uOPRA’s 12 Days of PR Bliss: Ottawa Senators

Tis The Season, Hockey Season  (Ottawa Senators)

Written by: Channelle Labelle-Viens
Edited by: Raechel Allen and Jocelyn Lubczuk

     Ah winter, a time when we watch the falling snow from the froste windows, a time when Tim Hortons and Starbucks becomes salvation from the cold. Where Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer plays on every single channel and when fur lined boots protects us from the powdered snow. Although these seasonal routines always make us feel at home, there is nothing better than wrapping yourself in a blanket, cozying up with eggnog, and watching Hockey Night in Canada!

*cue Hockey Night in Canada theme song*

     As an Ottawa resident, I feel it is important to proudly inform uOPRA’s readers that the Ottawa Senators have an amazing PR team that dates back to the club’s beginnings. Let’s take a trip down memory lane. It’s 1995 and the Ottawa Senators decide to take a chance on Daniel Alfredsson  (who would soon be called “Alfie”); this proving to be a strategic move. During his first season, management became aware of Alfie’s great talent. Not only was Alfie talented on the ice, but he possessed a great ability win over loyal fans through his genuine personality. Thoughts began to swirl, ‘could he possibly be the best on the team, or even the league?’ Media relations recognized a potential fan base, and it soon became their goal to make Alfie the new face of the Ottawa Senators.


     Through word-of-mouth, press releases, and interviews with popular newspapers and magazines, it was projected that Alfie was going to become a ‘big-time’ hockey star. The PR team even went so far as to “bet” that Alfie was going to be the Senators’ first ever Rookie of the Year. In fact, during his first official NHL season (95-96), Alfie was awarded the prestigious title.

     Now that you know a little history, let’s dig a little deeper into the minds of that created the idea of “Alfie”. In PR, there are necessary steps in order to become a grand success. The first thing you need to do is set your goals and objectives; this could be short term, long term, or setting specific outcomes. Next, you must draw upon PR tools that will be beneficial in your successes. This will help in spreading the word, increasing visibility, and creating a fan base. When all is said and done, working to maintain a trustworthy and positive brand is the final objective. If this is well done, the final outcome will be an excellent reputation. When it comes to the Ottawa Senators and Daniel Alfredsson, PR/MR experts worked hard to achieve their success and objective of obtaining Rookie of the Year. Let’s go through the stages:

1. Goals and Objectives

     The main goal was to make Daniel Alfredsson the most known face in the NHL. They wanted fans to chant “Alfie! Alfie! Alfie!” as he skated down the ice. They wanted to sell out at future Sens games. They even wanted lunchboxes with his face stamped on them! In order to achieve this, they needed to guide Alfie to the famous title of Rookie Of The Year.

2. PR Tools

     To successfully reach their goals and objectives, the PR team went straight to the media, proving to be an excellent move! They exhausted outlets such as interviews, posters, news coverage, magazine and newspaper articles and especially merchandise. They had the media announce Alfie’s every move, weather it be when he attended community events, volunteered, or post game interviews. Remember, making friends with the media and fostering media relations is a key PR tool within an organization.

3. Reputation

     Finally, Aflie trained hard and played his heart out which ultimately lead him to hockey greatness as captain of the Sens. His hard work lead to, and fostered a strong reputation for the entire Ottawa Senators team. His determination was contagious and has had a lasting effect on the club as a whole. With all of this said, if that does not convince you that the Senators have a great PR team behind them, I don’t know what else would! So, as you’re building your igloos, making your gingerbread cookies, sipping hot chocolate, and watching hockey, remember all the PR that went into making the game a reality.

Like reading uOPRA blogs? Check out these other great reads: [archives  format=custom type=postbypost limit=20 showcount=true]

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