2011-12 Season Recap
The Oilers concluded their 20th season as a fixture of the Tulsa sports landscape and the highest drawing tenant of downtown’s main attraction, the BOK Center. In 2011-12, the Oilers continued a tradition of affordable family entertainment dating back more than 80 years.
With 33 home games from October through March, the Oilers play a huge role in the revitalization of downtown Tulsa and significantly add to the city’s economic strength. Since the opening of the BOK Center in the fall of 2008, the Oilers have accounted for more than 30 percent of the arena’s total audience. Since the rebirth of the CHL in 1992, more than three million fans have watched the Oilers take to the ice!
Through The Turnstiles
2011-12 Attendance of 148,855
2011-12 Average Attendance of 4,510
In 2011-12, the Oilers had ten crowds in excess of 5,000 fans and the largest crowd of the season topped out at 10,035.
Total attendance going into the 2012-13 season is 3,310,786.
Seen and Heard
Partnering with the Oilers means so much more than just a few signs and logos around the BOK Center. Your message not only reached the captive audience of nearly 150,000 people over the course of 33 games, but was also received by countless others through promotion on television, radio, and internet broadcasts.
The Oilers were frequently showcased in the coverage of local Tulsa TV stations in game stories, feature stories, and highlights. Signs on dasher boards and logos in the ice are clearly seen in these stories to give your brand more value with increased exposure. KTUL Tulsa’s Channel 8, the Oilers exclusive television partner, sponsored several promotional nights including two Youth Jersey Nights which brought more than 14,000 fans into the BOK Center. General Manager Taylor Hall, Head Coach Bruce Ramsay, voice of the Oilers, Rob Loeber, and Oilers players made regular appearances on local TV morning and afternoon talk shows to discuss special events, promotions, and giveaways.
Local radio stations provided another platform for the Oilers to promote their games and their sponsors. Stations covering a wide variety of demographics and music styles were utilized to feature Oiler players and events. Regular radio partners included 98.5 KVOO, Z-104.5 the EDGE, 97.1 the Sports Animal, and 106.9 K-Hits which teamed up with the Oilers to present two of the biggest promotions of the season, Pink In The Rink Night and Military Night. Players and staff members did repeated radio interviews throughout the season, helping to create a deeper awareness of the Oilers name and YOUR brand. Advertisements were aired on stations in surrounding cities such as Bartlesville, Muskogee, Tahlequah and other metro areas giving broader regional reach to the Oilers and to YOU.
Newspapers provided yet another media medium that allowed the Oilers to reach more fans. The Tulsa World published regular game advance stories, player features, and game recaps both in print and on the web. Other community papers such as the Oklahoma Eagle, and papers across the GTR Network gave the Oilers comprehensive coverage and ensured that fans from neighboring suburbs and cities were constantly informed about all the happenings surrounding the team.
All 66 Oilers games were broadcast over the internet and the Central Hockey League continued its CHL-TV feature with live video streaming making it easier than ever before for fans to watch and listen to the Oilers from anywhere in the world. The video board feed from the BOK Center was streaming on CHL-TV giving your messages in the arena even more added value. In addition, listeners could tune in to an internet broadcast of the weekly Tulsa Oilers Coach’s Show with Bruce Ramsay.
In The Community
St. Francis Children’s Hospital
Salvation Army Bell Ringing
Clinic For Tulsa Youth Hockey Association
Floor Hockey Clinic at Broken Arrow Community Center
Broken Arrow Neighbors Holiday Food Drive
Read Across America
Grades For Blades
Countless Schools in the Surrounding Area
3rd Annual Pink In the Rink Night – Women and Children’s Cancer Charities
Military Night – Benefiting soldiers, veterans, and military families
Faith And Family Day – Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Teddy Bear Toss – Salvation Army
The Oilers made numerous appearances in the community extending your brand awareness. The Oilers visited several schools, cheered up sick kids in the Children’s Hospital, attended special holiday events, and created new fans for the game of hockey through clinics and demonstrations at community centers and schools. The community outreach was continuous throughout the season and the greater Tulsa area.
In addition to the community appearances, the Oilers partnered with local non-profit organizations to raise awareness and money during various charitable nights at the BOK Center. For a third straight year, Pink In The Rink Night proved to be one of the Oilers most popular events. Oilers players wore special pink jerseys which were auctioned off after the game in order to raise funds for local women’s and children’s cancer charities. Another jersey auction took place after Military Night where camouflage jerseys were sold to raise money to benefit our brave men and women in uniform and our courageous veterans. On Faith and Family Day, the Oilers set aside a portion of the ticket proceeds for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to enable them to expand their special ministry in the Tulsa area. The annual Teddy Bear Toss allowed th Salvation Army to bring smiles to hundreds of children during the holiday season. Non-profit nights and other in-game fundraisers led to the collection of over $75,000 for various charities.
