Ottawa Senators embrace ‘bumps in the road’ with new loyalty campaign

Senators
Ottawa Senators COO Nicolas Ruszkowski (left) with CMO Aimee Deziel. File photo.

The Ottawa Senators are launching a new campaign that embraces their recent struggles on and off the ice in an effort to keep hold of the team’s most loyal fans.

“Rebuilds are tough,” starts the appeal for “The Seventh,” a campaign aimed at encouraging loyalty club patrons to renew their memberships in the benefits program. The title references the six Senators players on the ice at any one time, with the fans in the stands acting as the “seventh.”

The loyalty appeal is accompanied by a video package recapping the highs – and lows – from the local hockey club’s history.

“We know that as a Sens fan, you’re made of strong stuff. We’ve had some bumps in the road lately, but you’re standing with us and committing to a young team,” continues the page on the Sens’ website.

The aforementioned “bumps” include deals to trade pending free agents Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel for a series of prospects before last week’s deadline, the recent firing of head coach Guy Boucher and the team’s current last-place position in the overall standings.

To make matters worse, the National Capital Commission recently threw out a development deal that would’ve seen a new downtown home for the Sens at LeBreton Flats. On Thursday the NCC announced it was moving ahead with a new process to develop the prime swath of downtown land – one that could go forward without an arena as part of the project.

The loyalty program itself offers members deals such as 20 per cent off concessions at the Canadian Tire Centre – with the exception of alcohol – plus access to exclusive events, merchandise and free parking at the arena after five years’ tenure.

"We want to reward our fans for the commitment and unbroken loyalty they've shown us, especially this season, with a program that delivers above and beyond anything else we've ever done for them,” said chief marketing officer Aimee Deziel in a statement.

The expanded program accompanies a move from the Ottawa Senators Foundation earlier this week to extend its 50/50 raffle draws to online buyers across the province. Hosted on the Shopify platform, the foundation's virtual ticket sales will be the first of their kind for a charitable organization in the province, following the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s decision to allow 50/50 raffle sales online.