Grande Prairie, AB – The Grande Prairie Storm are beginning an urgent campaign for support due to numerous financial challenges over recent seasons. The team announced the Save Our Storm campaign today with the support of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) Commissioner, Ryan Bartoshyk.
The non-profit team was largely successful both on and off the ice until 2009, with recent years seeing the team struggle to make the playoffs, resulting in declining attendance over several years. These challenges were coupled with growing entertainment options in the region and lowering sponsorship revenue. Today, the team, which once set a Canadian Junior Hockey League record attendance of 74,000 in 2006, is on track for 44,000 less sales this season. In the same period sponsorships have dropped to almost half to $400,000 per year.
While the attendance and sponsorship numbers are down, the team expenses have remained. Payroll for staff, billets, and equipment, ice time, marketing, and large costs for transportation and meals have continued. These expenses have been trimmed significantly in recent seasons, yet in order for the team to remain playing, they can be cut no further.
In order for the Grande Prairie Storm to remain part of your community, the team is launching a #SaveOurStorm campaign which will focus on three specific areas:
- An online funding campaign where fans anywhere can donate to help the team
- Significant discounts on sponsorships for this season and next season
- Seeking investors who will be part of a group who will take on ownership of the non-profit operation
This immediate need of monetary support is aimed at keeping the Grande Prairie Storm in this community, and junior hockey can be strong heading into the future.
Information on sponsorships is available on the Storm’s web site where an online donation link will go live by Tuesday. www.grandeprairiestorm.ca For potential investors, contact information will be included in the post on the home page.
· “No financial support is too small, and we appreciate all help to keep us in your community. In exchange, the Storm are offering something in return for any financial contribution offered.”
· “We acknowledge past mistakes. It’s easy to see that we’ve paid for those. We are now looking to build a strong and stable junior hockey operation in the future and asking for the community’s help in Saving Our Storm.”
· “It’s a tough cycle in junior hockey. If you don’t make the playoffs, fans and sponsors vanish. It’s the opposite of what needs to happen to get you back into the playoffs.”
– Chris Luhtala, President, Swan City Hockey Association
Donation Page (live by Tuesday): www.grandeprairiestorm.ca
Facebook: www.facebook.com/gp.storm Hashtag: #SaveOurStorm
Twitter: www.twitter.com/GPStorm Hashtag: #SaveOurStorm
Video of the event on YouTube: www.youtube.com/gpstorm
Live and recorded audio of the announcement: www.mixlr.com/BEgp