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Barrie

NHL Martketing Opportunity

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NHL marketing in southern non-traditional hockey markets needs to include a lot of different strategies and actions than the rest of the NHL. The OP's idea is but one of them.

Hockey will never be as big as basketball or football in the US.

You can buy a basketball for $10 and go to the park and play for years for free, at anytime of day, with any number of people including solo,for as long as you want, during which time a kid can build dreams, skills, and competitive drive that will last him a lifetime. In years to come, he will get tickets to the KNicks game because of the passion hebuilt for the game as a kid. He will relate to basketball.

You need to be able to play a game spontaneously, when you feel like it, for as long as you feel like it, in order to really build that skill level. Following the rink schedule, even if your parents can afford it and are willing to sacrifice their free time to drive you there all the frikin time, is uncomparatively limiting.

Part of this argument is about rink access. Hockey is not that different from basketball, in that you don't even need a rink or a park to just practice day in and day out. Goalies have the most expensive stuff and the other equipment can be borrowed - you

and it's game on. Athletic facilities to accommodate rinks can be multi-purposed in a modern setting, as well.

At a basic level, non-professional hockey is a lot of fun. No disrespect to basketball, but I don't think rink access is a reason to discourage one sport over the other, that's for sure. Any player that takes the sport seriously is going to invest in themselves and part of that will be seeking out better equipment, facilities and competition. Passion is the drive to struggle, overcome and succeed at a personal level. Whether you're at a frozen lake, in a driveway, paved park or arena rink, I think hockey builds positive team dynamics - clutch players don't completely overshadow the rest of the game - every line has to be ready to go and every line is has to battle and improvise solutions where there don't seem to be any.

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What the NHL CAN do is support in-line hockey in southern zones. NO, it's NOT identical, but many of the skills are fungible to ice hockey, and which is better, kids showing NO interest in hockey or playing stickball as a way of moving up to baseball?

Secondly, even people I know who aren't big hockey fans (and who watched the Olympics) all commented on the bigger rink. In my mind this is a no-brainer...as rinks in the NHL are replaced/refurbished, they should have to meet Olympic standards. The bigger rink absolutely showcases better talent, in my opinion. Secondly, it could be a marketing thing kind of like the American League playing the National League...think of all the mileage they get out of something as stupid as a designated hitter. With two styles of rinks evolving, announcers and fans can debate which team has the advantage in which rink, etc. As the older rinks disappear, the few "small" rinks will have a cache' like Wrigley Field.

Just my thoughts.

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The NHL MUST get back on ESPN! This way, they will have it on sportscenter, and people who watch sportscenter will be able to see fight/goal highlights. First step, get on ESPN ASAP.

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donfishmaster and T.Low have great ideas.

Since it doesn't snow enough or rarely snows or doesn't snow at all in certain geographical locations in the South, promote inline hockey.

And also, as much as I don't like race to factor in much of anything in life, Iginla would be a great selling item. He's one of the better players in the game, and while players of African descent won't be in a majority in the NHL anytime soon, it would be great to put one of the few blacks front and center. Especially during Black History Month/February. The Olympics obviously were front and center this time, but next season, could tie in Iginla and other blacks (Grier, forgot the guy's name who plays with the Kings, etc.) with Black History Months

With TV, for me personally I don't care if the games are on Versus or not, just be available somewhere. But I'm not the casual fan. Say what you want about ESPN, it is more available than Versus is in households.

And it has probably already been said, but promote more American players given the recent success of the Olympic team. There was a goalie on that did really well you know... *hint hint, nudge nudge*

Finally, show off more of the talent in the NHL that are just as capable of taking over a game instead of just Nothing But Crosby (and Ovechkin to a lesser degree). Kane, Zetterberg, Toews, Franzen, Gionta, Ryan, Datsyuk (obviously more familiar with Wings players obviously but you get the picture), etc.

EDIT: One more idea from the brain... Also, promote how women can get involved in hockey as well and plugging it in with female causes that are familiar to everybody year round, like Breast Cancer.

Edited by SouthernWingsFan

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#1 way to market better to Americans?

Get rid of this guy:

gary-bettman1.jpg

A majority of the owners love him. Stop going to games, watching the games and then maybe the owners will get the hint.

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Hard to market a sport that isn't on television.

It would be like marketing the English Premiere League here in the USA. Actually, that's not a good example, because espn frequently shows soccer games from around Europe. :)

Anyway, you get the point.

The NHL is on regional Fox networks, Versus and NBC ... you know that network that broadcasted the Olympics. Or did you miss that too?

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The NHL MUST get back on ESPN! This way, they will have it on sportscenter, and people who watch sportscenter will be able to see fight/goal highlights. First step, get on ESPN ASAP.

