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18 / Winter 2013 / RECORD
FEATURE STORY
G
ary Meagher, a three-
year hockey defenceman
with the Mounties, never
thought his English and
history degree would lead
him to work with some
of the most celebrated athletes in the
world of sport and his job as the executive
vice-president of communications for the
National Hockey League (NHL).
After graduation, he completed a one-year
sports administration diploma at Concor-
dia, then landed a public relations intern-
ship at the NHL. He never left.
For 31 years, Meagher has been working to
communicate and spread his love of hockey
to the world, work he does not consider a
job, but an opportunity to enjoy his passion.
Meagher is in charge of hockey communi-
cations (hockey operations, information,
games, media, safety, discipline, rules);
business communications (entertainment,
international and corporate events); and
editorial content on the web (NHL.com),
for the NHL, which has grown from a
$300-million business to a $3.3-billion one
over the past 30 years. Meagher splits his
time between New York City and Toronto.
He says the most enjoyable challenge every
day at work is to "try to move the needle"
-- join the fans with the sports and connect
with the people in every way.
Meagher's job falls under the large commu-
nications umbrella -- a multifaceted opera-
tion that has expanded incredibly over the
years. He says it is important for the orga-
nization to stay proactive, to stay ahead, to
offer better services, and to somehow be dif-
ferent in such a way that the organization
stands out and makes an impression on its
more than 1.5 million Twitter followers
and 2.5 million Facebook supporters.
Meagher says social media has really
impacted the organization.
"We have to stay ahead of the curve by
continually planning and communicating
with our public, fans, broadcasters, and
players. Social media has empowered them
to expect answers and receive information
immediately and with total transparency,"
he says. "Some days, yes, we have to deal
with crisis communications over things
like fighting issues, or collective bargaining,
but also it's imperative that we continue to
get our positive messaging out about such
things as the NHL's innovative and com-
prehensive program on concussion control.
We have to work 24-7 to stay connected and
to continue to spread the good word about
some of our other proactive future plans."
With a solid educational foundation
under his belt, Meagher graduated in just
three years from Mount Allison, ending
his playing days as a Mountie. But he grate-
fully acknowledges that he has been lucky,
graduating from a university that offered
an education that was second-to-none and
landing his dream job.
"Not only do I get to meet many of the
greatest ambassadors of the game I love,
I have witnessed -- live -- 30 straight
Stanley Cup finals, and have worked on
the international stage at the past three
Winter Olympics. These are experiences I
will never, never forget."
by Sue Seaborn
Facing off for the NHL
Gary Meagher ('80) has spent over 30 years indulging his passion
for hockey as a communications specialist for the NHL
"
"
Not only do I get to meet many of the
greatest ambassadors of the game I
love, I have witnessed -- live -- 30
straight Stanley Cup finals, and have
worked on the international stage at the
past three Winter Olympics. These are
experiences I will never, never forget