The Toronto Junior Habs is an elite spring training program for AA and AAA hockey players.
The Toronto Junior Habs is a new, specialized hockey training program that needed to attract a full roster of players in time for the spring season. The hockey training scene is competitive at these levels, with parents and athletes willing to travel great distances to find the best program. They needed to present as the best and most promising place for young hockey players to train.
They had the foundation of the program but no website, no social media accounts, no registration system and only a couple of months until the season started. We needed to come up with a promotional plan at the same time as building all the key communication platforms.
Usually, when we start working with a client, they have their foundational communication platforms established. We do an audit of the platforms and then start with a plan, often recommending changes or overhauls of the existing platforms. This time, we were able to build the key communication platforms to support the strategic marketing plan, which meant that we could tailor communication at every point in the customer experience.
After in-depth discovery meetings, we created an integrated, strategic marketing plan that focused on building awareness of the program, establishing the Toronto Junior Habs as an elite hockey team, and securing registrations.
Promotion needed to be fast and effective so the program could fill up in time. Deadlines were firm so we created a series of social media advertising to increase awareness, drive visits to the website, and create intrigue inside the AA and AAA hockey community.
We did A/B testing on language, tone, key words, and target age to maximize advertising efforts. We were continuously monitoring and changing the ads to get peak results.
We determined that the Toronto Junior Habs needed to have a presence on three social media platforms to reach their key audiences and stay in line with their competitors – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We needed to get in front of the parents (primarily Facebook and Twitter) but also to the hockey players themselves (Instagram) as they have huge influence over the decision.
In the last month before registration closed, we posted on all social media channels every day. Each post redirected to the website and a call-to-action to register. Our posts were promoted and shared to increase reach and awareness of the program. Social media management has continued past the program launch now acting as an information and engagement tool.
The Toronto Junior Habs fulfilled all three marketing goals in time for the start of the program – increased awareness, building a strong reputation, and filling the program in time for the launch. We built a user-friendly, sleek website that has continued to be a hub of information for the players and their parents. The social media channels attract more followers daily and we have increased cross-promotion with other like organizations to keep pushing growth.
Post launch, we are continuing to focus on building the Toronto Junior Habs brand and reputation so that they become known as THE place to go for spring training.