By Kris Smith
Everyone at the Kitmart Dundee Stars is constantly working hard to both produce an excellent team on the ice for this season and continually grow the club as a business by preserving and enlarging the buzz around the city about our brand.
Omar Pacha recently gave his summer update on how his team is coming together and now it’s the turn of the commercial manager, Elliot Shaw.
He shared an insight into the front office and what he describes as his “busiest time of the year”.
As we enter the final months off the offseason, Elliot gave an update on how the commercial side of the club had shaped up over the summer.
He said: “It has been really positive after last season’s success off the ice, there has been quite a large demand for what we do on the commercial side of the club.
“There has been an increased number of people coming to our games and to the arena as a whole and this has enhanced the attractiveness of our commercial products to businesses.”
Elliot continued: “we have had sponsors come back on board and increase what they are doing with the club and we have also had a range of new business join us that have never been involved in hockey before.
“They have come in for this season because they understand the benefits it can have for their brand. Overall it has been a really positive offseason on the commercial side.”
For any of the fans that are less familiar with the how the commercial side of hockey works, Elliot has explained his role and its vitality during the summer months.
He said: “My job is probably busier during the summer than in the winter, for people working on the commercial side, it is actually the busiest time of the year.
“My job over the course of the summer involves bringing in sponsors for board advertisement, for jersey patches, for hospitality, for programme adverts and anything you can imagine from a commercial perspective.
“We have such a small team here at the Stars that my role actually goes out with that to the point where it is general management as well, so any kind of off-ice operations that happen during the summer is done by myself, Omar Pacha and the directors as well.
“It is a really busy time of year as we bring in business for the upcoming season and get everything prepared off the ice so come September we are ready on the ice to put on a show.”
Being one of the smaller teams in the league, financially and capacity wise, brings a lot of tough challenges and now entering his third year with club, Elliot stated: “All our commercial revenue goes straight back into producing a team and that is why it is so important for a club of our size.
“We rely heavily on sponsorship revenue to ensure that our operational output on the ice is the best it can be”.
Both Omar and Elliot have been constantly praising the fans for their support all year round and the 21-year old expressed his gratitude for their dedication.
He commented: “They have been absolutely superb, I cannot thank the fans enough for what they have done, buying into the vision that myself and Omar share.
“We need support from the fans and myself, Omar and the directors could not thank the fans enough for what they have done for us. They have gotten right behind us over the course of the last year and stepped up when we needed them.
“We have increased our crowds, broken our season ticket records and not just that but the overall buzz that has been generated thanks to the fans has created an atmosphere in the club that has allowed it to grow. It has allowed other people to come into the building for the first time to watch the Stars and feel an environment that is enjoyable and atmospheric. That is down to the terrific supporters we have here in Dundee.
“They get behind the club and support us on a daily basis. It makes myself, Pach and the directors’ job that little bit easier.”
Since Omar Pacha arrived in Tayside there has been many new and creative ways to increase the Stars fanbase and make the Stars brand more lucrative to the people of Dundee but what can the supporters expect to see next season?
Elliot has revealed that there will be many new events that have never been done by the organisation before, he said: “Our fans can expect to see a lot of the same progress that we have made over the course of last season. I think that there is far more structure this year and that is helped with the strategy we have implemented this off season.
“So right from the kick off you are going to see different events and activities being held at each game. Pach and I sat down as soon as the fixtures were confirmed and looked over the different games. Some of these events have never been done at the Stars before, which is really exciting, and I think the fans will be really excited by them as well”.
He continued: “We firmly believe that these kinds of initiatives will help to bring new fans into the building. We want to have the hottest show in town and we are committed to doing so.
“We want for the fans to come into Dundee Ice Arena on a matchday and be entertained from the moment they step in the door to the moment they leave at night. That does not just mean hockey, that means everything going on in the stands, going on in the intermission and everything that is going on before and after the game as well.
“We are so committed to making this the best event the city has to offer and that is exactly what we are going to do.”
Coming off a season where the club has taken massive and progressive steps for building a brighter future, the man heading up our commercial department discussed the goals that have been set for the 2018/19 campaign.
Elliot stated: “As a business we want to increase what we are doing off the ice in terms of the commercial side and we want our fan base to grow. We have seen significant improvement over the last half of the season with the fans and we want that to continue.
“We would love to see some sell-outs this year, that is certainly one of myself and Pach’s goals. We are aiming to grow the brand of the Stars and for everyone in Dundee to be aware of our team and proud of what we do.
“As long as we continue to do that I think it will have a domino effect where we are getting bigger crowds, more commercial revenue and hopefully that will entice a more successful team on the ice.
“Overall the goal is to keep going the way we have been operating over the last couple of months, continue the growth of the business and to continue the enhancement of the brand within Dundee city and beyond.”
Finally, Elliot gave his message to the fans for this upcoming season.
He concluded: “Keep supporting us. Our fans know it is not easy for a club of our size to compete at this level and as I say the support they have been giving us is tremendous. It is an exciting time to be a Dundee Stars supporter.
“I think a lot of teams around the league are starting to notice what we are doing. We are not viewed as just a small club anymore, we are viewed as a team that is determined to grow.
“We are seen as team that are motivated to enhance our brand, enhance what we are doing on the ice and hopefully bring success to the people of Dundee and to the fans of Dundee Stars.
“My message to the fans is to stick with us, it is going to be a fantastic season, I am sure of it. Everyone is really excited for the season to get started and we will see you all on September 1 when we welcome EHC Freiburg to Dundee. Hopefully on that Saturday it will be a fantastic crowd, with a fantastic atmosphere and hopefully the fans will be excited with what they see on the ice and off the ice as well.”