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GMRwings1983

The NHL's Marketing Skills

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Why does the NHL not make a serious effort to market anyone but Crosby and Ovechkin? This HBO thing is just more proof of that.

I know they're the two best players in the league and are the only household names in hockey amongst the general public. However, in other sports, it's more than just 2 players who are household names, and it's because those leagues try to make a real effort towards marketing those players. The NHL refuses to do so and I don't understand why. Isn't it better for the league if more players are marketed to the general public, instead of just showing Crosby and Ovechkin commercials all the time?

I remember last year after the Caps and Pens were eliminated, I heard many sportswriters complaining that they stopped caring about the playoffs because the two best players were gone, and I was infuriated by their stupidity and lack of knowledge about hockey. At the same time, I realized the league was responsible for this indifference, because it wasn't trying hard enough to market any other players.

I'm not saying the league should lay off these two superstars, but they need to acknowledge that there's other great stars in the game. That's what all the other sports leagues are doing and I think it will be better for hockey in the long run.

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It's funny that you mention this because they did a real awsome job during the Olympics selling other players from the US like ryan miller and Zach parise. Other than that you don't really hear anything else on anyone whether it be endorsements, NHL commercials, marketing.

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what they should be doing is running commercials tailored to each region highlighting that regions players. if their main goal is to get fans in the seats, then they should be advertising the players that play in consumers hometown 10 games a month, not the player who may only come once a year.

any advertising buff should know that people in detroit puke a little in their mouth everytime they see crosby on TV and then are left with a bad taste in their mouth when the NHL shield comes up (pun intended). im sure other people in different areas have the same feelings about different players.

every team has their superstar, why not support them?

Branton87 likes this

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It's funny that you mention this because they did a real awsome job during the Olympics selling other players from the US like ryan miller and Zach parise. Other than that you don't really hear anything else on anyone whether it be endorsements, NHL commercials, marketing.

A guy like Ryan Miller should be marketed more, being an American player. Same thing with a guy like Kane, even though I know many people (myself included) don't like him.

The only time I see other NHL players being marketed or talked about is on the NHL Network commercials, but that hardly counts in the context of national marketing.

It's amazing to me how many great NHL players there are (some who have played around a decade or so), that many casual sports fans haven't ever heard of, or just know nothing about. Guys like Thornton, Iginla, Lecavalier, Datsyuk, etc. are virtually unknown in the sports media world.

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Ovechkin seems to be taking over for Crosby in the NHL's marketing department. Bettman and Co are finally, FINALLY realizing that many people detest Crosby for his poor sportsmanship---and perhaps the NHL front office is, too, realizing that its own relentless pushing of Crosby has had the opposite of the intended effect, namely making people dislike Crosby.

Ovechkin is talented, explosive and---aside from a tiny bit of dirty play---sportsmanlike. He doesn't complain or dive and he always gives his all and takes his lumps.

A guy like Ryan Miller should be marketed more, being an American player. Same thing with a guy like Kane, even though I know many people (myself included) don't like him.

It's really very silly to market a player who can be disliked based on his character traits. Just like Crosby, Kane falls into this category. Miller does not, as he's a good player with a lot of class.

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Ovechkin seems to be taking over for Crosby in the NHL's marketing department. Bettman and Co are finally, FINALLY realizing that many people detest Crosby for his poor sportsmanship---and perhaps the NHL front office is, too, realizing that its own relentless pushing of Crosby has had the opposite of the intended effect, namely making people dislike Crosby.

Ovechkin is talented, explosive and---aside from a tiny bit of dirty play---sportsmanlike. He doesn't complain or dive and he always gives his all and takes his lumps.

It's really very silly to market a player who can be disliked based on his character traits. Just like Crosby, Kane falls into this category. Miller does not, as he's a good player with a lot of class.

I don't know about that.

Marketing players with bad character traits seems to have worked out well for the other North American sports. No telling if that would hurt hockey or not, but I doubt it.

