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NHL's image rising? The Rangers role:

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07-20-2007, 08:41 AM
  #1
HockeyBasedNYC
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NHL's image rising? The Rangers role:

I know this is a league forum type thread, but I'm more interested with my fellow Rangers fans have to say about this than other team's fans because I think New York is the nucleus of the national media and determines mainstream image more than any other city.

The MLB, NBA, and NFL have all had significant problems with their players and now referees.

Driving to work today I listened to a report that the FBI is investigating an NBA referee for betting on games, including ones he officiated. The ramifications of such an offense if proven guilty could be disastrous for the league. All this after the NBA slowly recovered from the Ron Artest spectacular, when he fought fans in the stands.

Right after that I heard a report that the NFL's star-qb-boy Mike Vick is getting a second indictment for his role in a dog fighting club. PacMan Jones was involved in yet another shooting about a month ago - other players are being suspended for gun charges - and another hot topic is the abuse and neglect the broken down retired players are getting with little or no funding from the players association. The list goes on for the NFL.

We all know the problems MLB has had with steriods, including a fairly new development with an ex-Met trainer who could possibly spill the beans on everything and name hundreds of players he dealt with over the years. Hank Aaron says he wont show up for when Bonds breaks the home run record. The animosity between ex-players, MLB officials and the Government towards the players is growing.

Now when I heard the new reports and thought about all this nonsense going on in all the other sports I thought to myself "Wow, the NHL has to capitalize on this - somehow".

Sadly I just don't think the new uni's will do it alone.

We've all had this discussion before. When something good happens in the NHL its an afterthought in the media. When Chris Simon crosschecks Hollweg in the face - its national news and people who havent watched a game in their entire life take offense to it and compare it to their game as if it were the cleanest sport. Thanks to Sean Hill the steriod factor has entered the NHL. And the gambling Rick Tocchet hasnt helped things out either. Every sport has problems... but lets put that aside for a moment.

What im getting at here is this could be a huge year for the NHL, because of the Rangers.
New uniforms, though trivial to most NHL fans, stir the mainstream sports fans attention a little.
The ratings were horrible last season, partly due to Bettman's inability to retain ESPN. But NBC is still there. And those who like bull riding might leave the TV on a catch a game on VS.

If the NHL is lucky, the Rangers will have another great season and if they make it to the finals it could help the image of this sport jump to front and center again. The NHL is dying for a finals story and hasn't truly had one since 94 when its popularity was arguably at its all-time peak.

I'm interested in what everyone says. I know hockey won't get its due airplay or back covers in the Post. Thats not what i'm discussing here. Its about the Rangers role in getting this sport front and center again.

What impact would the Rangers have in the U.S. if they did something special, this season?


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07-20-2007, 08:50 AM
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I think it's fairly well established that fans don't care about the legal/criminal issues in MLB, NBA, and the NBA. They just don't.

Regardless of what Michael Vick, Tank Johnson, Pacman Jones and the Cincinnati Bengals have done, the NFL will still do killer ratings and there will still be a 30 year waiting list for season tickets.

The NBA has had black eye after black eye. And noone cares.

MLB attendance has never been higher. And we are deciding how to acknowledge a record being broken by a guy who cheated and used substances that are illegal (inside and outside baseball).

Nobody cares.

And new uniforms can't change that.

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07-20-2007, 08:57 AM
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HockeyBasedNYC
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Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
And new uniforms can't change that.
All thats true i totally agree, the fans just don't care.

But the media does. Its not about the fans. The media conveys everything.

What role do the Rangers play this year? Is it the same as always?
If theres a winner in New York it'll help the league, but how much really?

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07-20-2007, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by HockeyBasedNYC View Post
All thats true i totally agree, the fans just don't care.

But the media does. Its not about the fans. The media conveys everything.

What role do the Rangers play this year? Is it the same as always?
If theres a winner in New York it'll help the league, but how much really?
New uniforms aren't for the media. They are for the fans. Something new to buy. More merchandising money.

I happen to really think that we overrate/overestimate the importance of having a good team in NY. We care, but I'm really not sure how much the rest of the country does. '

Example: we were all excited to have a Subway Series in 2002. Very few people west of Pennsylvania and south of New Jersey really cared.

I think it's more important to have star players. What few casual fans will tune in to see the star player, not the Rangers because they are from NY. You put Crosby on the Rangers and I really don't know how much better the ratings would be (if at all).

