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10-16-2011, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
If it's "nothing more, nothing less", then why is this thread on its second incarnation? Why are so many people obsessing over the state of Andre Markov, rookies in Hamilton, our next coach, etc? Point is, the Montreal Canadiens are FAR more than the 'show'. Or, more accurately, the 'show' is far more than what happens on the ice.

Face it, the reason the organization has prospered even without a Cup is because it figured out how to sell itself as a culture. Before the mid-90s, all they had to do was win Stanley Cup after Stanley Cup. Then the well went dry and so did ticket sales. The on ice product -- the 'show' -- simply wasn't enough anymore because the team simply wasn't that good. So in comes the new admin and voila -- a new marketing philosophy. The Canadiens started marketing individual players, showing up on billboards, showing up at events -- the whole culture thing. And we, the fans, responded.

In fact, we responded so well that some people actually believe it's wrong to have expectations of the organization, that they don't owe us anything. You couldn't be more wrong. The Montreal Canadiens are a sports franchise that uses its rich history as a terrific marketing tool to keep us hooked. They need us more than we need them. See the Montreal Expos for further evidence.

Am I complaining about this manipulative relationship? No, because that's how business works. I'm happy to spend my money on tickets and don't feel used or betrayed -- as long as I'm entertained, which I have been for over 40 years. Please don't pretend that my questioning the brass means a lack of support. If being critical of management means a lack of support, then about 80% of the threads on this board are in the same boat. We've all bought into the hockey culture that exists on the ice, and off, and we're entitled to sound off anyway we want. We're all fans of the team... as long as the team is smart enough to be fans of us.

The first part of your answer is childish.

The second part misses my point. I'm not personally miffed at the organization, I'm just stating the reason why so many people here keep harping on this subject. Look at the number of posts on Markov and ask yourself why so many fans are frustrated and distrustful. The reason, I think, is because the team has created the idea that the team is 'ours', but then goes dark about its biggest star. I tried to explain why you can't consciously create the most loyal fanbase in the league and then withhold information from it. It's a tricky contradiction that can bite you in the ass.
I think there are lots and lots of business models that prioritize secrecy and release the minimum information possible about product launches in advance of having the product actually ready to launch. In the "entertainment" industry in particular. From major films to the latest iphone, keeping the paying audience fully informed in advance about what's coming it not exactly industry norm. The way the habs are behaving about Markov is textbook, really. Could they do things differently, certainly. Would it sell more tickets? Hell no. Markov will sell tickets if he shows up and fans will rage at the Habs if he doesn't. Playing with our expectations in the meantime is how 990 makes a living, not the CHC.

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