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stevkrause

NHL the #2 sport in America in 10 years

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Until there is ANY consistency in this league, it will continue to be a fringe league at best and viewed as such...

The league should pay Paul Tagliabue(former NFL commissioner) to be a consultant for league operations and hire an actual commissioner who knows the game for the game aspect.... *cough* Ken Dryden *cough*... then put another deputy commissioner who had final say over all discipline and rule aspects who was a smart guy and knew the game from a player perspective *cough* Brendan Shanahan *cough*

such a novel concept...

I guarantee if you made Dryden the commissioner, kept Campbell as one deputy commissioner, then split the duties and made Shanahan another deputy commissioner in charge of discipline and payed Tagliabue to consult from a business/operations standpoint, the NHL would be the #2 sport in America within 10 years...

no doubt.

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Yeah, I think one of the biggest things holding it down is the fact that people find it as a joke. Everytime you see NHL highlights on the news you see some botched call. When people see that they immediately think ahh what a joke, and change the channel.

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I doubt it.

The NHL will always struggle to get people involved because hockey isn't an easy game for fans to get into on their own. Gear is expensive, skating on ice or wheels is a talent few people are even interested in cultivating, and it's easier to get a full teams worth of people to play soccer, football, basketball, or baseball.

For those other sports all it takes is a ball and field, whereas hockey requires sticks, pucks, goals, possibly skates, and people who know how to actually hold sticks correctly and skate confidently. Not to take away from the many youth and minor leagues in the south, but hockey is very much a regional sport. That is the true challenge for the NHL to overcome.

The real solution is not moving rookies too quickly into prominent management roles, but for fans to do the work of converting friends and family to the sport. That is not happening. Here is what you can do. Turn off baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and encourage people to get behind their local team and get involved in playing the game themselves.

The leadership failure resides in the fanbase, not the management. The NHL management does a good job for the many very real obstacles against them.

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Getting rid of Bettman is probably step one. Losing Crysby as the golden child and replacing him with Ovie (already kind of happening) would be a good marketing step.

But number 2? Hopping basketball AND baseball? I mean, I'm all for it. But that's a little insane. It SHOULD be that way because baseball is horribly slow and boring while the ridiculous amount of foul calls in basketball ruin the sport.

I don't see it ever climbing higher than 3. It could beat basketball in the short term. It could eventually beat baseball when people become more intelligent. But I doubt it happens, unfortunately.

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Getting rid of Bettman is probably step one. Losing Crysby as the golden child and replacing him with Ovie (already kind of happening) would be a good marketing step.

But number 2? Hopping basketball AND baseball? I mean, I'm all for it. But that's a little insane. It SHOULD be that way because baseball is horribly slow and boring while the ridiculous amount of foul calls in basketball ruin the sport.

I don't see it ever climbing higher than 3. It could beat basketball in the short term. It could eventually beat baseball when people become more intelligent. But I doubt it happens, unfortunately.

America LOVES violence/physicality and speed, period... hence why UFC and Nascar do so well... both are very caveman sports and they FLOURISH...

What does the NHL have an abundance of? Speed and physicality - it just hasn't been marketed right...

and like you said, bare minimum, number 3... but it COULD overtake baseball if done right...

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nba

The NBA is the most horrible product in professional sports... the last 2 minutes of every game are free throw contests and it's consistency of calls is an even bigger joke than the NHL...

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Getting rid of Bettman is probably step one. Losing Crysby as the golden child and replacing him with Ovie (already kind of happening) would be a good marketing step.

Please don't ever get into marketing.

And no, the NHL would not. This is wishful thinking. The best the NHL can do, and has done, is be better than the NBA in terms of popularity. Not in my lifetime will it surpass the NFL or MLB unless something ridiculously catastrophic happens for either, and the chances of this happening are so slim it's not even worth vesting much time into.

But the good news is, I like the NHL because it is, at the moment, the best representation of hockey that I can see on TV. There is no requisite of being the most popular to be considered highly successful or even enjoyable.

Edited by Shoreline

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I doubt it.

The NHL will always struggle to get people involved because hockey isn't an easy game for fans to get into on their own. Gear is expensive, skating on ice or wheels is a talent few people are even interested in cultivating, and it's easier to get a full teams worth of people to play soccer, football, basketball, or baseball.

For those other sports all it takes is a ball and field, whereas hockey requires sticks, pucks, goals, possibly skates, and people who know how to actually hold sticks correctly and skate confidently. Not to take away from the many youth and minor leagues in the south, but hockey is very much a regional sport. That is the true challenge for the NHL to overcome.

The real solution is not moving rookies too quickly into prominent management roles, but for fans to do the work of converting friends and family to the sport. That is not happening. Here is what you can do. Turn off baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and encourage people to get behind their local team and get involved in playing the game themselves.

