Catholic sports fan Clayton Imoo, pictured playing the organ before a Canucks game in 2016, sees his video blogs, sports commentaries and viral music parodies as an extension of his ministry. Photo courtesy of Clayton Imoo

A Canucks’ fan scores: Authentic relationships through digital ministry

By  Agnieszka Ruck, Canadian Catholic News
  • January 23, 2019

VANCOUVER – He isn’t a famous hockey player, but when Clayton Imoo puts on a jersey and attends a Canucks game, he is always stopped by a few fans.

The sports and family vlogger has more than 3,000 followers each on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. His many videos — which include commentary on Canuck games, musical parodies and general life advice — average hundreds of views.

“How Swede it is to be Deked by You,” a song parody dedicated to famed young Canuck player Elias Pettersson, has been seen on Twitter nearly 35,000 times, including by Pettersson himself.

“It’s nice,” said Imoo. “It’s not about the ego. I recognize what I’m doing has an impact on people.”

An associate director for ministries and outreach for the Archdiocese of Vancouver, Imoo sees his online presence as something other than an attempt to grasp some digital popularity.

“Because of my ministry background, I’m about building authentic relationships,” said Imoo, who converted to Catholicism in 1993 and served in youth ministry in the archdiocese for 15 years. 

“Whether I’m talking about my favourite hockey team, or a parenting success or failure over the weekend, or how my kids are growing up, or how I pray for my family, or how we can all pray for this or that, I want to build authentic relationships.”

To that aim, Imoo records hockey updates daily; “car chats” about life, family and career three times a week; and occasional sports-related music videos. He talks openly about his faith and family of five and won’t resist a shout-out to people he met online or at Canuck games.

“I want people to get to know me, not because I think I’m so popular, but I believe I have something to share and I believe I can positively impact people’s lives.”

It has. The 44-year hockey enthusiast has established an online community for Canuck fans and received requests for speaking engagements, for additional parodies, and even to officiate a wedding for one of his followers. (He declined).

“I do like to be an open book, so to speak. I just want to live as a witness of God’s love and God’s mercy, and videos are the way to go.” 

If viewers react by saying: “You are authentic; I believe it when you talk,” Imoo said, “that’s the most important thing to me.”

It’s no secret Imoo is a Catholic. He frequently mentions his work at the Archdiocese of Vancouver in his videos, signs off Canuck commentaries and car chat videos alike with “God Bless,” and even challenged Archbishop J. Michael Miller to a bad joke contest that has been viewed more than 12,000 times.

Despite his numerous online successes and viral posts, Imoo was caught by surprise when he won Best Video Marketing Creator Award from Vancouver’s first annual Canadian Video Marketing Awards in November 2018.

He was invited to the conference as a panelist and was about to speak alongside three other creatives when the award was announced.

“His videos are informative, funny, and relevant. He’s always on top of what’s happening in sports and also musically and culturally,” Darian Kovacs, who nominated Imoo for the award, told the B.C. Catholic.

Kovacs, a founder of marketing and public relations firm Jelly Marketing, took note of Imoo’s engaging style. 

“His videos are clean and inspiring; you can see his heart and the work that goes into them.” 

Imoo was floored by the recognition. 

He continues creating Canuck commentaries, musical parodies and other videos, and looks forward to a bad joke video rematch with Miller. He’s hoping his work can, in some way, inspire his viewers.

“I always pray about it and say: ‘Is this going to bless someone, or is this to serve my ego?’ ”

(The B.C. Catholic)

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