Thursday, December 3, 2015

Blackhawks Keep It Classy On and Off the Ice

Photo via Chicago Blackhawks
by Elizabeth Tullos

Giving back to the city of Chicago is nothing new for the six-time Stanley Cup winners, the Chicago Blackhawks. Each season, the Blackhawks participate in a variety of charity and community efforts, such as book and food drives, hospital visits and promoting environmentalism. None of the Blackhawks’ efforts stand out quite as much as their What’s Your Goal campaign.

#WhatsYourGoal


Earlier this year, The Chicago Blackhawks began their What’s Your Goal campaign to reach out directly to the fans and ask what their goals were and how they could help. Thousands of tweets began pouring in with the hashtag, #WhatsYourGoal.

The fans spoke and the Blackhawks listened, responding to as many #WhatsYourGoal requests as possible.

A five-year-old Girl Scout named Alexis reached out to the Blackhawks, stating that her goal was to sell Girl Scout cookies to her favorite player, team captain Jonathan Toews. Towes and teammate Patrick Sharp bought over one hundred boxes of cookies from Alexis and helped her add a Blackhawks patch to her Girl Scout vest.

Downers Grove firefighter, Kevin O’Leary was surprised by a visit from Right Wing Patrick Kane at his firehouse after his wife submitted a tweet asking him to visit her husband.

Cammy


Five-year-old Cammy Babiarz suffers from Rhett Syndrome, a neurological disorder that has left her without the ability to walk or speak. When her parents became aware of the #WhatsYourGoal campaign, they immediately tweeted the team that nothing would make their daughter happier than to meet her favorite player, Assistant Captain and Defenseman, Duncan Keith.

Keith was happy to oblige the pint-sized fan to make her one goal come true. Instead of just showing up and taking pictures with the fan, Keith brought Cammy a jersey and skates. Cammy’s parents were worried that their daughter wouldn’t recognize Keith off of the ice, but when he walked in, they said she was “star-struck”. Cammy is able to communicate through a machine called a Tobii, which reads her eye movements. After talking with her favorite player for a while, Keith took Cammy to the ice for the first time in her life. Thanks to Duncan Keith and the Chicago Blackhawks, Cammy was able to skate for the first time and even scored a goal, thanks to an assist from Keith.


Blackhawks Score with #WhatsYourGoal


What’s Your Goal has been a success with the Blackhawks both online and offline. Countless newspapers, blogs, and social media users have picked up stories on the Blackhawks’ initiatives in the Chicago community. The more the Blackhawks are involved in their community, such as with What’s Your Goal, fans and even non-fans alike have taken an interest in the Stanley Cup Champions. This initiative, as well as the other community relations and charities the team is involved in, such as Keith Relief, a charity designed to help alleviate the emotional and financial burdens of medical debt, the Blackhawks brand will continue to grow. The more the Blackhawks brand grows, ticket sales and merchandise sales are sure to follow.

As the 2015-2016 season picks up, the Blackhawks are sure to continue the popular initiative and make more fans’ goals come true.

To learn more about #WhatsYourGoal or see more stories of the Blackhawks giving back to their fans, visit the Blackhawks Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nhlblackhawks.

Elizabeth Tullos is a senior public relations and political science major at Middle Tennessee State University.

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