Yeah because the NHL on ESPN worked so well previously. Not.

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The NHL is on regional Fox networks, Versus and NBC ... you know that network that broadcasted the Olympics. Or did you miss that too?

Regional networks are not broadcasted nationally and NBC is a s***ty channel that only shows one game per week and only starts showing games in January.

Compared to the other sports leagues, that's not very good exposure. I don't know how you can be satisfied with that.

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Yeah because the NHL on ESPN worked so well previously. Not.

Actually, when the NHL had a contract with ESPN it was great. Lots of premier games were aired on Wednesday/Thursday nights and you just knew that any game between Colorado and Detroit would get aired. The lockout is what killed the NHL on ESPN.

To respond to the OP and other general posts, I absolutely would love to see more players marketed/advertised. There are a ton of great players in this league from all different teams that get absolutely no exposure because it's Crosby or bust. Peoples' problems with Crosby's marketing have nothing to do with his talent, but rather the over-saturation of the market with his face. There isn't just one guy in baseball or basketball or football....there's a ton of great players in each sport that get a lot of coverage. Why can't the same be said for the NHL? Emphasize American players if you want to get the US more interested in the sport. Emphasize some great European players like Ovechkin or any number of the Swedish players scattered everywhere. What I loved about the Olympics was you had announcers (at least on the feeds I was watching) talking about EVERYONE out there how good they were on their respective teams, and what their numbers were like so far this season.....things that would make someone go "hey....I wanna see more of that guy."

It's almost embarrassingly funny how the NHL thinks that the hopes and dreams of the entire sport rest on one guy's yambag.

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Should they? Yes. Will they? Probably not; marketing the team in Phoenix is job #1 right now for the League.

And Colorado too, suprisingly.

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Yeah because the NHL on ESPN worked so well previously. Not.

Then what's your solution then?

Versus treats the NHL very well, yes, but it isn't as widely available and they aren't on DirecTV anymore. The conference that my alma mater is in also has a good percentage of their national sports braodcasts on Versus. My conference doesn't have a TV deal with ESPN. I personally reach out to see these games and take the extra effort because I am a fan of the NHL and my school obviously, but the casual viewer isn't going to see these games or give a lick as much. Schools from the Big 12 and the Pac 10 also have football broadcasts on Versus also and therefore there is availability issues. Just trying to show that this isn't just an NHL problem either with Versus.

ESPN is more widely available than Versus.

What do you suggest?

Edited by SouthernWingsFan

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Then what's your solution then?

Versus treats the NHL very well, yes, but it isn't as widely available and they aren't on DirecTV anymore. The conference that my alma mater is in also has a good percentage of their national sports braodcasts on Versus, as well as schools from the Big 12 and the Pac 10. These schools have availability issues as well.

ESPN is more widely available than Versus.

That's my only problem with Versus, is that its not readily available to everyone like ESPN is. Other than that, I think Versus hockey coverage is fine.

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Actually, when the NHL had a contract with ESPN it was great. Lots of premier games were aired on Wednesday/Thursday nights and you just knew that any game between Colorado and Detroit would get aired. The lockout is what killed the NHL on ESPN.

To respond to the OP and other general posts, I absolutely would love to see more players marketed/advertised. There are a ton of great players in this league from all different teams that get absolutely no exposure because it's Crosby or bust. Peoples' problems with Crosby's marketing have nothing to do with his talent, but rather the over-saturation of the market with his face. There isn't just one guy in baseball or basketball or football....there's a ton of great players in each sport that get a lot of coverage. Why can't the same be said for the NHL? Emphasize American players if you want to get the US more interested in the sport. Emphasize some great European players like Ovechkin or any number of the Swedish players scattered everywhere. What I loved about the Olympics was you had announcers (at least on the feeds I was watching) talking about EVERYONE out there how good they were on their respective teams, and what their numbers were like so far this season.....things that would make someone go "hey....I wanna see more of that guy."

It's almost embarrassingly funny how the NHL thinks that the hopes and dreams of the entire sport rest on one guy's yambag.

This is the key. You want Americans to get more into the NHL, market the Americans--Miller, Parise, etc. Wow, what a concept.

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This is the key. You want Americans to get more into the NHL, market the Americans--Miller, Parise, etc. Wow, what a concept.

Something the NHL still hasn't figured out.

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i agree with the "promote americans in america" or promoting players that play for local teams. instead of showing crosby n ovechkin every two seconds everywhere in america

also get rid of the instigator rule... americans love watching people fight (pretty well proved with ufc) why is fighting discouraged?

