I first read this on James Mirtle's blog, and I think this is a good article for everyone to check out on the rise of the Blackhawks back to a proud franchise. My favorite part of this article is the same portion that Mirtle highlighted in his post:
On the night the Hawks honored former great Tony Esposito, Wirtz saw security interfering with a fan's attempt to throw a jersey into Esposito's lower-level box. He walked over to the fan and said, ''What can I do for you?'' The fan, who was in his 30s, said he was a lifelong fan of Esposito and wanted to get the jersey signed. Wirtz walked him past security into Esposito's box.
''He couldn't believe it,'' Wirtz said. ''It meant something to him. And that's how you do it. Fan by fan, you build an organization. It's just like building a brand. There's no Madison Avenue sales pitch that can build that kind of commitment.''
You just have to love hearing things like this, it is such a turn-around from how this organization used to be run. They now realize that the fans are the most important part of the franchise and you have to make an effort to reach out to them, and they are certainly doing that now. Putting games on TV, getting the word out on this team all over, they are doing everything they possibly can to get this team back on the map and it is working.
Anyone going to the convention this weekend: Feel free to post stories, pictures, etc. on the blog in the FanShots or FanPosts section whenever you want. I didn't get a chance to get a ticket unfortunately but I'd love to hear about your experience and any pics/video you can get of it. Have a good time!