Why isn't Hockey big in Britain or France?
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11-05-2012, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
the main point i wish to make is to underline the fact that hockey really had a set back from 1994-2005. In many countries the duration is a bit longer.
The NHL had issues from 94 to 2005 but now records are being broken in terms of revenue and popularity. You can blame the 94 shortened season and short lock out, you can blame the trap or boring hockey but I think it was a lack of marketing. The league doesnt do a good job on marketing its players. Lemieux having health issues and gretzky on the brink of his career did not help. Its like if the NHL now lost Crosby again... and Ovechkin. They would have a hard time in marketing the game if not for these two guys... Luckily the winter classic revived many lost fans. I know theres a current lockout but I think the league wont be affected as much this time around.
But you can see all over that many leagues all over the world had issues in marketing the game especially world wide but now in recent years you can see many leagues including the NHL grow in popularity.
The Croatian league was nothing from 91 to 2007 but their star powered medvescak franchise really turned around the sport in the country. NY times did an article on them, they held one of the most famous outdoor games and the team is treated like rockstars in the capitol. The Austrian hockey league has made huge progress in the last 4 years. The german league has made the most progress in the last 10 years. Popularity in all these Euro countries have grown in the last decade, some have grown tremendously.
Even Russia had its issues once Communism fell and the product of sports in the country diminished. The Super league was a joke until the KHL took it over and Medved came under control... the league is far more serious now and far more organized.
In a recent article, it stated that hockey is now the 2nd most popular team sport in Europe. And it kind of makes sense. Soccer/Football takes the cake as #1 but in many countries Hockey is above or right next to soccer in popularity. Russia/Sweden/Czech/Finland/Slovakia all have hockey right up there in #3, #2 or maybe even #1.
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