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Interesting article in the Globe & Mail about Cdns and hockey

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Old
04-20-2012, 10:01 AM
  #1
slamigo
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Interesting article in the Globe & Mail about Cdns and hockey

This guy makes a lot of sense about how a lot of Cdns watch hockey. They become fans of their own team, but not necessarily fans of hockey. He's trying to change that.

Quote:
“I see a lot of parallels between Americans and football and Canadians with hockey,” he says. “CBC wants as many Leafs games on Saturday night, because people watch them. Just the way ABC would have taken Dallas-Washington every week on Monday Night Football.” But this concentration has a downside come playoff time. “If the Leafs aren’t there for CBC, the Canadiens aren’t there for RDS, we can’t have Canadian fans turning off the lights, going to the cottage.

“How we change that is tell more stories, give more balanced coverage of the other teams around the league so people who are interested in that can have it.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle2408287/

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04-20-2012, 11:30 AM
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I've been saying it for years: the NHL is the worst marketed league in all of North American pro sports. I find they never create excitement for out of market fans or casual fans to tune in. For instance, why are people tuning in to watch Pittsburgh and Philadelphia play? Because it experienced sufficient hype for people to at least give it a chance. Think of the Sens marketing department, probably one of the worst in all of professional sports. They've wasted a great year of exciting hockey by not capitalizing on an important marketing opportunity to entice casual and out of market fans to tune in. It's always lame, gimmicky promotions targeted at families in Ottawa.

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04-20-2012, 11:45 AM
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Big Papi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKC View Post
I've been saying it for years: the NHL is the worst marketed league in all of North American pro sports. I find they never create excitement for out of market fans or casual fans to tune in. For instance, why are people tuning in to watch Pittsburgh and Philadelphia play? Because it experienced sufficient hype for people to at least give it a chance. Think of the Sens marketing department, probably one of the worst in all of professional sports. They've wasted a great year of exciting hockey by not capitalizing on an important marketing opportunity to entice casual and out of market fans to tune in. It's always lame, gimmicky promotions targeted at families in Ottawa.
in fairness, you could make the argument that Ottawa is still trying to capture the Ottawa market, given the amount of Habs and Leafs supporters in Ottawa, so going after families in Ottawa does seem to make sense to me. However, I remember when I was at Ottawa U, they advertised cheap student games as well, and I'm sure they try and get as much commercial support as possible...lets face it, most families are up in teh 300s, not in the 100s!

But, i'm curious, what do you think Ottawa should be doing differently?

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04-20-2012, 11:58 AM
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That article in the Globe is interesting reading.

A lot of people have said this for years. When they put all their eggs in the
Leafs basket and then the Leafs dont make it to the playoffs they're stuck.Its not something new either as the Leafs have not been in for 8 years.

Anyway they should be doing a lot more to promote hockey over all and especially the Canadian teams instead of the ever lasting harping on the Leafs.

Up until a few years ago they would play only the Leafs on Saturday night and there was a blackout on Sens games or any games that compted with the Leafs broadcast. Gradually, they started showing regional games for the Sens and streaming the games and maybe once or twice a year the Leafs arent the primetime Saturday national broadcast. But it is hard to develop and keep fans in other parts of Canada when they can't see the Sens and are fed a steady diet of Leafs..

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04-20-2012, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Papi View Post
in fairness, you could make the argument that Ottawa is still trying to capture the Ottawa market, given the amount of Habs and Leafs supporters in Ottawa, so going after families in Ottawa does seem to make sense to me. However, I remember when I was at Ottawa U, they advertised cheap student games as well, and I'm sure they try and get as much commercial support as possible...lets face it, most families are up in teh 300s, not in the 100s!

