Striking While The Engagement Iron Is Hot

I was scrolling through Reddit while waiting for a show to end Friday night and happened upon a post that reflects great engagement by the St. Louis Blues hockey team.  A guy discovering hockey for the first time and bemoaning his city’s loss of the Rams football team back to Los Angeles gets an invite from the Blues to attend a game.

When the nascent fan, Tony X. says he wants to buy the jersey of the biggest underdog on the team, a team member responds suggesting his jersey and later offers to sign it. The Blues apparently captured Tony X’s picture at the game as well.

Given the hashtags on this, I assume it all transpired in 2017 and it just bubbled back up on Reddit as so many topics do. It still provides a great example of how to really grab someone and keep them engaged when their interest is piqued.  Many of the questions Tony X asks are similar to those first exposed to a new arts experiences – Why is that guy doing that? What should I wear?

Note that even though Tony X was a sports fan, his focus was on football so even though he knew some of what to expect from the experience, there were still some aspects that would be new and possibly intimidating.



About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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