Having the luxury of professional videography and stylish social media posts are rare in the realm of collegiate club hockey. With minimal funding, American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) teams delegate a small percentage of their earnings towards public relations, social media and videography.
The Icepack, on the other hand, is extremely lucky to have such a talented team of club members off the ice who dedicate so much of their time to help players and coaches reach an audience that most ACHA clubs could only dream of.
Zak Selwaeh, an NC State graduate, is now entering his fourth season with the Icepack media team. He got his start in 2019 as the social media coordinator but has since risen to the top of the ladder to serve as the director of media.
With the Icepack growing in popularity and becoming one of the more respectable sports teams at NC State, Selwaeh couldn’t imagine leaving the team after graduation.
“The one thing that stuck out to me the most is stability,” Selwaeh said. “So many things are happening in my life. People come and go, but the one thing that stays constant is my work with the team. I know I get to come to a rink full of amazing people on Friday and Saturday nights, and that's really why I stuck around, for the players and coaches, the fans, and the love of the game.”
Selwaeh and his team’s work over the years have elevated the Icepack’s platform to previously unseen heights, especially for a club team.
“Since the 2019 season when we went to nationals in Dallas, the kind of stigma surrounding our team has changed,” Selwaeh said. “Players want to come to this program. The boys like to have fun, but it's a program that everyone takes very seriously. The guys are training, working out and practicing during the offseason. This is basically a full-fledged college hockey program only without the money.”
One of Selwaeh’s most notable accomplishments with the team is his video series known as “Icepack: All Access.” Ever since its creation in 2020, it has blown up in popularity with fans and players alike.
“Not a lot of people know what goes on for a club team,” Selwaeh said. “We thought it would be a great idea to do something like that with a club hockey team because we get to elevate their platform and show that we don't have paid public relations people to help do all this stuff like making the schedule and booking hotels. I wanted to provide a true behind the scenes look into what it's like to play college hockey.”
Outside of videography, Selwaeh also has a huge role in managing social media pages for the club. One of his main goals is to make the Icepack accounts just as professional and engaging as other NC State sports teams.
“I think the one thing that I preach to my media team a lot is that we aren't just going to be the team that posts the bare minimum,” Selwaeh said. “We want to take it to the next level. We want to be engaging with our fans and communicate with them by doing these fun games and little things that you wouldn't expect from a club team.”
Luckily, Icepack fans won’t have to wait much longer for another exciting season. Selwaeh and his incredible social media team released the full 2022-23 schedule last week, with the team's home opener scheduled for Sept. 23 against the Drexel Dragons at Invisalign Arena, formerly known as the Wake Competition Center.