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Hockey fanatic spreads love for game

By Loren Nelson, 10/20/14, 2:15AM CDT

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Springfield webmaster Grant Hammer creates excitement for hockey in central Illinois

Webmaster of the Week: October 21-26

Name

Grant Hammer

Site

Springfield Youth Hockey Association

Position

Vice President of Marketing & Communications/Webmaster

Background

Hammer is a hockey fanatic who is an elected member of the Springfield Park District's Board of Trustees, which operates the two ice sheets the Springfield Youth Hockey Association calls home. Hammer dabbles in creating design elements on the SYHA site, and his considerable communications and marketing background is apparent in the site's content creation and presentation.

What he does

Hammer uses the site to promote the sport he loves. A former Springfield youth hockey player who still plays in local men’s leagues, Hammer recognizes that Springfield’s youth hockey association is competing with football, baseball and basketball for members. Hammer’s work as a webmaster goes well beyond posting content to the youth hockey association’s site. He said he looked at high-level professional hockey league sites such as the NHL and American Hockey League when planning the design and mapping the content for Springfield’s site. “We wanted to have a very professional first impression to new visitors,” Hammer said. Hammer keeps the content flowing on the site, posting information on fundraisers, team pictures and schedule changes, among other articles. He also repackages those stories in regular newsletters to the association’s membership.

Making his mark

Hammer says his focus is growth at the grassroots level, and it’s no coincidence that interest in hockey in Springfield has skyrocketed in recent years. Hammer’s work on the youth association’s website has helped boost participation in quarterly beginners’ programs to 60-70 kids, up from previous years when the average was about 15.

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About Loren Nelson

Loren Nelson is Community Manager at SportsEngine. He is also the National Media Editor and has served in a variety of other customer facing and media roles since 2009.

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