Dip is everybody can be part of it.”
Dobbs says it means a lot to see something so simple bringing so much joy.
“It’s a great reminder that something as small as a Fun Dip has the power to bring people together in a positive way. And, I think most people would agree, we could use as much positivity as possible,” Dobbs stated. “I think it’s a good reminder that little things can make people smile or make their day or include them to be part of something. It’s powerful. And, you know, if we all made that part of our day, how much better would we all be?”
Dobbs also said that she feels lucky to be helping to bring families and fans together around Blue Jackets hockey and to be bringing them happiness.
“One of my favorite social media posts before the game the other night was a photo of a family with four generations. They were all decked out in their Blue Jackets gear, all having a Fun Dip, and smiling. And that’s what it’s about. And if that’s what we’re creating and supporting and nurturing then how lucky are we to be a part of that?”
The Fun Dip Trend Continues to Grow Around Columbus
Even though Dobbs said the Fun Dip ritual is still new, there is no doubt the trend is growing.
If you look up Fun Dip on Twitter, you will see pictures of Blue Jacket fans enjoying Fun Dip at R-Bar (a local hockey-themed bar near Nationwide Arena), sharing with their dogs, sharing with strangers, and of course at Blue Jacket games.
Many local TV personalities, like Whitney Harding, a member of the sports team at a local news station, NBC4, have joined the trend as well.
It may be just starting out, but it is quickly gaining attention amongst the fans, the local media, and the city of Columbus as a whole.
Dobbs Believes Fun Dip Represents the Blue Jackets and Their Fans
Dobbs ended by expressing her belief that Fun Dip represents the Blue Jackets organization, and the fans, and that it’s going to bring everyone together through the team’s journey this season.
“I think that if when people talk about the Columbus Blue Jackets, that the word they use fun. I mean, that’s amazing. That’s what we want,” Dobbs said. “We’re gonna have wins, we’re gonna have losses. We’re all on this journey. But if we’re having fun doing it, that’s what it’s about.”
Cody Chalfan is currently a journalism major at the Ohio State University who grew up in Columbus and loves hockey, especially the Blue Jackets. He is disabled, therefore he is a major advocate for the NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone movement. A piece he wrote focusing on the Blue Jackets’ work on expanding the sport into the local special needs community can be found here. Cody can be contacted via Twitter (@cachalfan) direct message for comments, constructive criticism, or story ideas.