SBD/December 15, 2010/Franchises

Oilers' Cheer Team Debuts To Varied Reactions At Rexall Place

Oilers Become First Canadian NHL Team To Employ Cheerleaders
The Oilers yesterday during their game against the Maple Leafs “unveiled their new cheer team,” the Octane, according to Mariam Ibrahim of the EDMONTON JOURNAL. The Octane is the first NHL cheer squad in Canada, and some fans "question whether the team is necessary or appropriate." Rexall Place employees at the first intermission “rolled out the orange and blue carpet in preparation for the team’s introduction.” As each of the 19 women "were introduced on the ice for the first time, she gave a wave of her pompom to the crowd, to scattered whoops and applause.” The cheer team made its “debut during a break in the second period,” with the women “positioned at a handful of the entrances to the arena’s lower bowl.” Fan reactions to the performance “were varied, with some hoping the team’s presence at the game would be more pronounced, and others excited to see the team’s newest additions.” Oilers VP/Communications & Broadcast Allan Watt said that the Octane will “act as Oilers representatives” because the team “gets inundated with requests for an Oilers presence at hundreds of events throughout the year.” The cheerleaders “will also be featured in a calendar, which will be released later this month” (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 12/15). The Octane members were “dressed in outfits that resembled Oilers retro jerseys with short skirts and white knee-high boots.” The squad appeared twice after its initial intro, “dancing separately at entrances to the seating area during the second period and then on the video screen during the second intermission doing a routine on the concourse.” The debut “went almost completely unnoticed by the players” (CP, 12/15). Watt “assured fans that Octane won’t perform while the game is on.” Watt: "They’ll be mostly in the entrances and exits. They’ll be interacting with fans and doing some of their routines in the concourses.” He added, “They can also help us do any number of commercial and sponsorship functions that our partners unveil, and also any charity events that make sense for us” (EDMONTON SUN, 12/15).
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