There’s a saying in hockey—and in business—that goes, “Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it has been.” The phrase was coined by the father of the NHL’s all-time scoring leader, Wayne Gretzky, but corporations have probably put it to use more than anyone else.
At Domo, we like the metaphor not only because we pride ourselves on anticipation and agility, but because we actually sponsor a hockey team—and have since 2014. In fact, one of the greatest moments in company history—which spans a full decade now—happened on the ice.
The year was 2016, the setting was Las Vegas, and the time was only a few hours after most of the players on the Domo Dusters had finally cashed out at the casino.
Only four Dusters were able to make it to the arena in time for the opening faceoff of a tournament game against a club from Los Angeles, but it didn’t matter.
While his opponents were still giggling at the two-man discrepancy, Dusters center Tom Anderson took the puck and quickly passed it to a teammate, who attempted a shot on goal that was redirected into the top of the net by Domo’s chief design officer, Chris Willis.
“The laughing stopped right then,” Chris remembered, “but it didn’t change anything.”
By the end of the first period, the Dusters had a 4-1 lead—and a fan in the stands in the form of their own netminder.
“As I skated over to the bench,” Chris said, “I glanced over to the corner of the rink and saw (Domo goalie) Andrew Via standing behind the glass, fully dressed and grinning. He’d clearly taken great joy in quietly watching us build such an advantage, short-handed. I’ll never forget it.”
For Chris, who insists everyone on the Dusters roster bleeds “true blue” despite the fact he is actually the only player on the Domo payroll, the memory is vivid because it perfectly embodies what he and his teammates mean when they talk about “Domo hockey.”
“When we’re playing ‘Domo hockey,’” he said, “we’re outsmarting the opponent and controlling the game by controlling the puck.”
If records are anything to go by, the Dusters play “Domo hockey” a lot. Since forming just over six years ago, the team, which competes in the Salt Lake County Adult League’s highest division, has gone undefeated five times in winter and three times in summer.
Given that there are about 20 games in a season, that equates to one impressive winning percentage. So, what’s the secret?
“We realized early on that we didn’t need to have the fastest or biggest players,” Chris said. “We just needed an exceptional goalie, hustle, and great hockey IQ. And that’s exactly what we have.”
Due to COVID-19, the Dusters haven’t felt the thrill of victory for quite some time. They’ve been away from the ice since last February, and they’re itching to get back on it. They not only want to strut their stuff again; they want to build on the success they’ve enjoyed over the years.
“The team is a lot like what you’ll find at Domo,” Chris said. “Everyone has bought into the vision—or, in hockey terms, the system.
“Whether you’re trying to build a multi-billion-dollar company or a winning adult-league hockey team, the fundamental ingredient is shared purpose with sacrifice. Everyone needs to be working in concert, with everything they have. And everyone needs to be willing to adjust from time to time, in order to overcome whatever challenges come along.”
If you have the same DNA as the Dusters, as well as a desire to be a Domosapien, click here to view our open job roles and apply for the position that best matches your interest and skillset.