Hi Stars fans,
I hope all is well and that you’re all enjoying the off season. I hear the weather has been awesome back in the UK! Typical, I head back home to Montreal and the sun appears in Scotland!!
As you probably now know, there is not really an off-season for the staff here at the Stars, it’s always foot to the pedal and especially around this important recruitment phase of the summer.
To keep you all up to speed, here are a few things that have been ongoing:
1) Season Tickets
Not only did we blast past our previous record but as this article is being written, we have 60% more season tickets sold than last season. The fans buy in level has been sensational. Our new fans are enjoying their new hobby and our die hard fans, who are the heart and soul of this club, see the positivity of this upcoming season but also the hard work and dedication put into growing the Stars brand last season. From myself as GM of the club, through to our ownership group, a MASSIVE thank you for your loyal support.
We have concluded a deal with Kitmart as our major sponsor for this upcoming season. We couldn’t be happier to have them back on board this season in a more significant role. We have also retained and added different businesses to our portfolio to increase their awareness through the Stars organisation. We can go on and on about ice hockey, but as a club, we truly believe with our fan support, the media coverage and the increase of the sport across Scotland, the Stars offer an excellent platform for business exposure.
3) The Progression of the Team
This season is massive for the club on the ice. As a league, we are now down to 11 teams for the 18/19 season. We all know this will be the most competitive season ever in the Elite League with all teams trying to improve and raise the bar even further. As of right now, we could not be happier with the progress of the squad. The recruitment is obviously a crucial element to this, but it’s also something that I absolutely love doing. I’m a hockey geek, I love watching hours and hours of video on players, garnering all the references from their previous coaches and players who maybe played alongside or against them over the years too.This is the element that is extremely time consuming but so important to the club. Without speaking about individuals, we have signed back key players from last season, added great assets on the back end and already added speed and skill up front. For players, the ethos is very simple. The attitude, work ethic and buy in level to the club are the most important characteristics.
4) German Preseason Games
When we were at the Q&A at the end of the season, Elliot and I made it a mission to get a team from abroad to play against us before the season. There are many costs that come with it, but as club we felt it was important to give our fans something new. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Freiburg Wolves to Dundee, so please, when the tickets are LIVE to buy, please support us by coming along in what will be an important pre-cursor to the competitive action starting shortly thereafter.
When you enter the Dundee Ice Arena in late August, you will notice a few changes. The most important change for us is the addition of logos around the rink but most importantly our Dundee Stars logo on the ice. It creates a sense of belonging and makes it OUR HOME. This has been discussed since last September and we could not thank the rink enough for believing in our vision. We’re very grateful that we have such a strong relationship now built up between the Stars and the rink, very much collaborative working for the greater good.
When talking to players about playing in Dundee, we consistently speak about buying into the Stars way. One of those important aspects is the sense of community and social engagement. We are already in talks with many schools and socials club about participating in presentations with our aim being to further expand and work tirelessly to become the leading sports club in all of Dundee. As a team, it is our mission to give back, but most importantly be good role models and ambassadors to this amazing community.
7) The Buzz
There is a huge buzz already around the team for this upcoming season. We are no more the small ice hockey team in Dundee. People are constantly hearing about the Stars. It is no longer “Oh we have a hockey team in Dundee”. The awareness around Dundee that the club has generated is the biggest accomplishment in the last 10 months. We truly believe this club can achieve great heights, but these things take time and to be done properly, requires patience whilst always working 24/7 behind the scenes to always improve and raise standards. If we can all do that collectively from ownership, to management, to players, to fans, then we’ll be onto a winner. LET’S DO IT!
8) Thank you
At the Stars, we do not take anything lightly. When a fan buys a ticket or introduces new people to our amazing club and sport of ice hockey, we are always thankful. When sponsors invest in the Stars, we are thankful. When people change their shifts to come to a Stars game, we are thankful. When the rink staff try to do everything they can to help us grow as a business, we are thankful. When the media covers the Stars, we are thankful.
Finally, THANK YOU to everyone that supports us, those of you who believe in our vision and are fully on board with our adventure. We are motivated by all of you.