With the ice hockey season almost at an end, I’m taking some time to reflect on my incredible time with the Coventry Blaze. I never forget how lucky I am to be working with a team I’ve supported for years. But it took some time and effort to achieve this dream. Here’s how I did it…
I knew I wanted to use my magic in some way that would involve the Blaze, and the corporate boxes seemed the perfect way to do it. I’d worked with the club before, so the powers that be had some idea of who was. I decided to send them an email (an email I must have worded and re-worded about a hundred times to try and get it to sound right).
I knew that what I was offering would really add to the match night experience. I knew that my unique brand of magic would mix seamlessly with the fast tempo and hard-hitting style the Coventry Blaze play with. I just needed to convince them of that!
The email worked, and before I knew it I’d talked my way into the office for a meeting with the Chairman of The Coventry Blaze who happens to be the General Manager of the national team. He’s clearly a very busy man who has no time or tolerance for fools. I knew that the work I’d done performing at the end of season awards ceremony was going to count for very little from this point onwards. It had served its purpose in getting me in the door to his office, but right now I was very aware I was standing in his domain, and I was wasting his time. I knew I had to make every moment count, and I also knew my magic would speak louder than any words I could muster.
Five minutes later and the chairman was standing there speechless. I could see from the look in his eyes he agreed that my passion and skill matched the vibe and energy felt on a match night in the Skydome. It also became apparent that this very serious, calculated man had a serious soft spot for magic!
It was never going to be as simple as just impressing the right person, but it was agreed that the Blaze wanted what I was able to offer but they also needed more. They didn’t just want to add a Magician to their corporate match night experience, they wanted a host; somebody who could meet the guests, get them settled, and deal with any needs on the night. They also needed to find someone with good knowledge of the team history and the rules of the game.
I was able to tick all the requested boxes! Not only had my initial idea worked, it had been improved on.
But that was just the beginning…
Even in my wildest dreams I could never imagined what started to happen over the next few weeks. The reactions I started to get from audiences were out of this world. They were much louder than I was used to. I think this is down to the fact that you’re supposed to be loud at the hockey game – so there were no reservations! That and the fact the drinks are so reasonably priced.
As well as the great reactions, I started to get to know people on a personal level. After a few weeks of spending time in the bar after the game and getting to know the other fans, I realised that I had developed – or rather been accepted into – a sort of hockey family. Children would run up to me and people would call me over to meet their friends. That alone is not too strange; being a magician, that happens a lot anywhere you perform. But before long fans who were restaurant owners had booked me to entertain their customers, and business owners had started to see how I could make them money by reaching their customers at trade shows or by doing ice-breaking at big networking events.
The real difference came when people started talking to me as a friend rather than the magician, even more than that they started to invite me into their homes to perform at private parties, and then they invited me to attend parties.
Before long I had been given one of the biggest honours in my business. I’d been asked to entertain at a wedding for a Blaze supporter, and then another, and then for friends of Blaze supporters. Being entrusted to perform at a wedding – one of the most important days of a couple’s life – is an amazing honour and no magician should ever forget that.
It wasn’t just fans either. The players started to take notice and enjoyed getting involved in the magic I was performing, as well as asking me to perform to their families when they’re in town. One thing that’s stood out this season is just how hard the Blaze office staff work behind the scenes, and it’s been a pleasure being part of the team.
I’ve loved performing for each and every one of you and despite the season having many ups and downs I’ve enjoyed every game, event and after party.
Here’s to next season!