|The Orlando Solar Bears released the game sweaters on April 10th.|
As we draw closer to October, where the Orlando Solar Bears will take the ice for the first time since 2001, people are starting to see the hype as team management is getting into an ad campaigning blitz with their recent one featuring the winner and their finalists of their "I'm A Solar Bear" star search posing in their recently released jerseys (but I will be proper and call them sweaters) and hockey gloves while holding a hockey stick over their shoulders. You'll see them on billboards while driving through I-4, the Orlando Sentinel, and the winner, Jayden, will be featured in Orlando Magazine and is already a local celebrity in the Solar Bears community. Local radio stations are also now holding contests for tickets and other Solar Bears prizes.
|With the way the Magic have been playing recently, it's good to see Ryan Anderson wear the team of champions.|
Then one day, the team finally announced something in which fans can take part of, the "Out of Hibernation" bus tour. It offered fans who placed a deposit for season tickets a chance to take ride to Estero, Florida by Ft. Meyers and watch two future-divisional rivals go against each other and recall past stories with one another of the Solar Bears past. I was speaking with one fan while over there and she mentioned that when she hears the words "solar bears" her head goes up and tries to find and talk to that person. Overall, everyone who went had a good time, but there was still one problem, there had been almost no updates on the progression of the team.
Don Money, who is a writer at ProHockeyNews.com and a forum contributor, along with Monique Griffin, spoke with Managing Partners, Bob Ohrablo and Jason Siegel about the concerns of fans wanting to know how everything is coming together. As you read his article you'll find that they want be absolutely, 100% sure that any news or update that is released will be perfect. They want any projects to be 100% complete before rolling it out. This means that they have been working hard, trying to take every step carefully, do their due diligence, make sure that season ticket accounts are handled carefully. This is kind of like diffusing a bomb, if they promise something they can't deliver or was looked at carefully, they run the risk of cutting the wrong wire and having that bomb explode.
So all in all, everything they have rolled out, the facebook contest, the bus tour, the ad auditions, the sweater (or jersey if you want to keep calling it that) release and the new online team shop, has been met with success so far, with local news starting to take notice. There are still things that need people want to know, like team schedules, NHL/AHL affiliates, when I can be Shades assistant, etc. but those things still won't happen yet until after the Florida Everblades hoist the ECHL's Kelly Cup at the end of this season. (Because it's the last chance they are allowed to.)
My point is now, be patient, the Orlando Seals floored it and look what happened, they got kicked out after two seasons and their mascot, Sealvester, is in mascot limbo. Everything will come into place when it is 100% ready, and it will be by the start of the 2012-2013 ECHL season. So in Don Money's words, hurry up and wait.