But, i'm curious, what do you think Ottawa should be doing differently?
I am in charge for a week:

1)No more mention of the Leafs on Team 1200 unless it's a news update. Steve Warne is gonzo, on other words. (Don't even ask about my REAL solution for this if I were the owner of Team 1200...$40,000 fine paid within 48 hrs to any employee that mentions any non-Ottawa team outside of a news bite. Suck it Phaneuf indeed, replace that with a Go Sens go chant.)
2)Ad space: Was looking at the 36 hours Patrick Kane, they had a promotion at a local eatery...Kaner Con Queso, Sharpie Something...promotion with a pizza chain Spezza Pizza, your hockey hat trick! Gabriel's already has gametime specials.
3)Brand, brand and brand again: Have players at Rideau Centre, have some old-timers greet people at SBP, just get the Senators logo and brand all over the place. Fly a Senators "S" at city hall if you need to.
4)Grab the teen-young adult market: Unsold tickets? Make a promo with eateries/pizza places/grocery stores...first X people on this day get two tickets to see the Senators. Donate blood? Get two tickets (67s do this by the way).
5)Use your players: Have Alfredsson/Phillips/Karlsson on a big-screen TV at the entrance of SBG saying "Welcome to OUR home, Scotiabank Place. We hope you enjoy your stay as we lead OUR team to victory tonight!"

Lots more ideas out there...you just have to look outside our market to see how pitiful we are at even pushing our own history. Red Wings have murals of past trophy winners and so on near their locker rooms. Hawks have something similiar and so do the Habs and Leafs (?). No excuse why we don't just rip out all the old people that gave 50 bucks off the walls and replace them with living history.

But I'm a dreamer, though cynical at times, and do not expect anything to change...

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04-20-2012, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Papi View Post
in fairness, you could make the argument that Ottawa is still trying to capture the Ottawa market, given the amount of Habs and Leafs supporters in Ottawa, so going after families in Ottawa does seem to make sense to me. However, I remember when I was at Ottawa U, they advertised cheap student games as well, and I'm sure they try and get as much commercial support as possible...lets face it, most families are up in teh 300s, not in the 100s!

But, i'm curious, what do you think Ottawa should be doing differently?
Not sure if this is really true. It seems to me that everytime I go to a game or see one on TV that a lot of families are in the 100's and most of the younger generation's are up in the 300's

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04-20-2012, 12:21 PM
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Or just accept that hockey is a regional sport and that outside of a few teams, there is no hope of creating national interest.

Philly and Pittsburgh appeals to a wider audience because of Crosby, the fighting and the high scoring games. There is also the underdog / upset factor in that series.

I travel a lot with work, and I often find myself in the lower 48. After the Sens OT win in game 4, ESPN did not even mention it in their main hockey segment with Barry Melrose.
They started with the Philly / Pittsburgh 10-3 game and went immediately to the Kings / Canucks game.

And this is a series with an original 6 team, in the biggest or 2nd biggest media market in the country.

Say there was a Minnesota / Columbus series happening. Would anyone in Ottawa care? Would you watch? I sure wouldn't.

We all love hockey, but I think the key to being a fan is that you invest in YOUR team. You grow attachments to YOUR players. Look at Alfredsson for example. This is a guy that should have been traded eons ago from a purely business perspective, but the management sacrificed the future of the team to keep him here because of the fans.

I think that people will actually be bawling their eyes out when he finally does retire.

You just can't build that attachment to 30 teams across the continent. There are only a few players that can be marketed nationally, the guys like Crosby, Ovechkin, maybe Karlsson will get to that status too.

It's rare.

I also think that the poster that made the comment about Ottawa still trying to grab the Ottawa market made a very good point.

I really don't see how anybody can criticize the Ottawa marketing dept. The building is packed, the players are involved in the community, they have Spartacat / whoever showing up at countless events, etc... The Senators own this city right now. Everyone has "Sens fever"

Nothing sells like the product on the ice.

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04-20-2012, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 11Alfredsson View Post
Not sure if this is really true. It seems to me that everytime I go to a game or see one on TV that a lot of families are in the 100's and most of the younger generation's are up in the 300's
It is true. Your average family can't afford to drop $500+ on one game to sit in the 100s (and that's a very conservative number). There are a ton of families that buy tickets in the 300s.

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04-20-2012, 12:27 PM
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Well, I for one will watch football now and then just to watch football. Not to cheer for a team, but to watch football.

