Design & Promotion Ideas: Christmas 2016-17

It's here, people. I saw Christmas lights at the Walgreens last week, and it's only getting crazier from here until January. I realize most of you have your holiday promotions all set, but it's never too late to call an audible and change things up and/or add another special event to the calendar. We still have time to turn around a Christmas game-jersey order. People eat that stuff up -- along with candy canes, fruit cake and cookies -- at this time of year. Happy Holidays!

Christmas Cookies

Honestly, I'm surprised a cookie-driven Christmas promo hasn't happened somewhere already. One of the signatures of any holiday season is the humble Christmas cookie, usually sugar and slathered in red, white and green icing. Wreath shapes. Candy cane shapes. Bell shapes. Etc. A cookie decorating contest could make for a great in-game, between-periods diversion, paired, of course, with a stunning game jersey designed to look like one giant cookie. Picture your team logo done up in frosting. Deliciously profitable in an auction!

Elf Yourself

As if I needed any more pressure as a parent at Christmastime, my kids are crazy for Elf on the Shelf. Which is great, except for the fact I now have to remember to "magically" move the doll around and write little notes from said elf every night for about a month and a half. 

But I digress. My point is elves have risen to the fore in holiday celebrating, with the whole Elf on the Shelf thing and recent TV specials such as "Prep and Landing." (Please stop trying to make "tinsel" a thing, Disney!) 

How about a "Dress Like an Elf" costume contest? Or, the elf costumed get in for free or at a discount? Or, some contest on the ice that involves elf-related activities, such as loading Santa's sleigh with as many gifts as possible in one minute. Just spitballing ... 

The hockey uniform really lends itself to an elf-driven event, with the padded shorts and sock combo. Hey, we make socks! We can do candy cane stripes, then a jersey that looks like an elf jacket. It's a design we're good at. 

The Ornament Game

In another life, I worked for a media group covering the gift and home decor industry, where I learned how nuts people get over Christmas ornaments. In the dead of summer, on vacation at the beach, people will actually by Christmas ornaments to commemorate their trip. It's amazing.

So, a Christmas ornament giveaway at the rink? Bonkers. Make it an annual thing, and suddenly you have people expecting and looking forward to the event. Make these ornaments limited edition and numbered to get all the collectors whipped up into a frenzy. Heck, even call the night the "Ornament Game" so people can circle it on their calendars.  

A special jersey can match the ornament design, which will boost interest in the in-game or post-game jersey auction. Both the ornaments and the jersey are collectibles, after all.