Ex-Kelowna Rocket JT Barnett has constructed an enormous following on social media – WHL
A former Kelowna Rockets striker has turned his passion for content creation into a huge success story.
JT Barnett played 249 games in the WHL, 42 of them in the Rockets. Barnett spends his time creating social media content and has over 100,000 followers on Instagram and over a million on TikTok. The social media influencer says he discovered his passion for content creation during his WHL career.
“I hung up and made music in my bedroom in a family house, I did a little photography, I did a little video, but when I was in Kelowna it wasn’t that prominent, but I did all of that and was in that too social media very active. That got me fired up with hockey, ”said Barnett.
When Barnett retired from his WHL career in 2013, it became clear that he wanted to get into content creation and become a full-time social media influencer. He also credits his fiancé, who was also very passionate about content creation, for getting him into the business.
“My girlfriend then, now fiancé, did it for her job when I was still playing for the past few years, so I was like, ‘Okay, I want to do that too,'” said Barnett.
The 29-year-old also founded a hockey brand called Triple Deke, whose goal is to show the side of hockey players when they’re not on the ice in hopes of making the game accessible to younger generations and those who do ‘Expand’ doesn’t necessarily follow hockey.
“I wanted to create a brand that would appeal to all generations of generations to come and help them document their lifestyles and get content out so that people who know or don’t know these players can get a deeper insight into who the players are as people that’s how you really fall in love with a player, ”said Barnett.
Triple Deke has built a fan base of 130,000 on Instagram and can be found here.
Barnett said his time with the Rockets in Kelowna was something he still cherishes and loves today.
“It was by far my favorite place to play. We had a great team, I was 20 years old, so I felt like a father figure on that team, my mother grew up in Kelowna and my grandfather, whom I never met, the press box was named after him. So, the kind of history I have in this town I can’t believe in any higher light than what I do now, ”said Barnett.
Barnett said his path as a social media influencer isn’t clear as expectations are constantly changing due to the fast-paced environment, but his goal is to become a teacher.
“I want to teach in a traditional college professor setting, but I want to do it on a much larger scale, where I start my own academy, college, or school where I teach people how to live a lifestyle and a business creates around the things they are interested in. I would do it by helping these creators start their business and grow it into bigger businesses, ”Barnett tells Castanet.
Barnett, who now calls Los Angeles home, said he was considering buying a second home in Kelowna one day, believing that Okanagan’s largest city is an entrepreneurial hub for creators like himself and his fiancé Sam .