Zac Bell, or @AlwaysHockey as he’s known online, has become one of the world's most recognizable hockey stars on social media.
The former Orillia Terrier and North Central Predator has scored tens of millions of views on TikTok for his hockey trick-shot videos. Bell’s unique content has connected him with mainstream audiences outside of hockey and earned him partnerships with big brands, top teams, and media outlets.
“I’ve been doing my best to create exciting brand content,” Bell said in an email to OrilliaMatters. “I’ve been performing at live events, attending events, meeting many new people from all walks of life, and most importantly growing the best game on earth.”
Recently, he teamed up with Crown Royal to create his own limited-edition Crown Royal bag for the Pass the Crown campaign.
“It’s all about reimagining the definition of modern royalty,” he said of the campaign. “I had the chance to work with Toronto visual artist Adeyemi Adegbesan, known as Yung Yemi. We sat down for a one-on-one collaboration session, where he picked my brain to pull inspiration for a new design for Crown Royal’s iconic purple bag.”
More on Bell’s and Adegbesan’s collaboration can be found here.
Crown Royal isn’t the only unique partnership Bell has made. In November, Bauer created and stocked a custom hockey stick for him, the first of its kind for a non-professional player. In February, Bell participated at the NHL’s All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas, and in June he performed at the Memorial Cup during an intermission.
“My content has evolved with these new opportunities,” he said. “It’s allowed me to connect with some well-known talents and connect with people who have been an inspiration on my journey.”
With his career as a social media content creator, Bell’s love for hockey continues to grow, he explained. While he always dreamed of playing in the NHL, concussions during his college career south of the border forced him to give up that dream.
However, he couldn't give up on hockey and discovered a new dream — as a hockey 'jedi' who is known far and wide for, among other things, the hockey tricks he creates videos of for his social media platforms.
“I’m so grateful that I get to share my passion with the world and introduce the sport to some who have never seen it,” he said.
More recently, Bell has been busy acting in his first movie that is being shot in Charleston, S.C.
“There’s a few more cool projects in the works for later this year that I can’t share details on just yet,” he teased.
Bell, 22, believes he can carve a successful career out of his AlwaysHockey brand.
“We are really just getting started,” he said. “It’s only been a couple of years and I have plans on expanding outside of hockey and into mainstream markets.”
His passion for growing the game will keep him motivated and engaged with his brand for years to come.
“I enjoy interacting with my fans at events and in public, and seeing the smile on their faces,” he said. “I just want to be a positive role model for them and continue to grow the game we all love.”