SHERWOOD PARK, AB – At the onset of the 2016/2017 season, the Crusaders aimed to give their fans more of an insider look into the team, and did they ever get it with the addition of Below the Ice
In late October, BTI joined the organization as the official blog of the Crusaders. A group of postsecondary students beginning in sports journalism, Below the Ice was looking for an opportunity to break in with a professional organization; something the Crusaders were happy to do.
“It was a great chance for both of us to use each other to grow. The Cru got a site that would dedicate time to giving (Crusaders fans) insider coverage, while I felt like covering a real hockey team would give the site some legitimacy. Everything that we've done this past year together has gone above and beyond my expectations. The organization has been great with giving us access to the team, coaches and alumni. They've given us the chance to give fans a closer look at the team, while not getting in the way of us being able to report honestly on what’s been happening.” noted Below the Ice founder and host of Inside the Cru, Tyler Yaremchuk.
The first game that BTI covered was against the eventual North Division finalists, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. While Sherwood Park fell to the Oil Barons that game 7 – 4, it was just the beginning of the journey for BTI and the Cru.
Below the Ice went onto cover 28 more games for the Crusaders, including trips to Spruce Grove and even Lloydminster.
In addition to their post-game work, Below the Ice gave fans a deeper look into the personal lives of the team with a segment named Inside the Cru, which runs on their website every Thursday at noon. Each week, they interview a member of the Crusaders team, player or staff, which allows fans to know the players more than just the name on the back of the jersey. BTI has become such a part of the Crusaders team that for the summer, Below the Ice writer Liam Horrobin has joined the Cru as media coordinator; just another way the Crusaders give fans an inside look at the organization.
As for next year, says Yaremchuk, “I’m beyond excited to continue working with the team next season and beyond.”
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