What happens when your favorite NHL hockey team places a priority on social media? Well – you get some pretty cool things happening. We’ve seen Trivia Tuesday’s, real-time practice blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram sites from the Blue Jackets, but as a start to the 2013 season, our friends at Nationwide Arena unveiled something completely new – the CBJ Social Station. If you were online during last night’s home opener, perhaps you saw a new hashtag floating around: #CBJSocial - that refers to a suite reserved by the organization for fans who want to be engaged in social media while enjoying some Blue Jackets’ hockey. Do you want to be there? Well you do if you answer yes to any of the following questions:
The Union Blue was thrilled with the turn out to the first ever CBJ Hockey Skate session and we’d like to extend a Stinger-sized thank you to our instructors James Nash, Derek Marr and Justin Shum! Many thanks to all in attendance and of course the Blue Jackets for allowing this event to become free and for the post-skate pizza. It sure hit the spot!
Perhaps the biggest gift professional athletes have is that they make the most difficult things look easy. When we watch players play hockey, they seemingly glide effortlessly across the ice at ridiculous speeds. What we marvel at is their stick handling, the dekeing en route to a gorgeous goal, the fight that rallies the crowd. But about seven months ago, I decided I was going to play hockey. Now, when I watch hockey, while I appreciate all those things, my commentary is “did you see that transition?” “I can’t BELIEVE what that guy just did on his skates!” That is because the first thing I had to do was learn how to skate…as most everyone will tell you, skating is the foundation of playing hockey. You have to be a good skater before you can be good at hockey.
There are a lot of phenomenal skating classes out there today, including those offered by the local Chillers but sometimes, committing to an 8 week class, and the associated fees can be a challenge when one is still trying to figure things out.
It is with this in mind, that the Union Blue is proud to bring you a Hockey Skating Class!
Join us SUNDAY, October 21st – 4 – 6 PM for two hours of on-ice instruction on how to SKATE LIKE A HOCKEY PLAYER!
Come out and join us at The Ice Haus!
For $20, you can join in a class that will show you not just “how to skate” but the techniques that are unique to skating for the game.
You don’t need to be a great skater – you just need to be able to move on the ice in skates without having to hold on to the boards at all times. Even if you are currently playing hockey, this class can help you focus on doing things the right way and honing in on your skating technique.
You don’t need to own skates – you can rent them at the rink.
If you have a stick, you can bring it, but you don’t need any pads – just yourself and skates on your feet.
We’ll also have a visit by Stinger, Jackets TV some Blue Jackets swag to give away…and perhaps a couple more surprises.
If you would like to join us, RSVP today. To state your intent to join, you can comment in our Forum HERE. To confirm your spot, we need to receive your money. Once you have commented that you’ll be joining, I’ll message you mailing information. To ensure that everyone can get attention during the class, spots are limited so RSVP TODAY.
If you have any questions, you are also more than welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning how to skate has only grown my appreciation for the sport of hockey and the work that goes into playing at even the most basic level. I love my time on the ice, and even though there’s a lockout, we can still bring hockey to life in Columbus.
I was fortunate enough to take part in the Blue Jackets CBJTweetUp promotion yesterday before, during, and after the game against Anaheim. Around one hundred tickets were sold, and while I thought they could have opened the experience to more than that, it was a great crowd. The doors were opened to everyone at 4pm for a meet and greet with each other, as well as a number of Blue Jackets staff, and media from a variety of sources.
In terms of ‘swag’ throughout the evening, I walked away with a t-shirt, a complimentary card for Papa John’s (as well as a full belly of pizza and beverages during the event), a picture with Wiz and a personalized autograph. For the cost, in my opinion, the value was tremendous.
What I expected to be a social gathering with structured introductions and small talk with those who were scheduled to join the event. What I got was something much more valuable. Not only did many of the visitors take time to speak individually and personally with anyone who engaged them, they also made a point of ‘getting into the thick of things’ where groups of fans had already congregated. I can honestly say my opinion on a number of CBJ media types (at least those who are actively visible on a daily basis) was boosted substantially after having direct conversation. I can’t thank them enough for extending their interest to myself and other fans, even if only for a short while.
Secondary to the obvious flair of meeting those on the guest list, I also had the opportunity of spending hours with the great fans who I enjoy interacting with on Twitter, including a couple Pepsi girls and ice girls. As expected, it was comparable to a four hour TweetUp (usually held at the Cannon during the first intermission) which is exactly what I was hoping it would be. One of the major benefits of the Sky Terrace is the area behind the seats, which gave everyone an opportunity to come and go at their own pace. I’ll admit, I didn’t last long in my seat during the first period, and immediately joined a group of ‘Tweeps” standing around discussing the game. More on the Sky Terrace, for those who think the seats aren’t all that great: I think they are excellent. I am a firm believer that Nationwide Arena does not have a bad seat, and I would enjoy watching every game from that level.
I would also like to give a shoutout to @AlisonL, @RedditCBJ, and a particular Blue Jackets representative for orchestrating the “Get Well” cards that were laid out to be signed by those in attendance. For a team battered by injury, I suspect this gesture will make a lot of guys on the mend feel good, and from all of the signatures I saw on there, it seems like this was something that most of us want to communicate to our players.
With James Wisniewski coming off the injured list, the structure of his visit changed due to his being in the lineup, and instead of spending the event with us, he was made available for everyone in attendance post game to sign autographs and say hello. I can’t say enough of Wiz and how friendly he was. He was patient with everyone, took pictures, laughed and joked a bit, and really seemed to embrace his role. He also accepted the get well cards with the intent of delivering them, and while he jokingly acted a bit disappointed he didn’t get one, it was clearly all in good fun. I had a chance to get a picture with him and chat him up about when he tweeted his face gash while playing with Montreal, which he seemed to recall with a bit of a smirk.
Additionally, he provided me with an autograph, and while my requested name wasn’t nearly as comical as some of the other ‘tweeps’ I had with me, I’m still pleased with the result!
All in all, I was very pleased with how the evening went, and while the results on the ice were sub-par, the company and the experience were worth every penny. I want to personally thank the Blue Jackets, The Wiz, and the great staff who made the experience so enjoyable. I truly hope the organization takes advantage of the great group of twitter personalities that make up a large portion of the #CBJ hashtag, and makes a point of producing events similar to this one on a regular basis.
Carry the Flag!