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07-20-2007, 09:25 AM
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honestly, you need to factor in the report saying that hockey fans are the most highly educated....nba fans honestly don't care, and so do nfl fans. baseball will always be baseball

honestly i wouldn't be surprised if some kids started dog fighting because they heard vick does it.....it is a sad state of affairs. really, i wish all pro athletes took note of jeter...thats the way athletes use to be back in the day.

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07-20-2007, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
I think it's fairly well established that fans don't care about the legal/criminal issues in MLB, NBA, and the NBA. They just don't.

Regardless of what Michael Vick, Tank Johnson, Pacman Jones and the Cincinnati Bengals have done, the NFL will still do killer ratings and there will still be a 30 year waiting list for season tickets.

The NBA has had black eye after black eye. And noone cares.

MLB attendance has never been higher. And we are deciding how to acknowledge a record being broken by a guy who cheated and used substances that are illegal (inside and outside baseball).

Nobody cares.

And new uniforms can't change that.

Sad but true. Very sad, but very true.

And besides, the only time you hear about hockey is when someone is knocked out, beat up or there is a huge fight making it look barbaric and pointless to those who watch their morning news for 5 minutes....

It frustrats me a lot, working in TV, to se the bad wrap that the NHL gets.... its ok for other pro sports players to do drugs, shoot people or cheat....

the other way tot look at it is if the NHL was in the mainstream, maybe there would be more stories about substance abuse and stuff like that coming out because hey, now that peopl are watching, there has to be something new to write about and reporters will go digging and those stoires of NHL players screwing up would get more press if the game was popular than if it wasnt...

and I think the whole betting on games thing with the great one's wife didnt help matters and probably turned alot of people off.....

Maybe the NHL will have a resurgance like the NBA did after its lockout.... but I am not planning on it...

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07-20-2007, 09:30 AM
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Zero impact. The NHL is too far out of the mainstream at this point for anything but a plane crash that kills an entire team to be newsworthy. MLB, NFL and NASCAR are the only things that are "consumed" in mass quantities by Americans, so that's all the media cares about.

Examples:

-I heard David Beckham is going to play in the MLS. (?) Know how I found out? My wife told me while she was entrenched in some Posh Spice special on TV. That's STILL the only place I've heard the news.

- The "Tiger Woods of motorsports" is currently leading the Formula 1 World Championship in his rookie season and has yet to finish off the podium in 9 starts. Can anyone not posting from Europe even name him?

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07-20-2007, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Melrose_Jr. View Post
- The "Tiger Woods of motorsports" is currently leading the Formula 1 World Championship in his rookie season and has yet to finish off the podium in 9 starts. Can anyone not posting from Europe even name him?
The guy in your avatar?

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07-20-2007, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Melrose_Jr. View Post
Zero impact. The NHL is too far out of the mainstream at this point for anything but a plane crash that kills an entire team to be newsworthy. MLB, NFL and NASCAR are the only things that are "consumed" in mass quantities by Americans, so that's all the media cares about.

Examples:

-I heard David Beckham is going to play in the MLS. (?) Know how I found out? My wife told me while she was entrenched in some Posh Spice special on TV. That's STILL the only place I've heard the news.

- The "Tiger Woods of motorsports" is currently leading the Formula 1 World Championship in his rookie season and has yet to finish off the podium in 9 starts. Can anyone not posting from Europe even name him?
Totally agree with what everyone has said here. Hockey honestly is a niche sport, and always will be.

For the record Mel, I've seen the Beckham thing all over the news media- ESPN, the big four networks, papers, gossip and celeb columns, etc... That's big news, but only because he's a celebrity more than a soccer player at this point. There's even a story about him linked on the Drudge Report today (I hate Drudge, love the site... again, just for the record ).

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07-20-2007, 09:36 AM
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As Singin said before, star players will be key to getting casual fans into watching games.

Its up to the NHL to get the stars like Crosby, Ovechkin, etc more publicity and get them noticed through marketing, which the NHL quite frankly is a joke at doing.

However, the thing I've noticed about Hockey is that once a person watches a few games, he really tends to start liking it. This year, a friend of mine who had never watched hockey before started to watch the playoffs (he happened to get Versus), and I told him all about the teams, and now he is huge fan and he always asks me for updates (he's an Ottawa fan now, oddly enough).