I think a guy like Stamkos should be on the NHL's radar, as he may become the best player in hockey in a year or two.

Edited by GMRwings1983

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There are so many players talented like Crosby. He's a great player but not the best and I know many people would argue he's not second best.

I agree with a previous statement that the NHL should market commercials toward particular regions.

Frankly, how can they not get excited about guys like Ryan Miller, Toews, Datsyuk, etc.

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A guy like Ryan Miller should be marketed more, being an American player. Same thing with a guy like Kane, even though I know many people (myself included) don't like him.

The only time I see other NHL players being marketed or talked about is on the NHL Network commercials, but that hardly counts in the context of national marketing.

It's amazing to me how many great NHL players there are (some who have played around a decade or so), that many casual sports fans haven't ever heard of, or just know nothing about. Guys like Thornton, Iginla, Lecavalier, Datsyuk, etc. are virtually unknown in the sports media world.

Agreed. The NHL missed out big time after the USA Olympics team's run to the gold medal game. Crosby's a great player, but after his gold medal winning goal, they should have changed their strategy and cut back on Cindy, and went with more Miller, Parise, Stastny, Kane, Kessel, Ryan, etc.. How can someone who scored the goal to beat team USA be a good choice to market to Americans?

Also Kane scored the Stanley Cup game winning goal, and there's nothing on him, so they continue to let marketing opportunities pass them by. Despite his problems with the cab driver, the guy is marketable, he grew a mullet for the playoffs. There's no wonder why the NHL isn't on ESPN.

I hope this HBO special flops huge!

Edit: and the "Crosby Sucks" chant continues to grow to other arenas.

Edited by Barrie

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There are so many players talented like Crosby. He's a great player but not the best and I know many people would argue he's not second best.

I agree with a previous statement that the NHL should market commercials toward particular regions.

Frankly, how can they not get excited about guys like Ryan Miller, Toews, Datsyuk, etc.

Crosby not the second best? Do you watch hockey at all? I'd love to see these people defend that stance.

I agree the NHL needs to start marketing Toews, Miller, Datsyuk, Stamkos etc. But fact is the average person will look at the stats and see Crosby and Ovechkin leading the league for the past 5 years. Until their are players consistently up there with the numbers, people will want to see the best players in the game, and learn more about them. It's just the way it is.

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Crosby not the second best? Do you watch hockey at all? I'd love to see these people defend that stance.

I agree the NHL needs to start marketing Toews, Miller, Datsyuk, Stamkos etc. But fact is the average person will look at the stats and see Crosby and Ovechkin leading the league for the past 5 years. Until their are players consistently up there with the numbers, people will want to see the best players in the game, and learn more about them. It's just the way it is.

They're not the only players that are constantly amongst the league leaders in scoring. Besides, then you couldn't market defensemen or goalies, since their stats are different than that of scorers.

I think people will know more hockey players once the league places an emphasis on that. They don't have to be better than Crosby or Ovechkin to get recognition. Otherswise, the NBA, NFL and MLB would only have a few players that the public can name.

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The NHL refuses to market other great players if they play on mediocre teams. The NHL is trying to get new fans and no new fan is going to go watch a s***ty team because of one good player. Toews and Kane are beginning to get marketed now because the Hawks are a good team and they are young players. New fans can follow these guys and the team for years to come. It is the same with Ovechkin and Crosby. They are young and will be around awhile. Stamkos will be next if Stevie pulls the s*** together and Tampa and can crank out some more wins. That is unless Gary has realized Florida is a lost cause for hockey.

If you look at the Sharks for example, what big young super stars do they have? They have zero all of there superstars are to old to market to new fans.

It is all about sucking new fans in for the long haul and not just until there 35 year old favorite player retires.

I, and the rest of us here, already watch hockey so why is it a big deal how they market it to others?

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The NHL needs to take the "Hockey is for everyone" approach in their marketing.

You've got all sorts of players out there.

Market Duncan Keith to the "old-time, smashmouth, lose some teeth and keep fighting" crowd.