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<!--quoteo(post=1907979:date=March 2, 2010 - 03:20PM:name=auxlepli)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (auxlepli @ March 2, 2010 - 03:20PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1907979"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Yeah because the NHL on ESPN worked so well previously. Not.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

The lockout is what killed the NHL on ESPN.

Yep, and ESPN didn't have faith in the NHL when it came back.

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<!--quoteo(post=1907979:date=March 2, 2010 - 02:20PM:name=auxlepli)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (auxlepli @ March 2, 2010 - 02:20PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1907979"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Yeah because the NHL on ESPN worked so well previously. Not.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Then what's your solution then?

What do you suggest?

Continue to grow the game with Versus and NBC.

Also, seek other networks ... CBS and Fox. Many teams are on Fox's regional networks. Leverage that for a national contract.

It will take time to grow the game to it's previous ratings peak. Which was when by the way? 1994, when SI had the famous, or is it infamous now, NHL hot, NBA not cover? Heck maybe the NHL as already surpassed that. Anyway to expect instant, fast-food gratification is unreasonable.

Where as ESPN said it wants the NHL back? And if ESPN has, the network should back it up with the dollars. Which to my knownledge it hasn't. Finally the NHL should not sell its figurative soul to go back to a network that openly hates hockey.

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i agree with the "promote americans in america" or promoting players that play for local teams. instead of showing crosby n ovechkin every two seconds everywhere in america

also get rid of the instigator rule... americans love watching people fight (pretty well proved with ufc) why is fighting discouraged?

For some strange reason Bettman felt the reduction of fighting would = more American interest.

Yep, and ESPN didn't have faith in the NHL when it came back.

Continue to grow the game with Versus and NBC.

Also, seek other networks ... CBS and Fox. Many teams are on Fox's regional networks. Leverage that for a national contract.

It will take time to grow the game to it's previous ratings peak. Which was when by the way? 1994, when SI had the famous, or is it infamous now, NHL hot, NBA not cover? Heck maybe the NHL as already surpassed that. Anyway to expect instant, fast-food gratification is unreasonable.

Where as ESPN said it wants the NHL back? And if ESPN has, the network should back it up with the dollars. Which to my knownledge it hasn't. Finally the NHL should not sell its figurative soul to go back to a network that openly hates hockey.

ESPN can rot for all I care...They have always treated the NHL, and it's fan base as a group of lepers; I agree that maybe the NHL should look to FOX Sports to broaden it's horizons.

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<!--quoteo(post=1906887:date=March 1, 2010 - 05:19PM:name=stevkrause)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (stevkrause @ March 1, 2010 - 05:19PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1906887"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Ok, lets break this down:

<b>Good:</b> Bobby Ryan, Zach Parise

<b>Not Marketable enough</b>: Ryan Miller, <b>Jack Johnson,</b> Erik Johnson, Jamie Langenbruner

<b>Not Enough Star Power: </b>Paul Stastny, Ryan Kesler, Ryan Suter, Tim Connolly, Ryan Malone, Brandon Dubinsky, Keith Yandle, Matt Carle, Drew Miller, Justin Abdelkader.

<b>Way too quiet and shy:</b> Dustin Brown<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Spoken like a true engineer.

I could market the living hell out of any of those guys.

Even this attempt is a mere taste of what could be done.

<a href="

target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Lo2bNqQOuw...feature=related</a>

"Jack Johnson Saves the Day"<a href="

target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rZQYmgvkGM...feature=related</a>

This.

If Tiger Woods, a guy who has the most dry/boring personality of any athlete in the history of ever can be the most marketable athlete, then the NHL sure as hell can market anyone they want. This is what annoys me about the NHL They've centered their marketing strategy around Sidney Crosby, but to me there are so many other talented players in the NHL that should be marketed to help this sport grow.

Edited by wingsownnhl43

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From what I have heard a lot of the owners are not happy with Bettman because of limited TV coverage. Bettman has to go, yes. The NHL needs to be put on a bunch of cable stations like the NBA and MLB. The NHL needs to market an American player over Crosby. Some NHL teams could use better owners in my opinion. Also, when does the current CBA expire?

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Does NBC even know that the season starts in October? Do they even care?

I'm sure they're aware. They're just contractually obligated to football.

PBS. Everyone gets it.

Do a 1-hour documentary of the home country (or state or province) of one of the players, then show the game. It passes as educational and gets the grant and air-time. Everyone wins.

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I'm sure they're aware. They're just contractually obligated to football.

PBS. Everyone gets it.

Do a 1-hour documentary of the home country (or state or province) of one of the players, then show the game. It passes as educational and gets the grant and air-time. Everyone wins.

...and no commercials!

Dunno what I'd do without my mouthguard snoring aid/abdominal cruncher/MMA wall work-out set-up/growing tomatos upside down ads :rolleyes:

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