The problem with the NHL, besides the lackluster marketing effort, is that most people have a negative view about hockey, due to certein writers bashing the NHL since they have nothing better to do, and people who have never watched a hockey game simply agree with the writer and never take hockey seriously

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07-20-2007, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rodmunch View Post
As Singin said before, star players will be key to getting casual fans into watching games.

Its up to the NHL to get the stars like Crosby, Ovechkin, etc more publicity and get them noticed through marketing, which the NHL quite frankly is a joke at doing.

However, the thing I've noticed about Hockey is that once a person watches a few games, he really tends to start liking it. This year, a friend of mine who had never watched hockey before started to watch the playoffs (he happened to get Versus), and I told him all about the teams, and now he is huge fan and he always asks me for updates (he's an Ottawa fan now, oddly enough).

The problem with the NHL, besides the lackluster marketing effort, is that most people have a negative view about hockey, due to certein writers bashing the NHL since they have nothing better to do, and people who have never watched a hockey game simply agree with the writer and never take hockey seriously
Agreed, and I also have a friend that has recently became a Rangers fan and i'm trying real hard to get him out to a game this year because thats what really clinches it for a new fan whos never been to one.

I guess in some ways its up to the fans to promote the sport as well.

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07-20-2007, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by HockeyBasedNYC View Post
All thats true i totally agree, the fans just don't care.

But the media does. Its not about the fans. The media conveys everything.

What role do the Rangers play this year? Is it the same as always?
If theres a winner in New York it'll help the league, but how much really
?
the fans dont care? do you care? would you prefer the rangers to be wearing a ballet tutuu, or brown jerseys? i think the fans do care.

i think the rangers role is to get into the playoffs, and go far in them. every ranger fan (including me) is very, very happy to see them making the playoffs these days. this year is their year. It would help the league tremendously for the rangers to win the cup. no matter what sport people watch, they always know when its stanley cup time. expecially in new york. i dont live in new york city (3 hrs away) but i've seen it on tv when the rangers are in the playoffs, and i tell evrerybody i know, and that all i talk about.

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07-20-2007, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by HockeyBasedNYC View Post
The guy in your avatar?
Not quite, which supports my point. It's only news to the mainstream media if it's news to 200 million Americans. If incredibly interesting stories from soccer and Formula 1 can't make headlines, what chance does NHL have?

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07-20-2007, 09:45 AM
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Sadly, I think the "big 3's" place in americana is permantly entrenched. It's the "4th" spot that will always be the target for the NHL. Unfortunatly Nascar has got firm grip on that spot for the forseeable future. What this league desprately needs is to get rid of Bettman as it's point man and bring in a younger, progressive thinking executive. Someone who realizes that the future will be all about offering your product on different media platforms, to do this you need to ABOLISH the ridiculous blackout restrictions that Butthead Bettman continues to allow, which in turn stifles the abiity to showcase his sport. We're not far away from networks/cable stations streaming their on-air broadcasts to our mobile devices (i.e. Iphones, stc.) The Nhl should be the first sporting orginization to get involved w/ this. Through Nhl.com the ability for hard-core or casual fans to watch their ocal teams on their pda/laptops anywhere anytime, would give them strong exposure. Both in terms of offering something that the other leagues don't, & the mainstream media would pick it up and give them tons of free press as the future of sports viewership.

But again, Bettman must go. Too bad the NHL board of gov's are blind!

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07-20-2007, 09:45 AM
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Totally agree with what everyone has said here. Hockey honestly is a niche sport, and always will be.

For the record Mel, I've seen the Beckham thing all over the news media- ESPN, the big four networks, papers, gossip and celeb columns, etc... That's big news, but only because he's a celebrity more than a soccer player at this point. There's even a story about him linked on the Drudge Report today (I hate Drudge, love the site... again, just for the record ).
My bad on the Beckham story then. Part of me does wonder what role a famous wife plays in that story in some outlets though. There's several press agents at work there.

I like that hockey is a niche sport. It makes me feel like I'm part of some kind of semi-exclusive club with insight into something great that most people are missing out on. I've seen how much the "mainstreamitization" of NASCAR has compromised it over the past 20 years and I'd be devastated if the same happened to the NHL.

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07-20-2007, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Melrose_Jr. View Post
Not quite, which supports my point. It's only news to the mainstream media if it's news to 200 million Americans. If incredibly interesting stories from soccer and Formula 1 can't make headlines, what chance does NHL have?
Seriously, even the things that the media loves to play up about hockey- violence- barely register a blip. I remember Simon's slash on Holly getting a 30-second mention on the NBC Nightly News, and that was basically it.

