Ryan Graham, Observer Reporter
The Quesnel Kangaroos were once again on the agenda at last week’s North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee meeting, where the team expressed how important advertising at the rink is to the future of the team.
Captain Waylon L’Heureux of the Kangaroos spoke to the politicians about the team and brought up two options that would keep them running. Both options included ice surface advertising while the first also inlcuded rink board while the second called for overhead banners.
“Right now we offer multiple advertising packages to our sponsors,” L’ Heureux said.
”We have rink boards for a set amount, stair sponsors where they put their logos on the stairs going up the bleachers and we sell some advertising to the ice surface also.”
“Everybody with the Kangaroos is all for the Junior B hockey club, so we wanted to give you guys a couple of options to show you that both teams can survive in this community,” L’ Heureux said.
He added they put this proposal together before the Junior B team had been rejected. He also mentioned they are working with Sign Stop on a sticker version of rink boards to avoid the cost of lexan which could be as much as $60,000. Lexan is clear plexy glass that goes over top of the boards and allows you to slip an advertising sign in behind it and also pull the sign out when needed.
“We noticed when we were down at a Vancouver Canucks game when they put their stickers on the boards they didn’t have lexan,” L’ Heureux said.
“They were changing them out at the intermission so they would sell advertising to companies in one period and then change them the next intermission.”
Another issue that has come up is the team has to replace all 72 of their signs and also has to find storage space in the new arena, which will add another $15,000 for next season. Due to financial reasons the Kangaroos have also opted out of the Coy Cup for the last three years.
Councillor Ed Coleman added to the discussion by saying digital signage is huge when it comes to advertising.
“I do believe there can be a partnership because when you have all your support bases encouraging people to advertise in different formats then they are out there working for you so some of your costs go down,” Coleman said.
“I see lots of opportunity for growth here and I think the new facility will bring a refresh to the value of the team. I would encourage you to be flexible on the advertising piece because I think you could bring in more revenues by having different options for advertising.”
L’ Heureux also talked about getting a job program together for players who come from out of town.
“In the past a lot of the people that came here to play hockey got jobs with the city and we did talk about bringing in a job program through Bill Roach, where we could get some players working when they did move here with their families,” L’Heureux said.
He added that senior hockey is a lot different than junior hockey because it’s owned 100 per cent by the community while junior hockey is privately owned.
“We have an objectors committee that votes on every financial decision between our eight directors and a junior hockey team wouldn’t have to do that because they are an owned company,” L’Heureux said.
“They would keep their profits while we would put our profits, if we ever did have any back in the community.”
The Kangaroos are a big supporter of community with the team doing a number of events throughout the year. Some groups include the Quesnel Figure Skating Club, Quesnel Minor Hockey and Relay for Life.
They also support junior hockey players when they return to Quesnel.
“When they are home for the summer and are getting ready to go back to their camps we supply them with ice times so they are back in shape before they go to camp,” L’Heureux said.
“We are skating anyways so they come out and skate with us, so it makes for a good time.”
A working group will now be formed to work with the Kangaroos and staff prior to the next joint planning meeting.