Market Chris Pronger as a villain to the "watch to hope to see a dirty bastard get a beatdown" crowd.

Market Pavel Datsyuk to the "watch for amazing skill and slick moves" crowd.

Market Ovie to the "want an approachable, easily recognizable hero with an outgoing personality" crowd.

Market Sid to the "teenage girls and NAMBLA members" crowd.

In all seriousness, this isn't anything new. During the Era of the Great One, it was rare to hear Yzerman's name outside of Detroit, and the only time we heard about Super Mario was when he got cancer.

That's a slight exaggeration, but to the average non-hockey fan, that's how it was. They knew Wayne. That's it.

edicius, Branton87 and Electrophile like this

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The NHL refuses to market other great players if they play on mediocre teams. The NHL is trying to get new fans and no new fan is going to go watch a s***ty team because of one good player. Toews and Kane are beginning to get marketed now because the Hawks are a good team and they are young players. New fans can follow these guys and the team for years to come. It is the same with Ovechkin and Crosby. They are young and will be around awhile. Stamkos will be next if Stevie pulls the s*** together and Tampa and can crank out some more wins. That is unless Gary has realized Florida is a lost cause for hockey.

If you look at the Sharks for example, what big young super stars do they have? They have zero all of there superstars are to old to market to new fans.

It is all about sucking new fans in for the long haul and not just until there 35 year old favorite player retires.

I, and the rest of us here, already watch hockey so why is it a big deal how they market it to others?

If you live in Canada, then you have no idea how irrelevent hockey is to most Americans.

Being an NHL fan, I'd love to see hockey become more relevant and have more recognizable players to the mass market.

I'll still watch no matter what, but I think what I'm asking for is better for the game in the long run. Why keep it a niche sport, instead of making real efforts to grow the game to the public?

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The players should sell the game but the league handcuffs them and tapes there mouths shut!...NHL players are so god damn boring in interviews...it is unbelievable! Then a wild card like Avery starts calling his movie star ex-girlfriend a hoe...and the hockey media and league flip the f*** out! i call that ******* bulls*** ..they should have let him and phanuf take it to the ice, and made a big deal about it...pro wrestling style!...instead the league fines him and sends him to anger managment.... and also the NHL clothing sucks ass and look ugly 9 times out of 10...i could go on and on! They really should hire me as a marketing consultant, because the old ass dudes running the marketing department are waayyy out of touch with what is going on.

Hockeymom1960 likes this

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There are so many players talented like Crosby. He's a great player but not the best and I know many people would argue he's not second best.I agree with a previous statement that the NHL should market commercials toward particular regions.

Frankly, how can they not get excited about guys like Ryan Miller, Toews, Datsyuk, etc.

If you dont have crosby in the top two players in the NHL you know nothing about hockey

Edited by mjtm77

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Frankly, how can they not get excited about guys like Ryan Miller, Toews, Datsyuk, etc.

Those guys probably haven't sold their souls to the Illuminati. :ph34r:

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Apparently the league is in really good shape. That is, financially. Therefore in theory their marketing skills are just fine.

I guess that's all that matters.

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I've been bitching about NHL marketing for ages. I'm beyond sick of talking about the NHL's love for the two players.

Both the NHL and Red Wing's marketing teams are 10 yrs behind the curve. The Red Wing's playoff slogans are ridiculously bad. WTF was with the stick on beards, the management was laughing AT them during the press release.

Apparently the league is in really good shape. That is, financially. Therefore in theory their marketing skills are just fine.

I guess that's all that matters.

According to who? Bettman?

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Anyone else remember "Fox Tracks" :thumbdown:

NBC carried the Super Bowl just a few short years ago...I didn't watch, but a good friend (and avid hockey fan) did...I asked if NBC aired any NHL promos during commercial breaks - guess what his answer was?

The NHL is guilty of preaching to the choir, and seems clueless as how to market the game outside of those of us whom are already fans.

The NHL is a niche sport on the marketing radar; always has been, and will most likely always will be.

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