Behind the Screens with the Dallas Stars: Changing the Atmosphere on the Fly
The Stars may not have turned Dallas into a pure ‘hockey town’ but they have endeared themselves to the people of their city because of pure entertainment. Win or lose, the expectation is to give the fans a positive memory.
This becomes more difficult when the team trails 3-0, but the entertainment must stick to its ethos. The Stars’ original content is not meant to be a distraction from the game but to enhance the total entertainment package and perhaps be used as a buffer if the home team flops.
Jabbing the opposing team is a significant part of the organization’s strategy and a way to encourage fans to create an unfavorable atmosphere for the visiting skaters.
“Creating opponent-specific content, it’s kind of a part of that diversionary ‘story beyond the story on the ice’” Jason Danby, senior director of game presentation, promotions and branding said. “We have content from Disney, we have content from Jackass. Anything referencing a duck looking less than the regal fowl we think it is, is fair game.”
On night’s like a 5-3 come-from-behind win like the Stars had against the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 13, it becomes easy for Danby and his team to have fun at the opponent’s expense.
“How can you not make fun of a team named the Ducks?” Danby said.
Professional hockey players are by no means the only people to take some heat on the jumbotron, however. Fans of both teams are used as props for bits of humor.
It takes an entire crew from Danby to the director to the camerapersons to find anomalous fans and sometimes it only takes one fan who takes it over the top to create the memory that fans walk away with more than any goal, hit or save on the night.
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