Every year, thousands of area children are helped by organizations dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged youth. The Oilers partnered with companies like Williams and Omni Air International to create the Future Champions program, making it possible for those organizations to bring kids to an Oilers game. Agencies that benefit from Future Champions include Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Tulsa Boys Home, Laura Dester Children’s Shelter, and many others.
The Oilers are proud to reward hard-working students through the Grades For Blades program, also made possible by Williams and Omni Air International. High-achieving students earn free tickets to an Oilers game, just another way the Oilers and their partners are making the game of hockey more accessible for kids.
In Game Fun
In 2011-12, the Oilers and BOK Center staff developed successful promotions, utilizing the state-of-the-art video board and the Oilers Ice Girls promotional team to be even more interactive with fans. Many longtime hockey observers have noted the BOK Center displays surpass the quality of arenas in the National Hockey League.
Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays brought in fans eager to enjoy special discounts. $2 Tuesdays and Friday’s Ladies Night allowed fans to enjoy specials on tickets and other perks. The Oilers partnered with Papa John’s to create affordable pricing for families and college students. Tuesdays were Papa John’s College Nights where students could get a ticket and a large pizza for only $12. Sundays, Papa John’s family packs were available starting at $49, making it more affordable than ever for families to enjoy a hockey game. The Oilers also allowed fans to get to know their team through post-game skates in which the players posed for pictures, and signed autographs right on the BOK Center ice.
In game promotions kept fans entertained during breaks on the ice. Promotions occurred both in the stands and on the ice, which gave fans the opportunity to leave the game with a prize or coupon courtesy of the Oilers Corporate Partners.
Kids and their families flocked to the BOK Center for two Youth Nights so the kids could get their hands on a special Oilers youth jersey provided by SuperCuts. Tablets and cell phones were given away by Verizon Wireless and River Spirit Casino dished out thunder-sticks as well as free match play vouchers. Fans were able to get to know the players through the “Adopt-an-Oiler” program in which adopting families received their players’ jersey and other special perks throughout the season. Post-game auctions provided the opportunity for fans to purchase the game-worn jerseys of their favorite players and the Oilers even gave away a car as the grand prize in the regular “Chuck-a-Puck” promotion. Public Service Company of Oklahoma gave away glowing bracelets on Fan Appreciation Night as the Oilers players and staff thanked the loyal fans for their support throughout the season.
On Ice Success
Fresh off the franchise’s first playoff series victory in 17 years, Oilers Head Coach Bruce Ramsay recruited an outstanding crop of rookie talent for the 2011-12 season. Tulsa, not expected to contend with more veteran-laden clubs in the CHL, immediately showed it could compete with any team in any rink.
The Oilers battled through one of the toughest schedules in the CHL, playing 53 of their 66 games against teams that finished the year with winning records. Most notable was a string of three straight victories in mid-November over the highly-touted Wichita Thunder. The Oilers enjoyed success on the holidays as well, cruising past Laredo on Thanksgiving and earning another win over the Thunder on Christmas Day. Tulsa ended up with a 23-13-2 record against Berry Conference foes and won the season series against five of six conference opponents.
The Oilers suffered through a scoring slump in February, but bounced back in March to pull back into playoff contention. Ramsay’s club recorded 29 wins, 20 of them home ice, and 66 points, falling just five points shy of a second consecutive postseason berth.
Offensively, the Oilers were led all season by a promising pair of rookie forwards, Mike Ullrich and Dylan Clarke. The 25-year olds each recorded 64 points on the season and ended up tied for second place in the CHL rookie scoring race. Ullrich, who was named the CHL Rookie of the Month for November, earned Offensive Player of the Year honors from Ramsay and was voted to the CHL All-Rookie Team along with Oilers defenseman Jeff Terminesi. Clarke, who played Division III college hockey, posted two hat-tricks during the season, led the Oilers with 16 multiple-point games, and was named team MVP. Fellow first-year pros Terminesi, David Solway, and Ryan Cramer all finished in the top 15 in the league in rookie scoring.
Rookies may have dominated the Oilers lineup, but more seasoned players made plenty of key contributions. Second-year pro Gary Steffes chipped in 22 goals and Michel Beausoleil reached the 20-goal plateau for the third straight season. Ian Keserich backstopped the Oilers to 21 wins in net, only one short of his career-high 22 victories last season.
Oilers veterans also achieved several milestones over the course of the season. Beausoleil recorded his 600th career point while Gio Flamminio played in his 400th pro game and Marty Standish suited up for the 800th time in his 13-year career. Captain Tyler Fleck became the fifth man to play in 700 CHL games and appeared in all every single Oilers contest for the second year in a row.
This season affirmed that the Oilers have the talent to become one of the top teams in the CHL. The future is packed with potential as the Oilers look ahead to the 2012-13 season.