The leadership failure resides in the fanbase, not the management. The NHL management does a good job for the many very real obstacles against them.

Although I agree with you on all those aspects... it is not impossible - if marketed properly and they REALLY made good on their "Hockey is for everyone" push, it COULD be in every household, at the inline level at bare minimum... and then you have that personal connection...

it's all in marketing your product - The NFL is a LOT more than throwing a ball around and it's complex as hell when you break it down to brass tacks, but it's the undisputed champ right now and won't be knocked off that pedistal... because they run it right...

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Please don't ever get into marketing.

And no, the NHL would not. This is wishful thinking. The best the NHL can do, and has done, is be better than the NBA in terms of popularity. Not in my lifetime will it surpass the NFL or MLB unless something ridiculously catastrophic happens for either, and the chances of this happening are so slim it's not even worth vesting much time into.

But the good news is, I like the NHL because it is, at the moment, the best representation of hockey that I can see on TV. There is no requisite of being the most popular to be considered highly successful or even enjoyable.

nothing will surpass the NFL, that's why I said #2... and if you follow MLB, they're not far off from a full lost season due to a lockout... and are rapidly falling in popularity among non-hispanic american's...

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America LOVES violence/physicality and speed, period... hence why UFC and Nascar do so well... both are very caveman sports and they FLOURISH...

What does the NHL have an abundance of? Speed and physicality - it just hasn't been marketed right...

and like you said, bare minimum, number 3... but it COULD overtake baseball if done right...

Flourish? NASCAR is able to survive because of the southern states that worship the sport. UFC is essentially a fringe sport which in my opinion doesn't overtake hockey in popularity. People tune in every so often because they are curious from the fight.

Basketball has no violence yet is ranked 3rd.

Football does not have speed (multiple stops in play) yet is ranked 1st.

Baseball has neither violence or speed and is ranked 2nd.

It is not going to take over those three sports no matter what market you put in. The rules are complicated, people cannot relate to the sport like they can baseball, basketball, and football, and there isn't enough tradition in the majority of the US for there to have a large increase in growth.

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The NBA is the most horrible product in professional sports... the last 2 minutes of every game are free throw contests and it's consistency of calls is an even bigger joke than the NHL...

i know

yet it's still more successful than the nhl

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Flourish? NASCAR is able to survive because of the southern states that worship the sport. UFC is essentially a fringe sport which in my opinion doesn't overtake hockey in popularity. People tune in every so often because they are curious from the fight.

Basketball has no violence yet is ranked 3rd.

Football does not have speed (multiple stops in play) yet is ranked 1st.

Baseball has neither violence or speed and is ranked 2nd.

It is not going to take over those three sports no matter what market you put in. The rules are complicated, people cannot relate to the sport like they can baseball, basketball, and football, and there isn't enough tradition in the majority of the US for there to have a large increase in growth.

Majority of the US population is in the Northern States, California and Texas... Texas and California have already warmed up to hockey and in the north, it is more familiar... like I said, it will never surpass the NFL, but MLB is in for a major fall from grace within the next decade and the NBA is a joke... if the NHL did things right, they could take over #2 - and hockey is by NO means more difficult to understand than the NFL...

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Majority of the US population is in the Northern States, California and Texas... Texas and California have already warmed up to hockey and in the north, it is more familiar... like I said, it will never surpass the NFL, but MLB is in for a major fall from grace within the next decade and the NBA is a joke... if the NHL did things right, they could take over #2 - and hockey is by NO means more difficult to understand than the NFL...

I think it's within reason, but only if the US national team starts doing something in major tournaments. You can see a direct correlation between how popular a sport is, and how dominated it is by Americans (notice the NBA's popularity dipping with the increase in Euros, and MLBs domination with S. Americans.... it took super-juiced mega-hitters to make Americans remember baseball).

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Please don't ever get into marketing.

Please explain. Ovechkin is a much more exciting, explosive and physical player than Douchey McDoucheson. He's a walking highlight reel and is very personable to fans (even of opposing fanbases). Crosby, on the other hand, is generally hated by people outside of Pittsburgh and Canada. The market we're looking at is the US, which craves physicality and excitement and not douchiness. Crosby jumps people, hits them in the nads, whines a bunch and has pubes on his face.

So tell me, marketing guru, why not Ovechkin over Crosby?

*waits for the english-speaking argument*

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Please explain. Ovechkin is a much more exciting, explosive and physical player than Douchey McDoucheson. He's a walking highlight reel and is very personable to fans (even of opposing fanbases). Crosby, on the other hand, is generally hated by people outside of Pittsburgh and Canada. The market we're looking at is the US, which craves physicality and excitement and not douchiness. Crosby jumps people, hits them in the nads, whines a bunch and has pubes on his face.

So tell me, marketing guru, why not Ovechkin over Crosby?

