According to an email sent to Capitals Spirit Squad members and forwarded to RMNB by a source, the Washington Capitals are discontinuing the group primarily made up of former Red Rocker cheerleaders and launching a new group called the ALL CAPS CREW next season.
The ALL CAPS CREW will be departing from “dancing, choreography, the use of poms, the need for glamorized hair and makeup, and the use of form-fitting uniforms.” Team members will not be constricted by gender and be selected through an application and interview process. People who apply will be required to pass a general ice skating test and expected to work 30-plus home games next season.
Here are the relevant parts of the announcement from the Capitals’ Senior Director of Game Presentation, Tyler Hines.
For the last two seasons, the mission of the “ALL CAPS” marketing campaign has been to connect people of all backgrounds and levels of fandom to the Capitals brand. The effort has been a major success, capitalizing on the Stanley Cup win and holding strong even after a playoff loss this past season. It’s safe to say that “ALL CAPS” is here to stay.
Therefore to bolster the campaign, we are launching the all-new ALL CAPS CREW, which will be comprised of individuals who can best personify the essence of ALL CAPS as brand ambassadors at games, appearances, and team events.
On the surface, the above statement might feel similar to the mission of the Caps Spirit Squad, or even of the Red Rockers. However, the practical application of the ALL CAPS CREW will feature several key departures from both CSS & the Red Rockers that will ultimately make this much more than just a name change.
– Team Duties – The ALL CAPS CREW’s primary focus will now be an interpersonal communication with fans which will be vastly more important than appearing on camera or hyping the crowd during gameplay. Execution of in-game promos, on-ice games, handling contestants, and participation in special ceremonies will still be components of the job, as will attending select external MSE events. But items traditionally associated with cheerleading are no longer part of the job description, meaning dancing, choreography, the use of poms, the need for glamorized hair and makeup, and the use of form-fitting uniforms are all going by the wayside permanently. The team will be more functional than it is showy in an effort to A) form a deeper connection with the fan base, and B) become more integral to the nuts and bolts of the in-game show.
At this time, it’s unknown when or if the Capitals will ask for public applications to the ALL CAPS CREW.
The move marks an end of an era. The Red Rockers were first instituted by the Capitals in 2008 and featured many successful women on their rosters who were much, much more than a pretty face. From teachers and business leaders to doctors and to Air Force veterans, the Red Rockers and later the Caps Spirit Squad were passionate Caps fans and leaders in the community who dedicated a lot of their free time to the team.
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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