As a displaced Chicago Blackhawks fan, it’s frustrating to occasionally see really great contests on their website, only to find out that they’re restricted to residents of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. For example, I was ready and willing to vote in the contest pitting Patrick Kane’s and Patrick Sharp’s burrito creations at Qdoba last season (the prize being lunch with the man with the most votes), but my current location was my downfall.
This time, though, things are better. The Blackhawks unveiled their fan incentive program on Thursday, which makes some of the deals the other teams have rolled out look pale by comparison. The program, called “Fan Salute”, is a contest in which fans enter for the chance to win amazing prizes over the team’s 99 day schedule.
Between January and April, they aim to give away 1000 jerseys, 250 pucks and 100 sticks, all autographed by current players or Blackhawks Ambassadors such as Stan Mikita, Denis Savard, Bobby Hull and Tony Esposito. They’ll also give away home game tickets and game packages such as meeting head coach Joel Quenneville before a game, sitting in the press box or meeting Blackhawks Ambassadors. There are also chances to win passes to the team’s annual fan convention held in July, complete with a player meet-and-greet.
The best part is that the contest is open to all fans. Full and partial season ticket holders are automatically entered, and other fans can enter on the team’s website. When the contest was first announced, it was only open for residents of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. Thanks to many displaced fans complaining that they were being left out in the cold, the rules changed, and now any Blackhawks fan can enter and win regardless of their location.
I’ve already entered, of course. I’m hoping for Convention passes, but hey, I’ll take whatever I win if my name’s picked. It’ll be an honor just to win something from my favorite team, even here in Ohio.