*waits for the english-speaking argument*

Have you even followed Crosby and his career to understand why he's so marketed and marketable? Compared to Ovechkin who spent most of his time in Russia? The only reason you suggest this is viable is because of your obvious vitriol toward Crosby, and no other reason. Not much more to address than that.

nothing will surpass the NFL, that's why I said #2... and if you follow MLB, they're not far off from a full lost season due to a lockout... and are rapidly falling in popularity among non-hispanic american's...

I'm sorry, but what? Where are you getting any of this? The MLB is popular across the nation, and it is mostly popular because baseball is a sport that has more cultural and historical roots for this nation than hockey does. It has nothing to do with excitement, because baseball has always been boring as s*** to watch. (<-- personal opinion for those who couldn't figure it out)

I'm shaking my head in confusion as to how you can possibly believe the NHL will pass the MLB in popularity. A rather large chunk of this nation doesn't even care about hockey -- at all. I know you like hockey and so do I. It's my favorite sport and I follow the league corresponding to this sport more than any other, but you are severely inflating the popularity (and even projections of popularity in the future) of the NHL to rather insane and unrealistic levels.

Edited by Shoreline

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Please explain. Ovechkin is a much more exciting, explosive and physical player than Douchey McDoucheson. He's a walking highlight reel and is very personable to fans (even of opposing fanbases). Crosby, on the other hand, is generally hated by people outside of Pittsburgh and Canada. The market we're looking at is the US, which craves physicality and excitement and not douchiness. Crosby jumps people, hits them in the nads, whines a bunch and has pubes on his face.

So tell me, marketing guru, why not Ovechkin over Crosby?

*waits for the english-speaking argument*

The English speaking and looks argument CAN be made, because it's legit... even though Crosby is a whiny little *****, he speaks English and French fluently(the two most important to know to be an NHL marketing face) and he's a pretty boy...

All real fans will gravitate to Ovechkin first, but a woman, or someone with little knowledge of the game, will gravitate to Crosby... it's all about expanding to new markets, not the ones you already have...

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Have you even followed Crosby and his career to understand why he's so marketed and marketable? Compared to Ovechkin who spent most of his time in Russia? The only reason you suggest this is viable is because of your obvious vitriol toward Crosby, and no other reason. Not much more to address than that.

I'm sorry, but what? Where are you getting any of this? The MLB is popular across the nation, and it is mostly popular because baseball is a sport that has more cultural and historical roots for this nation than hockey does. It has nothing to do with excitement, because baseball has always been boring as s*** to watch. (<-- personal opinion for those who couldn't figure it out)

I'm shaking my head in confusion as to how you can possibly believe the NHL will pass the MLB in popularity. A rather large chunk of this nation doesn't even care about hockey -- at all. I know you like hockey and so do I. It's my favorite sport and I follow the league corresponding to this sport more than any other, but you are severely inflating the popularity (and even projections of popularity in the future) of the NHL to rather insane and unrealistic levels.

once again... it is not there now... not even CLOSE... but over time, if done right, it COULD make the HUGE leap like the NFL did in the late 80's through 90's... I'm not saying it will be easy, but it COULD be done...

Also, I think you are GROSSLY overselling the MLB's popularity in today's society... and overlooking the fact that MLB may be facing yet ANOTHER work stoppage VERY soon, which always opens a door...

Edited by stevkrause

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I think it's within reason, but only if the US national team starts doing something in major tournaments. You can see a direct correlation between how popular a sport is, and how dominated it is by Americans (notice the NBA's popularity dipping with the increase in Euros, and MLBs domination with S. Americans.... it took super-juiced mega-hitters to make Americans remember baseball).

I don't think that has much to do with it. Football is the most popular sport in the US and there are no international tournaments. Baseball is no longer in the Olympics. People don't care about the Olympics and such as much as they used to.

I see the real issue with accessibility to the sport. In the US, I would venture a guess that almost every high school in America has at least one of football, basketball, or baseball offered as varsity sports, and probably a great majority offer all 3. How many offer ice hockey? You need some combination of a large enough metro area to support a rink (with activities besides HS hockey), a community with some money, and a region that historically supports hockey (basically the Northeast and some Midwest). I'd be surprised if even 50% of school districts in Michigan have hockey programs. My hometown (Big Rapids) was the only high school in the region that offered ice hockey if I do recall, and none of our prominent rivals/conference mates did.

I don't think the NHL has a chance to be the #2 sport in the US because of the dearth of high school level programs. It's fairly easy to field high school football, baseball and basketball. Every school has a gym for basketball and it serves as a multipurpose space for assemblies or other sports. Baseball diamonds and football fields are relatively cheap to maintain when you just need to cut the grass and put up some cheap bleachers. Hockey? You need a substantial investment to create a large indoor, refrigerated building that for all intents and purposes is just a single use structure. It costs a lot to maintain.

