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  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Oiga

Carolina Hurricanes Reclaim the Commentary

Updated: May 27, 2019


This is a project focused on athlete-focused marketing techniques reposted here for archival purposes.


This season, the Carolina Hurricanes launched a unique campaign founded in the very criticism directed at the team. Taking the heat into their own hands, the Hurricanes not only reclaimed Don Cherry’s “Bunch of Jerks” comment, but harnessed it into a successful marketing campaign.

Led by this season’s newly captained Justin Williams, the Hurricanes began The Surge, a post-win tradition at home games where the team performs a short but elaborate on-ice celebration. Although fun for the home crowd, The Surge was quickly criticized by commentators around the league, most notably by Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry, who called the Hurricanes “a bunch of jerks” for orchestrating and participating in the celebration.

Instead of taking a hit from the criticism, the Hurricanes adopted and reclaimed the phrase. Riding the high of the controversy, the organization began using #BunchOfJerks throughout its social media and encouraged their audience to use it, as well. Already in the spotlight, they were able to utilize the attention and further gain from it. It gained so much traction that the Hurricanes released official “Bunch of Jerks” apparel and players were regularly asked about it, even further pushing the campaign.

Stemming from a tradition coined by players, the Carolina Hurricanes spun the controversial narrative into the organization’s favor and was able to snatch a unique opportunity.




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