When the National Hockey League committed to expanding its footprint in the southern United States in the early 1990s, one of the first places to benefit was Dallas, Texas. The large size of the market made it a perfect fit for the struggling Minnesota North Stars, and after relocation, the Dallas Stars made their permanent home in Texas.
Numerous successes followed, including a Stanley Cup championship in 1999. Still, because many in the area did not grow up around an ice rink, the team has had to create new and exciting ways to increase fan engagement. One of the most exciting is their new partnership with Salming that promises to bring floorball to the masses and inject Dallas with a fresh wave of enthusiasm about hockey. For those unfamiliar, floorball is played similarly to ice hockey.
While there is no body contact and a ball is used instead of a puck, the basic goals remain the same. Most importantly, floorball is played on a gymnasium floor in tennis shoes as opposed to on an ice rink, making it extremely accessible to fans everywhere. The Dallas Stars have already done great work in expanding the game's visibility throughout Texas. Through their "Fitness Stars" initiative, the Dallas Stars have provided equipment and training to eight school districts in the Dallas area. Bringing school aged children to the game is an important focus of the Stars, and being able to do so while improving the health and fitness of the youth of Dallas is extremely important.
Salming is proud to partner with the Stars to create affordable, durable technology that can be used in this initiative. By providing sticks, balls, and goals to school districts in the greater Dallas area, Salming can guarantee not only future players and fans of floorball, but also has the opportunity to give back to a community that already has strong support for the business and its goals.
Salming is also able to bring the knowledge and training necessary to ensure the game is played safely and successfully. This focus on education will also help students to parlay the skills they learn in floorball into a healthier lifestyle, improving the community and making the Fitness Stars initiative the success that it deserves to be.