I also agree with those earlier that stated the cost to enter the sport is difficult too, because of the need for a lot of specialized equipment and space as opposed to the other sports.

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Have you even followed Crosby and his career to understand why he's so marketed and marketable? Compared to Ovechkin who spent most of his time in Russia? The only reason you suggest this is viable is because of your obvious vitriol toward Crosby, and no other reason. Not much more to address than that.

Flat out, irrevocably wrong. Completely wrong.

At this point, every one within the hockey circles has awoken to Ovie being the more marketable of the two, and it's simply the truth. Ovechkin is the one of the two that's on sportcenter regularly, he's the one with the exuberance, the personality that draws fans. Why is the NBA more popular than the NHL? Jordan, Bird, Magic. And each one of them had Ovie's kind of personality. Crosby has zero personality, which is why he simply isn't nearly as marketable. He has yet to have a SINGLE memorable quote or celebrity-affirming moment off the ice, and he looks like a deer in the headlights in front of cameras and during public events. He looked as dumb as Dukakis in his stupid militarized homecoming parade with the cup over the summer.

This is all why Ovechkin, and NOT Crosby, is the one with mega marketing contract, why he was the first NHLer to get a huge bio on ESPN, and why he's the face of the league until he loses it (by under performing, not winning a cup, or doing more stupid knee to knees).

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once again... it is not there now... not even CLOSE... but over time, if done right, it COULD make the HUGE leap like the NFL did in the late 80's through 90's... I'm not saying it will be easy, but it COULD be done...

Also, I think you are GROSSLY overselling the MLB's popularity in today's society...

The MLB represents baseball. Baseball for Americans isn't just a sport, which you still aren't looking at, and merely mention popularity which is another failure to recognize what impact baseball has here. You somehow think that in some ambiguous time span that baseball will (or "can") lose it's cultural roots with this country and suddenly hockey will step on in? Hockey, as a sport, does not have a foundation that baseball does, here, which is, again, more than simple popularity. How do you develop something to be more popular where there is little-to-no development nor interest? Do you honestly believe that baseball could, in the next, oh, 50 years, bow to hockey in states like -- California, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and so on? The reason it has any popularity in this country is because of permitting weather that makes hockey viable to play in certain parts, and thus fosters interest and then development. This is why anyone would laugh at the suggestion that any other sport, especially one like baseball, would overtake hockey in Canada. I like the fact that you're thinking positive, but you're going way out in space and need to come back to Earth and first understand baseball and it's roots here to be able to first make a decent comparison to hockey.

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Flat out, irrevocably wrong. Completely wrong.

At this point, every one within the hockey circles has awoken to Ovie being the more marketable of the two, and it's simply the truth. Ovechkin is the one of the two that's on sportcenter regularly, he's the one with the exuberance, the personality that draws fans. Why is the NBA more popular than the NHL? Jordan, Bird, Magic. And each one of them had Ovie's kind of personality. Crosby has zero personality, which is why he simply isn't nearly as marketable. He has yet to have a SINGLE memorable quote or celebrity-affirming moment off the ice, and he looks like a deer in the headlights in front of cameras and during public events. He looked as dumb as Dukakis in his stupid militarized homecoming parade with the cup over the summer.

This is all why Ovechkin, and NOT Crosby, is the one with mega marketing contract, why he was the first NHLer to get a huge bio on ESPN, and why he's the face of the league until he loses it (by under performing, not winning a cup, or doing more stupid knee to knees).

Jordan, Bird, and Magic were all Americans, spoke English fluently, and were marketed the moment they stepped onto the court, and it was predicted this would happen. The most marketable people are marketed for a long time, and you can foresee the continuation of that. If you ever watched Crosby before he came to the NHL, you knew he was going to be highly marketed in this league. You did not know that of Ovechkin. Why? He was not here, and he was not pushed and given the attention Crosby was. These other attributes you state have nothing to do with marketing. The only way to see the viability of marketing is by sales and attention. Let's see. Crosby comes and suddenly the seats in Pittsburgh fill up. Crosby comes and suddenly Crosby jerseys sell more than any other. Crosby comes, and even before he came, and suddenly every media outlet is paying attention to him. I think we have a winner. It's flat out that obvious, and again, the only arguments I've seen against Crosby being the most marketable all come down to vitriol and dislike toward him and nothing to do with marketing.

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Have you even followed Crosby and his career to understand why he's so marketed and marketable? Compared to Ovechkin who spent most of his time in Russia? The only reason you suggest this is viable is because of your obvious vitriol toward Crosby, and no other reason. Not much more to address than that.

No other reason? Yeah, you didn't read my post. I understand Crosby is a great player (uggh, that hurt), but I'm saying Ovechkin is where the money is at. I see people liking him much easier than Crosby.

But it's moot, because both are being marketed pretty well now I guess.

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