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Volunteer Energy Red Patrol

Enhancing the fans' experience at The Joe and around Detroit

Thursday, 03.29.2012 / 10:30 AM ET / Fan Zone
By Zack Crawford  - Intern
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Volunteer Energy Red Patrol
DETROIT – If you’ve been to a Red Wings’ game at Joe Louis Arena this season, you’ve probably seen the Volunteer Energy Red Patrol. They’re hard to miss, in fact, as the crew is in a constant flurry of activity from before the game begins until after the final horn sounds.

As part of the Wings’ partnership with Volunteer Energy, the Red Patrol – made up of six enthusiastic members – was conceived at the beginning of this season and has added a unique element to each home game.

The Volunteer Energy Red Patrol has a number of responsibilities that put them in close contact with the fans. The team chooses contestants for Score-O and Michigan Lottery Big Ticket promotions, throws T-shirts into the stands, completes the Little Caesars Pizza Tosses and runs the promotions that occur at TV timeouts and intermissions.

“When we made the decision to start a brand awareness campaign in Michigan, we knew that a long-term relationship with the Red Wings was the right choice due to the quality of the organization, the devotion of their fan base, and of course, their legacy of winning,” said Jerry Haines, director of marketing for Volunteer Energy. “The results have been great. We’re getting lots of recognition from our Volunteer Energy Red Patrol sponsorship, and it’s definitely making a positive impact on our growth in Michigan.”

Ayron Sequeira is the executive producer of event entertainment at The Joe, and, as the glue that holds together much of the off-ice arena experience. Sequeira is constantly in communication with the Volunteer Energy Red Patrol on a radio headset during games.

“The Volunteer Energy Red Patrol is an integral part of the game day experience simply because they act as brand ambassadors,” she said. “They’re the liaison between the Wings and the fans on game day.

“They really become part of the organization and part of the fan experience because they’re high-energy people that make fans smile. They fill the gap between what’s happening on the ice and what fans are hearing over the public address system.

That representation of the Wings extends beyond the arena experience, as the Volunteer Energy Red Patrol also attends the Meijer and Walmart player visits, HockeyFest, Fan Fest, away game viewing parties and school visits.

For Volunteer Energy, the collaboration with the Wings through the Red Patrol has resulted in increased exposure for the natural gas and electricity supplier.

Caitlin Powell, one of the six Volunteer Energy Red Patrol team members, got a spot on the squad when she asked the Wings before the season if they had an in-house promotion team. As this marks the first year of the Volunteer Energy Red Patrol, the current team members had to audition and complete two trial games before they were offered a spot.

“Probably my outgoing personality,” Powell said of what qualities made her a good candidate. “All of us are pretty outgoing, that’s what they’re looking for. We’re supposed to be the energetic ones in the game, getting the crowd riled up.”

Getting the crowd energized means that the four members who work each game on an alternating rotation are in constant motion each night. Powell estimates that the Volunteer Energy Red Patrol runs up and down at least 15-20 flights of stairs each night.

But when preparing for that nonstop activity, it doesn’t take much to get the crew amped up before a game as the members are all tightly-knit friends, having worked together at every home game this year.

“We run through the game and pretty much figure out what we have going on and make sure we have the prizes we need,” Powell said of the Volunteer Energy Red Patrol’s pregame activities. “Figure out who’s being where at what time and then just before the game we kind of just hang out and talk and that gets us fired up. We’re so close to each other that it’s like a little family.”

A graduate of Saginaw Valley State University, Powell also works for the Fox Theatre as an event operations assistant in addition to her position on the Volunteer Energy Red Patrol. She cites selecting children for the Zamboni rides as one of her favorite parts of the job.

“I love the little kids that get to ride the Zamboni,” Powell said. “They’re so excited. It makes their lifetime.”

Acting as a constant liaison between the fans and the action on the ice has given the Volunteer Energy Red Patrol a pretty good idea of what Wings fans are all about.

“A person that comes to the game in all of their Red Wings gear and then they’re attentive through the game, they know what’s going on,” Powell said. “They think they’re a ref too, you know. We’ve got some interesting Red Wings’ fans.”

You can find bios of the six members of the Volunteer Energy Red Patrol CLICK HERE.




1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47


D. Larkin 53 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 54 10 27 4 37
T. Tatar 53 16 17 0 33
G. Nyquist 54 14 16 0 30
P. Datsyuk 39 8 21 13 29
J. Abdelkader 54 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 40 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 50 7 8 13 15
P. Mrazek 21 10 4 .934 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89