Season 2 Episode 16 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; “Future is Bright” This week Tim Braun, Dustin Lindstrom, Rob Gilreath, and Matt Cavender were joined by Dominic Hennig, the former play by play voice of the Ferris State Bulldogs and current Director of Strategic Communications and Brand Advancement for the CCHA.
Dominic Hennig and his Role with the CCHA
Dominic Hennig is one of the most exciting guests we’ve had in quite sme time, so we took most of our time discussing the new branding and communications strategies of the CCHA next year. As such, the formatting of this piece will be a little different than usual.
Firstly, Dominic takes the time to explain his role. He describes it as overseeing anything and everything having to do with the external image of the league, which includes the website, social media, graphics, press releases, official video review, posting highlights, and more. Anything a fan, agent, player, student, etc. may encounter in public forum is something that would fall under the umbrella of things that will be his responsibility; anything that has to do with the brand or the image.
The first question we asked Dom is what kind of mentality is he taking to the roll; is he viewing it as reviving a brand that’s been dead for more than a half decade, is he viewing it as starting a brand new identity from scratch, some kind of combination of both, etc. Dom takes the time to explain that he thinks that the old CCHA has a rich history that deserves to be celebrated in its own right, but at the same time it’s time to open an exciting new chapter and begin writing some of our own, while being trend setters instead of followers.
After a brief talk with Harrison last week about the broadcasting standards that exist in the WCHA, we took the time this week with Dominic to discuss potential broadcasting standards across the CCHA, especially terms of streaming on FloHockey and review. Dominic’s passion is broadcasting and broadcast engineering, as exemplified on his resume between being the play-by-play man for Ferris State and the OHL’s Flint Firebirds. Talk is obviously cheap, but Dominic is hoping to implement some even more vigorous broadcasting standards starting next season, with the goal of having every team broadcasting on Flo at 1080p and 60fps with appropriate lighting and color balances potentially by next season. He also talked about the potential to toggle between home and away broadcasters, but if you’re asking anybody on the podcast, we’d listen to anybody if the picture standards are indeed that robust. Even if the league falls short of these goals, it’s nice that these topics are being discussed in January and February instead of September.
Dominic is really looking to be sure that the CCHA has a good image on the national stage from day number one. Some of the ways he’s looking to accomplish this are small, such as making sure we’re using pictures of arenas that always have fans in the background as opposed to empty arenas, doing live highlights and professional graphics, but these are little things that go a very long way toward creating a strong marketing identity for the league. He is also hoping to host a league-based podcast weekly or monthly.
8 NCAA Championships— CCHA (@CCHAhockey) October 13, 2020
55 NCAA Appearances
176 NHL Players
23 Stanley Cup Champions
33 Academic All-Americans
And the most-storied trophy in college hockey, the MacNaughton Cup pic.twitter.com/8VnyUduObE
A feeling that many Tech fans have struggled with since the announcement of the new CCHA is that after being a team that was abandoned and left by the wayside, we’ve now turned around and done a similar thing to both Alaska schools and Huntsville. However, a positive thing to come from the move is that the CCHA is being treated as a destination conference by member institutions as opposed to a place where the leftover pieces fall after drastic realignment. The Athletic Directors seem to have a strong commitment to doing things right and trumping other leagues, making us become the pathway to follow and leaders in college hockey. As Dominic said, “there are a lot of people working behind the scenes to make this league special.”
There are some things, of course, that Dominic isn’t allowed to make public as of yet and when he reaches points where he is unsure, he has no problem saying so. However, he’s been very impressed with the tone of the conversations that are being had. It’s sounding as though the new league is coming together quite nicely and will be a great new home for all member schools. The plans seem bold and will require a lot of buy-in from each institution, but if each institution plays their part, it seems as though great things are on the horizon.
Dominic has also offered his emails to any fans that have questions, comments or concerns, and it is firstname.lastname@example.org. We ask that you please keep questions and comments respectful, as he was gracious enough to spend so much time with us this week and give some great insights.
Listen in this week to hear more about Dominic’s role, resume, and plans for the CCHA.
Joe Shawhan Hour
The last 18ish minutes of our public podcast is dedicated to the standard things we do here. We begin with a review of the Joe Shawhan hour.
The Joe Shawhan Hour is available online in podcast form, just be paste this link into your favorite podcast app. Please note that this does not work for Spotify, but that’s the only app with which we’ve discovered any problems
Joe talked about how Ferris is a bit of a deceiving team, especially when you look at their record vs. the product on the ice. It was also interesting to hear him talk about how he pulled some pages out of Ferris’s book when it comes to defense during the time they were going on national championship runs.
Logan Stein also made arguably the save of the season over the weekend against Tech, though. Our friend Brad Carr was at the game and was able to capture the moment. When using these photos, please remember to credit the photographer, unlike some well-known college hockey blogs. We won’t name names. At Rob’s request, here’s the tweet. Follow my boy Brad.
There were some other notable photos this week, including this one of a Ferris penalty this week photographed by Shane Cruthers. This one really cracks me up because of how obvious the penalty looks from this perspective.
We also had a fantastic new Joe-ism this week to discuss, be sure to turn in to find out. If you haven’t heard, we won’t give away too much, but it involves ducks.
Another week in the Covid-season, and another week that sees 3 games. We make predictions for the Tuesday game that already happened, as well as the upcoming Bemidji State series. Be sure to tune in to find out what we have to say!
Cut For Time
This week’s cut content for Patrons is approximately a half hour long, and includes all of the fantastic derailments you’d expect from four guys that love Huskies hockey. This week, we talked about Ferris’s athletic facilities improvement fan, the unique atmosphere of all future CCHA arenas, AI based cameras being used in the WCHA, and additional discussion Tim, Rob and Matt had while Dustin was refreshing his beer supply. Tune in to hear what we had to say!
For additional information and more episode liner notes, check out our episode overview on Tech Hockey Guide. To make sure we can afford all our fancy equipment we purchased for the podcast and the THG website in general, please check out our patreon page and consider joining. Patrons at our Black Level or above receive an authentic MTU jersey patch and access to extra podcast content including extended versions of our other episodes. This week’s extended version is nearly 104 minutes.
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