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Coyotes new ad campaign puts focus on fans

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway, in conjunction with the NHL and the NHL Player Association, will invest $2.1 million over the next three years in the development of youth hockey in the Phoenix area and the state of Arizona as part of the league’s industry growth fund.

That’s not the only way the Coyotes are looking to grow the game in the desert. A new ad campaign that puts the focus on fans debuted on Monday with an explicit effort to engage millennials and families.

“The lifeblood of any sports organization is the fans,” Coyotes president Steve Patterson said. “That’s the one thing that sustains the franchise over time, regardless of who is coaching or playing or administrating. Your involvement with a sports team is all about the emotion of it and the fans embody that.”

The Coyotes are not employing one specific tagline as they did last season with “Coyotes 2.0.” “One Pack” and “Winter is Coming” are two of the taglines Arizona residents have already seen, but Patterson said the team would eventually settle on something that carries over from year to year.

“I think there is something to be said for consistency,” he said.

The new campaign will utilize TV spots, billboards, ads and other mediums. It was created in conjunction with Phoenix-based advertising agency OH Partners, with the idea of building a special community for hockey fans.

“We wanted to create a place where eccentricity, nonconformity and a sense of belonging run rampant,” said Ken Phox, creative director at OH Partners for the Coyotes campaign. “In years past, hockey players often were the face of the campaign. This year, we wanted to feature the fans and show how hockey bleeds into your everyday life and holds the power to unleash something inside of you.”

Patterson said the focus on millennials and families was a logical approach.

“If you look at the makeup of the fan base, those are significant parts of it,” said Patterson, who said the family focus will target moms looking for family entertainment options. “I don’t know how it works around your house but around mine, mom makes the decisions.”

Following an offseason of change, top to bottom, the Coyotes open the season Thursday in Anaheim against the Ducks with a remade roster, a remade coaching staff, a new team president and a single owner. The Coyotes’ home opener is Saturday vs. the expansion Vegas Golden Knights at Gila River Arena.

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