The Grand Rapids Griffins AHL hockey team wear several specialty jerseys each season. The Griffins administration was looking  to engage the fan base and ask for suggestions for a new jersey design through their social media channels. They chose to partner with Hockey Jersey Concepts, a jersey design company, to assist with the distribution and collection of the contest submissions in the summer of 2015. The following case study outlines the development of a contest where young and old could submit their designs to be considered for the jersey.  We sat down with Marissa Malson, Digital Marketing Manager for the Griffins who provided us with the following.




  • To engage their current fanbase on social media and the web.
  • To extend reach to the general hockey fan who enjoy design work.
  • Pick a design for a specialty jersey that the players would enjoy wearing and that the fans would want to purchase.




  • The Griffins sat down with Hockey Jersey Concepts who planned out the three week contest.
  • The contest was advertised on Hockey Jersey Concepts website and the Griffins social channels for fans to access.
  • The artists had complete freedom to design the jersey as they chose.
  • A blank jersey template and the official rules were posted on the entry page.
  • The winning artist received a personalized jersey that they created and tickets to the Jan 23rd game, which is when the jerseys will be worn by players.
  • All game worn jerseys on the 23rd will be signed by players and auctioned off after the game to fans and season ticket holders. All proceeds from the auction goes to a variety of non for profit organizations.
  • They heavily posted on their social channels at the beginning, halfway and towards the end of the contest. This strategy aligned with their content calendar for the summer of 2015.




  • With 76 quality entries this season in the three week contest, the Griffins were very happy with the results. The winner of the contest was chosen and posted to their website and social channels for all fans to see.
  • Social engagement had a considerable increase due to the contest being done in the summer.


How it can be applied elsewhere


“Social media is all about two-way dialogue, so hosting a contest where the fans are in control is a great way to show them that you value their opinion and appreciate the support they give your team, as well as create new relationships with people who may just be a fan of your sport. Whether you partner with an outside organization or host the contest internally, it’s a fairly easy promotion that teams of any size can put into action.” said Malson


Two pointers Marissa stated to watch out for that the Griffins came across:


  • Many fans used previous winner’s designs or the Griffins current logo, so in the future they will make it more clear that they want a unique design.
  • In the future they will host the contest over the summer again, both for submission numbers and also because their content calendar is more open at that time.


“The ease of doing a contest like this with the assistance of Ryan at Hockey Jersey Concepts was irreplaceable. We were very happy with the results!” - Marissa


Contact Information.

Marissa Malson

Digital Marketing Manager

616-774-4585 ext. 3011


Ryan Haslett

Hockey Jersey Concepts