Culturama ranks OneHockey top-five North American event
For the players, parents and fans who’ve reveled in the OneHockey Experience since 2003, it’s easy for them to understand why it’s considered the world leader of the hockey tournament industry.
When it comes to overall organization, on-ice competition and in-game entertainment, OneHockey undeniably has no equal.
Now a burgeoning sports media company has come to the realization what thousands of youth hockey teams and families from across North America and Europe have understood for nearly 15 years.
Culturama, an online channel that delivers creative insights on life, including comedic satirical videos with a special emphasis on the sport of hockey, recently conducted a survey of the dozens of hockey tournaments throughout North America and ranked the top 13. The criteria Culturama’s rating was based on included experience, number of teams, level of play, unique offerings, reputation, rink quality, organization, seamless execution and communication.
Joe Branco, an aspiring comedian as well as the creator and star of Culturama’s humorous video library, ranked OneHockey as the top overall tournament group on the list, beating out some of the most popular annual events on the continent. OneHockey was voted first for the best tourney experience and fifth in the overall ranking (www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GI6iVHXIQ).
“OneHockey was unique in my research because it focused so much on the experience,” said Branco, a 15-year business and media consultant and CEO of Culturama. “Thousands of hockey tournaments are executed each year in North America, and they all have games, a couple tables of merchandise, and a check-in table. And for the most part, that’s really just about it, but OneHockey makes it fun for the players.”
That philosophy is exactly on what founder Sebastien Fortier built OneHockey – establishing itself as the best run, most entertaining international youth hockey tournament host company the sport has ever seen. Since its inception, OneHockey has expanded from strictly a spring and summer, three-tourney operation during its early years to a year-round, 25-plus event organization throughout North America and select European locations with a plan to soon expand into China.
A OneHockey event is anything but your everyday tournament at your neighborhood rink. The experience starts by transforming each venue to a OneHockey Arena with hundreds of feet of banners, posters and flags. Then there’s the festive music and amusing mascot streaming throughout each rink as well as a mini-expo of vendors and red carpet social media interviews in the lobby. And, of course, there’s the trademark championship celebrations complete with the OneHockey Cup raising and non-alcoholic campaign showers.
“The Interviews were a particularly fun touch that I really hadn’t seen anywhere else,” Branco said. “I love the champagne bottle opening and hoisting the cup experience as well. And smalll things like taking the time to rebrand entire facilities really brings an event experience together.”
In recent years, OneHockey has expanded from strictly offering events for top talent to players of all levels.
“It’s also worth noting that OneHockey pulls off more events than most tournament companies, meaning that consistent high-level tournament prep and execution is a must,” Branco noted. “It’s difficult enough to pull off one great tournament a year.”
OneHockey also prides itself on its commitment to branding and promotion, something which the Culturama ranking certainly took note of, including the hub of the whole operation at www.onehockey.com.
“Communication is a key factor as well in my research,” Branco said. “OneHockey responded immediately and reached out offering information as requested. I am impressed with the level of care and thought that OneHockey provides its tournament participants.”
Culturama could likely be bumping OneHockey up its rankings next year after Fortier’s group embarks on setting a Guinness World Record for hosting the largest tournament ever.
OneHockey is partnering with the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association to put on the largest tournament the world has ever seen at the Holiday Invite 2018. This unprecedented, four-day Christmas school vacation event will feature as many as 1,000 teams in both boys and girls divisions estimated to number more than 23,000 players from 10 countries squaring off on more than 75 sheets of ice throughout the state.
— Kevin Conway
(Jan. 3, 2018)