I don't do that very often with hockey. I watch nearly every Sens game, so maybe that's part of the problem. There might well be too many games. I don't want to watch hockey every night of the week. I also have 3 kids in hockey and play hockey and my wife plays as well. We kind of get our fill and by the spring, you're almost 'hockey-ed out' so to speak.

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04-20-2012, 12:31 PM
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It's the 20th anniversary this year. I think what we'll be seeing in the near future is a lot of the people who grew up with NHL hockey in Ottawa start to push out the old guard Montreal/Toronto fans. That to me is the only embarrassing thing: When we play our division rivals at home it's like a home game for the other team.

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04-20-2012, 12:32 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SensFanDan View Post
I am in charge for a week:

1)No more mention of the Leafs on Team 1200 unless it's a news update. Steve Warne is gonzo, on other words. (Don't even ask about my REAL solution for this if I were the owner of Team 1200...$40,000 fine paid within 48 hrs to any employee that mentions any non-Ottawa team outside of a news bite. Suck it Phaneuf indeed, replace that with a Go Sens go chant.)
2)Ad space: Was looking at the 36 hours Patrick Kane, they had a promotion at a local eatery...Kaner Con Queso, Sharpie Something...promotion with a pizza chain Spezza Pizza, your hockey hat trick! Gabriel's already has gametime specials.
3)Brand, brand and brand again: Have players at Rideau Centre, have some old-timers greet people at SBP, just get the Senators logo and brand all over the place. Fly a Senators "S" at city hall if you need to.
4)Grab the teen-young adult market: Unsold tickets? Make a promo with eateries/pizza places/grocery stores...first X people on this day get two tickets to see the Senators. Donate blood? Get two tickets (67s do this by the way).
5)Use your players: Have Alfredsson/Phillips/Karlsson on a big-screen TV at the entrance of SBG saying "Welcome to OUR home, Scotiabank Place. We hope you enjoy your stay as we lead OUR team to victory tonight!"

Lots more ideas out there...you just have to look outside our market to see how pitiful we are at even pushing our own history. Red Wings have murals of past trophy winners and so on near their locker rooms. Hawks have something similiar and so do the Habs and Leafs (?). No excuse why we don't just rip out all the old people that gave 50 bucks off the walls and replace them with living history.

But I'm a dreamer, though cynical at times, and do not expect anything to change...
Good stuff.

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04-20-2012, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slamigo View Post
Well, I for one will watch football now and then just to watch football. Not to cheer for a team, but to watch football.

I don't do that very often with hockey. I watch nearly every Sens game, so maybe that's part of the problem. There might well be too many games. I don't want to watch hockey every night of the week. I also have 3 kids in hockey and play hockey and my wife plays as well. We kind of get our fill and by the spring, you're almost 'hockey-ed out' so to speak.

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04-20-2012, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slamigo View Post
Well, I for one will watch football now and then just to watch football. Not to cheer for a team, but to watch football.

I don't do that very often with hockey. I watch nearly every Sens game, so maybe that's part of the problem. There might well be too many games. I don't want to watch hockey every night of the week. I also have 3 kids in hockey and play hockey and my wife plays as well. We kind of get our fill and by the spring, you're almost 'hockey-ed out' so to speak.
I think that was the point of the Globe article. The NFL has promoted the league over all whereas the NHL has been more parochial. Each team promoting their own and in Canada at least, the national broadcasters promoting the Leafs instead of the league over all or even all the Canadian teams.

Its a bit better now but Ottawa as well as Winnipeg, Calgary etc should have a more prominent place with the Canadian national broadcasters. The western teams though are not at the same time slot as the Leafs so havent been closed out of the national broadcasts as much as Ottawa.

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Old
04-20-2012, 01:02 PM
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Thanks. That was a good read.

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04-20-2012, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quo View Post
It's the 20th anniversary this year. I think what we'll be seeing in the near future is a lot of the people who grew up with NHL hockey in Ottawa start to push out the old guard Montreal/Toronto fans. That to me is the only embarrassing thing: When we play our division rivals at home it's like a home game for the other team.

my old man says ottawa is the only team in the nhl with only 33 home games a year, lol.

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