OMHA shows a day in the life of a hockey family

The youth hockey organization wants to drive registration by showing benefits of the game for players and communities at large.

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) is showing the hockey life stories of three families that have children enrolled in the league to depict what the values of a hockey family are, what it means to be a part of the hockey community and the life lessons hockey teaches a person.

According to OMHA director of communications Matt Rhodes, the league is looking to to drive registration for an association that has an enrollment of approximately 95,000 in its new “Day In The Life” campaign.

“We looked at finding a few families throughout the province and trying to tell an authentic story of their ‘day in the life,’ and using those stories to debunk some of the myths around [the sport],” Rhodes says. Those “myths” that can impact whether or not a child is registered are things like the sport taking up too much time, or costing too much.

The videos show three families from three different areas throughout the provinces: the Wongs from Markham; the Davidsons from North Durham; and the Gardiners from South Muskoka.

“I think the theme that runs between all three of them is just this sense of community, this sense of purpose that everybody in the family gets out of playing the sport – not just the focus on the kids,” Rhodes says. “Just the benefits to the entire family unit and the bonding experience that happens throughout the community…I think it does a really good job of showing more of a holistic experience for the entire family and the benefit that everybody gets out of kids playing hockey.”

Rhodes says it focused on those specific areas because it gave “a really good cross segment” of the league’s population and “provided different angles” to tell the story. “We were lucky enough to find a story that had some continuity between all those underlying life lessons and life skills that our sport teaches,” he says. Apparent lessons in the videos are discipline, hard-work, organization, community, among others.

“Our positioning really is to show that hockey teaches life skills. And the skills that kids learn to be great players on the ice, are the same skills that they learn to be great people off the ice,” Rhodes says. “We feel that hockey is such a cultural identity for our country that we want to make sure that this sport continues to remain, front of mind, and a focus for parents who have kids and are looking to instill some positive life skills.”

Rhodes notes how, as April rolls around (as well as when registration opens in late August and early September) the league will make a push with this campaign. The videos can be accessed, he says, on the league’s official website as well as on YouTube.

Ferment Brand & Marketing Strategies was the agency of record. The “ideal target” for this campaign is parents of kids between the ages of 5 and 10.

The OMHA also recently honoured its volunteers during its annual “Thank a Volunteer Week.” This week included volunteer video profiles – also developed by Ferment Brand and Marketing Strategies – and motivational tools to entice new volunteers.