On Sunday, just hours after the NHL and it’s teams locked out the players in a labor dispute, the Florida Panthers announced it’s “I Love Panthers Hockey Campaign”. “The new ‘I Love Panthers Hockey’ campaign is intended to rally fans around their Cats pride and love for the sport of hockey,” according to Panthers President Michael Yormark. “With an enhanced presence in the community and a simple and impactful campaign message, we are giving every South Florida fan – as well as our staff – the opportunity to exhibit their Panthers pride each and every day.”
While that sounds warm and fuzzy at first, fans must remember the current situation with the teams and it’s players still ongoing. The players pointing fingers at the NHL and vice versa while attempting to work out a new collective bargaining agreement while the fans are just caught in the middle. Teams had begun taking practice jerseys and other such items from players prior to the September 16th lockout date; now the Panthers are asking fans to wear their logo proudly, while they take it away from the players.
The campaign is focusing on several events in the community, hosted by Panthers employees and will visit charitable organizations, schools, rinks and communities to spread the word. In addition to the events being held, merchandise kits can also be purchased either at the events or online that contain a hat, t-shirt, bracelet, window cling and decal for $20.00 (additional shipping and handling charges for online orders.) Portions of the money collected will go towards the Florida Panthers Foundation to help fight pediatric cancer.
Along with the events listed fans are encouraged to wear their Panthers gear in the community for a chance to receive additional “prizes” like a voucher good for two tickets to a home Panthers game, Saveology.com Iceplex skating passes, and more.
A complete list of Panthers “Red” Friday events can be found here with locations and dates for each, as well as a link to it’s online order form for purchasing merchandise kits.
Many fans have stated their protest of an NHL lockout and have vowed not to spend anymore money until things are resolved. Should you be one of those fans but would still like to make a donation to the Florida Panthers Foundation you can do so by contacting Jeannie Holtorf at HoltorfJ@floridapanthers.com or 954-835-7715; you can also check out the foundations official website.