May/June 2017

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44 / MAY.JUNE.2017 USICERINKS.COM NGB News USA Hockey & U.S. Figure Skating new families and integrate them into your rink programming. In an effort to help local rinks maximize this increased energy, USA Hockey offers the 2 and 2 Challenge. The 2 and 2 Challenge is a comprehensive program that utilizes existing national growth programs, resources, and tools to help rinks increase participation. The goals of the 2 and 2 Challenge are for participating organizations to add two new players and retain two additional players than the previous season's total. These goals are attained through added support provided by USA Hockey. With the 2 and 2 Challenge, , Toyota is strengthening its lineup of Team USA relationships as the company moves toward the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, its first as an International Olympic Committee The Olympic Partner (TOP) sponsor. Toyota announced new multi-year National Governing Body (NGB) partnerships with: U.S. Figure Skating—This partnership will tell the story of how Toyota is furthering mobility to create the next generation of Olympic figure skating champions. In addition, U.S. Figure Skating will work with Toyota through multimedia, social channels, major events and grassroots outreach to develop and promote the sport. US Speedskating—Toyota's support of US Speedskating will grow grassroots participation, expand development programs, promote the sport's major events and provide elite athletes with additional resources and technological support. In addition, Toyota extended and expanded a partnership with USA Hockey that began in 2012. USA Hockey, U.S. Figure Skating and US Speedskating share a common thread as each endorses and participates in Learn to Skate USA, an enhanced iteration of the highly acclaimed Basic Skills Program, which has taught more than 2.5 million people to ice skate since 1968 and that promotes skill progression to build self- esteem in kids and adults while providing Use the 2 and 2 Challenge to help grow your members Toyota Moves Toward PyeongChang rinks will increase player retention from the 2016-17 season, acquire new players through events like Try Hockey For Free Days, and convert those first- time players into full-time participants. For the 2017-18 season, national Try Hockey For Free Days are Nov. 4th, 2017 and March 3, 2018. The March Try Hockey For Free Day occurs one week after the Olympic Games conclude. Every four years, this window has proven essential for growing participation. Looking back on the 2014 post-Olympic Try Hockey event, local programs set a record high for participation and saw nearly 16,000 families head to their local rink to experience youth hockey for the first time. To learn more about the 2 and 2 Challenge, please visit 2and2challenge.com! , In the youth hockey world, spring is a great time to take stock on the success of seasons past and refine our plan for the coming season to continue growing our footprint in the local community. Nationally, youth hockey experienced sizable growth; 2016-17 saw record participation for 8 & under aged participants. With more than 115,000 8 & Under players, the bar has been raised and a new challenge set to drive more kids to our sport in 2017-18. With the excitement of the 2018 Winter Olympics comes an opportunity for rinks to leverage the peaked interest of them with the resources to reach their dreams. Toyota will be working with each of the NGBs to enhance Learn to Skate programs from coast to coast. "We are thrilled to add Toyota to our family of partners," said David Raith, executive director of U.S. Figure Skating. "We're excited to work with an organization that embraces innovation as we create opportunities to develop and grow grassroots skating programing across the United States. We look forward to collaborating with the mobility experts at Toyota to enhance our programs through this partnership." Beyond the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Toyota strategically uses its relationships with sports properties and athletes as a way to connect with consumers in the United States. The brand has relationships with nearly 40 major sports teams and more than 20 major sports venues. J

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