If there's any way hockey can exist as a niche sport and still be profitable, I'm all for it. I like being one of those "crazy hockey fans."

EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrose_Jr. View Post
I like that hockey is a niche sport. It makes me feel like I'm part of some kind of semi-exclusive club with insight into something great that most people are missing out on. I've seen how much the "mainstreamitization" of NASCAR has compromised it over the past 20 years and I'd be devastated if the same happened to the NHL.
Wow, a step ahead of me there. You're right, it's fun knowing how great our game is, and shaking your head in disbelief at the lack of interest in the game. It's like when I meet a fellow hockey die-hard there's an instant connection, like we "know" something that others don't.

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07-20-2007, 09:46 AM
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News about Vick...

PacMan, steroids, NBA thugs, etc., is part of what keeps fans' interest. Sounds crazy, but that gives the sports media attention and people key in on it. You'd think that this negative publicity would have negative effects, but personally, I think it increases the sport's exposure and keeps things intersting.

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07-20-2007, 09:46 AM
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the fans dont care? do you care? would you prefer the rangers to be wearing a ballet tutuu, or brown jerseys? i think the fans do care.
That's not the point. Whatever exposure/popularity/market share problems the league have are not the results of the uniforms. As such, coming up with new uniforms won't solve those problems either. If there is a mudslide, you can't fix it by replacing the knobs on your car stereo.

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Originally Posted by Callahan43 View Post
ti think the rangers role is to get into the playoffs, and go far in them. every ranger fan (including me) is very, very happy to see them making the playoffs these days. this year is their year. It would help the league tremendously for the rangers to win the cup. no matter what sport people watch, they always know when its stanley cup time. expecially in new york. i dont live in new york city (3 hrs away) but i've seen it on tv when the rangers are in the playoffs, and i tell evrerybody i know, and that all i talk about.
How exactly would it help the league tremdously if the Ranger won the Cup? Come up with some reasons.

And it really doesn't matter what you think. You're a hockey fan. There's no problem with getting hockey fans to care and watch. The challenge is get people who don't care about, don't know or don't understand hockey to care and what.

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07-20-2007, 09:46 AM
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Agreed, and I also have a friend that has recently became a Rangers fan and i'm trying real hard to get him out to a game this year because thats what really clinches it for a new fan whos never been to one.

I guess in some ways its up to the fans to promote the sport as well.
Yeah, I helped get another friend of mine into the game when we were younger (like around 10) when my dad took him and me to a Rangers game. He instantly got hooked.

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07-20-2007, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
PacMan, steroids, NBA thugs, etc., is part of what keeps fans' interest. Sounds crazy, but that gives the sports media attention and people key in on it. You'd think that this negative publicity would have negative effects, but personally, I think it increases the sport's exposure and keeps things intersting.
That's true Fletch. Good point. Kind of a sad commentary on our society today.

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07-20-2007, 09:50 AM
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Yeah, I helped get another friend of mine into the game when we were younger (like around 10) when my dad took him and me to a Rangers game. He instantly got hooked.
Whenever I take someone to their first hockey game, they immediately fall in love. The speed at which the game is played, the grace with which the players move, etc... How can anyone not love it? That's a rhetorical question by the way .

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07-20-2007, 09:50 AM
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the fans dont care? do you care? would you prefer the rangers to be wearing a ballet tutuu, or brown jerseys? i think the fans do care.
Go back and read his full post, i think youve got it mixed up.

I wasnt referring to hockey fans. It was in response to all the other crap in the other sports and how THEIR fans dont give a crap about all the problems.

And hey, if i didnt care i wouldnt have made this thread right?

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07-20-2007, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
PacMan, steroids, NBA thugs, etc., is part of what keeps fans' interest. Sounds crazy, but that gives the sports media attention and people key in on it. You'd think that this negative publicity would have negative effects, but personally, I think it increases the sport's exposure and keeps things intersting.
I think it's what keeps the causal fans' interest. You know, the people who aren't obsessing over line combos in July.

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07-20-2007, 09:58 AM
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I think it's what keeps the causal fans' interest. You know, the people who aren't obsessing over line combos in July.
Hhahah damn right.

Like you said hockey is a niche sport and maybe it can't support the casual fan the way the other 3 massively marketed sports do out of sheer conformity.

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07-20-2007, 10:16 AM
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Good point, MJ...

we all have serious problems...

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