The Oshawa Generals are scheduled to return to the ice in February.
For now, that means the organization is getting ready for what is to come.
Brandon Wright, the team’s social media coordinator who disperses content to more than 30,000 fans over Twitter and 20,000 on Instagram, is adjusting to the delay of season by staying connected with fans on media platforms.
Since the Generals are still in an elongated off-season, Wright’s current role is different.
“Typically, my role, alongside the graphic design manager right now if this was a regular off-season and we were in August instead of November, we would be designing the season ticket holder booklets. We would be designing the game day program. We would be creating the fridge magnets. We would be thinking of theme nights for the fans. Getting sponsorships, finding anything that we can do to make that game day experience better,” says Wright, a graduate of Durham College’s Journalism – Mass Media program.
For now, Wright says it is important to keep fans interacting on social media to build hype. But he says creating content is difficult when no games are being played.
“Thankfully, the Generals are an organization that graduate a lot of players to pro leagues,” says Wright. “Even if the Generals are not playing, there is a very good chance that a former General is playing hockey somewhere.”
Wright acknowledges the difficulties of being a social media coordinator when the bulk of the team’s regular content is not being produced. Having to go back through the archive and finding content fans want to see is a challenge.
Wright lucked out when the NHL resumed its playdowns in the bubble format in Toronto and Edmonton.
“During the NHL playoffs, I went off the whole (Tampa Bay Lightning forward and ex-General) Anthony Cirelli, Cinderella story, because he was our Cinderella story when he played here, and he was doing it again for Tampa.”
Cirelli made his initial impact on the Generals by scoring two goals in the 2015 Memorial Cup, including the overtime winner.
A similar occasion arose for Cirelli again in the 2020 playoffs when he scored the overtime winner to advance the Tampa Bay Lightning to the finals, and eventually the Stanley Cup.
Wright took advantage of this opportunity to show fans what Generals’ alumni can do in the National Hockey League.
“One of the most popular tweets we have put out since the season was cancelled was when Cirelli scored the overtime winning goal to win the East final for Tampa,” says Wright.
Once the Generals have a set schedule for the season, Wright will be back at the office getting ready for the strange February start for hockey.
Until then, Wright says, “we are trying to keep social media active as much as we possibly can because we want these people to still be following us to be active again once hockey starts.”