You know you are from Chicago when:

  1. You order “pop” at a restaurant
  2. Today is a nice day! —30 degrees and cloudy
  3. You don’t put ketchup on your hotdog
  4. Pizza is called pizza (none of this “pie” stuff) and it comes in deep dish form
  5. Your social calendar revolves around Blackhawks games

The Chicago Blackhawks—the heart and soul of a true Chicagoan. Ever been to the United Center on the night of a Blackhawks game? No need to quiet down for the National Anthem, the fans of the Chicago Blackhawks will erupt. Such a tradition has become a familiar scene in the hockey world, replacing silence with venerable cheers for the team.

 “It gives me goose bumps,” Chicago forward Bryan Bickell says. “I can’t imagine a better way to start a hockey game.”

What better way to describe Chicago than an indescribably passionate hockey community. Take a look at the Blackhawks Stanley Cup parade (right) vs. the LA Kings Stanley Cup parade (left). If there’s one thing Blackhawks fan are known for, it’s pride.


What’s been so successful in driving Blackhawks pride and loyalty… social media! The Blackhawks are using social media as a means to community outreach. “[Fans] passion drives our social media efforts, as we continue to look for fun, innovated ways to interact with our fans and encourage them to embrace our brand,” says Blackhawks Director of New Media and Publications Adam Kempenaar.

This NHL hockey team has proven their success both on and off the ice. With the start of the 2014-2015 NHL season, the Blackhawks encouraged their fans to get up and share their goals. They launched the #WhatsYourGoal media initiative, allowing fans to send in their goals and then go after them. Not only has the hashtag erupted over Twitter, establishing a platform for individuals to boast about the feats they are going after, but it has created a collaborative effort to share stories of how accomplishments have been made and who has helped make such dreams and goals possible. Ultimately, it has become a spark of inspiration to people across the world.

Every moment that has emerged from the start of the campaign has been incredible. The Blackhawks took the campaign one step further and personally reached out to make sure some goals were achieved. Check out some of the videos that were captured that broadcast how impactful and heart melting some of the experiences have been!

Cammy is a young girl who was born with an inability to speak or walk. Her goal was to score a goal with her favorite Blackhawks player, Duncan Keith.


Alexis is a 5 year old girl scout. Her goal was to sell girl scout cookies to her favorite Blackhawks player, Jonathan Toews.


Ryan’s goal is to make it to the NHL. Ryan Bickell surprised him at his ice rink in his backyard to help him practice.

Christina was born blind, along with many other challenges. Her goal was to experience her first Blackhawks game at the United Center. The hawks helped make the best day of her life possible.

The #WhatsYourGoal campaign proves that the Blackhawks organization really does what it can for its people and community. The success of this social media initiative, as well as many other, contribute to the well known brand and face of the Blackhawks. You know the logo of the Indian chief anywhere you’d go. But the chief icon of the Blackhawks isn’t just a logo, its universal appeal with countless limitation serve as a promise to its players and fans of the pride instilled in the sport.

See you at next puck drop.

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  1. Great read. In sports the best marketing plans always seem to be ones that tie you in closely with your local community because they are your livelihood. Add to that some heartfelt success stories and you have the perfect social media plan. While not a blackhawks fan, do have to say they did a great job here and will be interesting how they develop it for next year of if they create a new plan.

  2. I loved this! Cammy’s story brought tears to my eyes. The most effective campaigns are the ones that are truly able to elicit emotions, and the Chicago Blackhawks #WhatsYourGoal campaign did just that. Not only did this campaign tug at viewer’s heart strings, but it also made Blackhawks fans for life of the families who made their children’s dreams come true. Well done!

  3. Beautiful campaign! And its true that without social media, the Blackhawks wouldn’t have been able to find all these individuals and help them achieve their goals. I agree with @epehota that the most effective campaigns are those that touch upon your emotions. Because of their actions, the Blackhawks will leave an eternal mark on the lives of these individuals who can gladly say they were able to accomplish their goals thanks to the efforts of the team.

  4. I loved these stories! Creating content for a sports team, especially one with such a strong fan base like the Blackhawks, is so important because many of these teams have their fan base’s hearts in their hands. Most people grow up watching their favorite team and are heavily emotionally invested in it. I’m not a hockey fan, but a lot of my childhood memories revolve around watching the Cowboys with my dad and the end of each season is always heartbreaking. Therefore, creating campaigns that can tap into the personal connection people have to the team is really important in reinforcing the emotional charge fans have with their favorite team. The Blackhawks seem to be able to really capitalize on the existing emotions people have with the team and use them to create an even stronger connection. Although this goal seems to be easier for a sports team because of the entertaining nature of the business, I think this is the goal of any company. Companies that have this connection also have a key to continued success: loyalty.

  5. This is a great post, I loved all the stories! It shows really that sports fans are expecting so much more from their teams than just wins, and more from the teams’ social media presence than just factual information. Fans want to feel like they have a relationship with their team, to see ‘behind the scenes’ and feel like they really know what their favorite players are like. It seems like the Blackhawks are doing a great job of providing fans with unique content that helps them establish a personal connection, as well as feeling like the Blackhawks truly appreciate and care about their fans.

  6. This is such a touching post! I am not much of a hockey fan, so I really hadn’t heard of this campaign before, but after reading your post I searched the hashtag on Twitter and was overwhelmed with the explosion of responses it has since generated. I think it is great when athletes give back to the community, especially when they help out children. It is nice to see how the Blackhawks love and appreciate their fans just as much as their fans do and that they are so willing to reciprocate it back to them. I hope that other sports teams will be influenced by the successful initiatives of the Blackhawks and will follow through in a similar pursuit.

  7. Great Blog. I found this to be a real cool and adorable post. It is extremely refreshing to hear athletes doing everything they can to inspire their community and others. The #whatsyourgoal campaign is very unique and I admire how the Chicago Blackhawks support their biggest fan base [the community] by making others’ dreams come true. I am not sure if the Boston Bruins does something like that… it would be cool if they did. New England is a both a professional town with a strong fan base for the Boston Celtics, the Bruins, Red Sox and a college town with elite division schools, such as Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern, and Harvard being real successful in various sports. Athletes taking pride, giving back to their fans shows how much the players and the organization appreciate the love and loyalty given… This was a great post and I enjoyed reading this.

  8. Great post. One of my former TAs was a huge NY Rangers fan and went to work in their social media department after graduating. Perhaps a career goal? :)

  9. This is a great post! The videos bring light to the Blackhawks’ amazing social media presence. They are nontraditional in the sense that they appeal to the empathetic side of people, where as most sports teams have a presence that cultivates “hype” or “pump-up”. I am not a Hawks fan but I think that this campaign is awesome that they are running!

  10. I loved this post! I myself am a big Washington Capitals fan, and your post inspired me to research more about their social media strategy and how they interact with their fans. I think that the Blackhawks do a great job of establishing and maintaining personal relationships with their fans through social media. The videos in your post are great examples of how they use emotion to create a personal connection to reinforce the strong feelings and loyalty that fans have for the Blackhawks.

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