I’ve never been one to really pay attention to ad-speak or brand promises, but when the Blackhawks and the Illinois Lottery partnered up for the “Anything Is Possible” ad campaign, I’m so glad I listened.
Living up to the inspirational campaign premise that “on any given day something amazing could happen”, this Blackhawks-obsessed gal had the chance to meet her favorite Blackhawk, Patrick Sharp in person. Here’s how it all went down.
As an avid follower of the Blackhawks on Twitter, I noticed the tweet from the team’s official Twitter account, sent out a few weeks ago, asking fans to send a message to one of their favorite ten Blackhawks who were heading to the Olympics in Sochi. For me, that was an easy choice. I chose Canadian Patrick Sharp and spent all of two minutes writing my message.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) February 5, 2014
Much to my surprise, that evening I received an email from the Blackhawks organization telling me that they liked my message and asking if I’d like to come to the United Center the next day to tape my message for Patrick and the team. Ecstatic, I cleared my schedule for the next day and prepared to head to the UC with absolutely no idea of what to expect next.
The following day, I checked in at the UC front offices and after being directed to a room with just four other people, I quickly realized just how selective this process was. A total of six fans were chosen to present their personalized messages to the Blackhawks, and I was one of them.
Once everyone had arrived, we were led to “the bowl”, which is apparently what they call the lower level of seats at the UC. Sitting in section 120
was the closest I’d ever been to the ice, so of course I took a few photos. After waiting for about 15 minutes we were met by Patrick Dahl, Director of Advertising and Game Presentation of the Blackhawks. Patrick told us it was ‘go time’. I volunteered to go first.
I was led downstairs to a room somewhere in the basement of the UC; a room I’m sure I couldn’t find again if my life depended on it. The Blackhawks TV backdrop was set up and there were two guys with cameras, pretty much what I expected. I was given a microphone, told to stand on my mark, look directly into the camera and say my message. I was super nervous but I managed to nail it on the first take. I was asked to do it one more time for good measure.
I was then told to watch the TV next to me so they could get some footage of me reacting to a pre-recorded message from Patrick Sharp. I stood there, awkwardly watching a message from Sharpie, not really knowing what to do. Suddenly, the door to my left opened, and none other than Patrick Sharp himself, entered the room.
Sharpie introduced himself (as if that was necessary), shook my hand, and gave me a big hug. Somehow I managed to stay pretty cool in front of him (much cooler than I’d been a few days prior with Brandon Pirri!). I even teased him a little for messing up his lines. We chatted for a bit, I swooned, he signed my jersey, and after what seemed like merely seconds, I went on my merry way in an euphoric state, still in disbelief of what had just gone down.
I drove home, still in shock, and called pretty much everyone I knew to tell them about my incredible experience.
Just this week the final video was posted on the Blackhawks website as part of BlackhawksTV. Check out the finished product below. I was thrilled to see that I was the first fan to appear on camera and that amazingly enough, I don’t come across looking too silly, and I clearly wasn’t the only fan that was surprised. The Blackhawks have shared the video on their Facebook page and over Twitter. It was also shared by the Illinois Lottery, Patrick Sharp himself, and thousands of other fans.
I’m so thankful I was chosen for such a cool and rare opportunity. Thankfully, I’ll always have the video to watch as often as I’d like, and the opportunity to meet Patrick Sharp in such an intimate and unique setting can only be described as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
I must extend a huge thank you to the Blackhawks organization, the Illinois Lottery, Patrick Dahl, and of course Patrick Sharp. This devout Blackhawks fan will never forget the experience, and although I didn’t think it was possible, my admiration for the team, Patrick Sharp and the Blackhawks organization, seems to have grown even stronger.