After signing contracts and donning Calgary Flames jerseys, a group of kids under 12 laced up their skates and hit the ice at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday to become hockey players for the team’s Flame for a Day event.
“We’re proud to be partnering with the Calgary Flames for the third year in a row to help inspire 26 up-and-coming Calgary all-stars with the chance to join the Flames organization,” said Jenna Bull, senior marketing manager for sports programs and sponsorship at Boston Pizza.
Former Calgary Flame Joel Otto discusses the team's alumni and 2015 roster
It was an opportunity for youths to get a feel for what players do in the big leagues, which was topped off with ice time with former Flame Joel Otto.
Skating into the big leagues
Era Zagele, 9, was one of the winners randomly chosen from about 800 ballots by Boston Pizza.
“I kind of feel special. It’s not an everyday thing,” she said. “I liked pretending I was an actual hockey player.”
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Fellow Flame for a Day participant Cohen Ruttle said his favourite hockey player is Johnny Gaudreau. He summed up the day’s events concisely.
“Signing a contract, I’m getting a jersey… and I’m going to skate on the ice,” Ruttle said.
Premier behind-the-scenes experience
Sean Megna, marketing co-ordinator of sport and tactical programs for Boston Pizza, said the company is going for the “wow” experience.
“I’ve already gotten an email from a parent saying, ‘You just made my kid’s life today,’” he said.
“From this day on, they’re going to watch a Flames game and say, ‘I remember that day I got to go to their dressing room, I got to sign a contract and I’ve actually skated on that ice,’” Megna said. “They can say they’ve had the premier behind-the-scenes experience.”
The NHLer for a Day event was held for the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 10, and a similar event is scheduled for the Edmonton Oilers on March 2.
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