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The Business of Hockey Discuss the financial and business aspects of the NHL. Topics may include the CBA, work stoppages, broadcast contracts, franchise sales, NHL revenues, relocation and expansion.

The NHL doesn't know how to market itself...

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Old
12-14-2012, 02:27 AM
  #1
thestonedkoala
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The NHL doesn't know how to market itself...

When NASCAR, the PGA and the International Tennis Federation do a better job of marketing their players then the NHL, you know your marketing firm needs to be fired yesterday. The fact that ESPN and SI pretty much black out anything to do with the NHL is another black mark on the sport. The NHL should celebrate not only it's unique heritage but the backgrounds of each country playing for the sport. Hockey is truly a world sport and that should be recognized. Anze Kopitar is from Slovenia! How many sports can say they have a Slovenian playing in their championship game other than soccer? Furthermore, the Olympics were such a source of pride not only for Canada but for Russia, for the United States, for the world and yet once it was over with, nothing. It's sad that guys like Ovechkin and Crosby aren't as recognized as Federer and Earnhart or Stewart. The NHL has always had a bad marketing department when they have some of the most exciting players in the world.

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12-14-2012, 04:17 AM
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sunnyvale420
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The NHL needs a Space Jam type movie, or another generation of Mighty Ducks but this time based in Houston. Having a NHL version of the tv series The League. A comedy about fantasy hockey that players have cameos in. It's not like networks havent stolen ideas from competitors before

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12-14-2012, 09:02 AM
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haseoke39
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Originally Posted by sunnyvale420 View Post
The NHL needs a Space Jam type movie, or another generation of Mighty Ducks but this time based in Houston. Having a NHL version of the tv series The League. A comedy about fantasy hockey that players have cameos in. It's not like networks havent stolen ideas from competitors before
I don't think the respective leagues were involved in any of these efforts though. It was pop culture responding to a demand.

I think the NHL does a fine job of marketing its stars. Compare them to other sports, but discount any ads that aren't produced by the league itself. When you compare the amount of attention different sports get across all independent media and then say, this is evidence of the marketing being done by the respective leagues, you're going to get a skewed perspective. By that standard, you know has the most incompetent ad department of all time? The NLL.

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12-14-2012, 09:57 AM
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By that standard, you know has the most incompetent ad department of all time? The NLL.
lol. The maximum player contract in the NLL is <34,000. How are you expected to advertise when the best players in your league are making less than a Fast Food Manager?

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12-14-2012, 12:03 PM
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It's hard to compare the NHL with NASCAR, PGA, Tennis etc... As they are more or less individual sports therefore the focus is directed at the athlete where in hockey (or in most team sports) the individual blends in with the team. The big exception would be the NBA where one player can big impact on the game.

The NHL I'm my opinion needs to focus more on rivalries as opposed to the star players to market itself and the proposed realignment if it ever happens will help address it.

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12-14-2012, 01:59 PM
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The NHL I'm my opinion needs to focus more on rivalries as opposed to the star players to market itself and the proposed realignment if it ever happens will help address it.
This. I hate seeing Lebron and the heat vs Kobe and the lakers. The NBA has no problem putting the team secondary to the individual and its something the NHL has done. I absolutely hate it, I dont watch games to see celebrities but two teams.

The teams are the hook, not one player from each side.

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12-14-2012, 02:04 PM
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This. I hate seeing Lebron and the heat vs Kobe and the lakers. The NBA has no problem putting the team secondary to the individual and its something the NHL has done. I absolutely hate it, I dont watch games to see celebrities but two teams.

The teams are the hook, not one player from each side.
So all the rhetoric of star players attracting fans are BS. Stamkos, Crosby, Ovechkin add nothing to a teams marketability. Who knew?

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12-14-2012, 02:04 PM
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In regards to the olympics, I am not sure how the NHL made any money on that, if at all. Also, it made them basically shut down the league for 2 weeks.

I think, in general, the NHL does not like the olympics and that is why they didn't promote it, or have any ads during it.

Although, I think they go about this incorrectly. They should have ads and should promote their league during it, as I think more people may want to watch hockey afterwards.

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12-14-2012, 02:33 PM
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sandysan
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Originally Posted by Stix and Stones View Post
So all the rhetoric of star players attracting fans are BS. Stamkos, Crosby, Ovechkin add nothing to a teams marketability. Who knew?
just because I hate it does not mean its not effective. But on principle I never liked elevating players over teams. I would much rather " the heat with lebron james" because really who is going to tune in not knowing that he plays for the heat ?

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12-14-2012, 02:43 PM
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The NHL has done a great job marketing the playoffs though.. And have the most well-known trophy in all of sports helps a lot

I know a lot of people who don't watch the regular season but love the playoffs.. The thing about hockey is that its so much better live.. The NHL needs to start marketing about getting people to see a game live.. I've met so many folks who tell me they fell in love after their first game

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12-14-2012, 02:47 PM
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I think star-power drives casual fan interest. It certainly does in the NBA and NFL. Those two leagues do a great job of building up story lines, subplots, and individual matchups, and continue to push them during the game. The games become narratives.

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12-14-2012, 03:23 PM
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The NHL has simply put all their eggs in the Crosby basket. He might be a great player but he has all the charisma of a box of hair. This is not to mention that the other 29 teams in the league have players too. Personally I have been pushed further away from the league in recent years due to the NBA style marketing approach. I would much rather see rival matchups promoted over individuals. I would also prefer the history and tradition of hockey promoted front and center. Since Bettman showed up it seems the league has distanced itself from those things favoring Crosby the individual, new rules, parity, ect... There also seems to be more emphasis on getting new fans from markets that will never embrace hockey than keeping die hard fans happy. Combine that approach with locking out every few years and you have a league that becomes less relevant every season.

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12-14-2012, 04:12 PM
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Crosby is a great player, but has the personality of a cardboard box, watching him on Letterman was like watching paint dry.

Ovechkin has the personality, unfortunately American sports fans tend to gravitate more towards American-born athletes. And Ovy hasn't won the big prize, people like winners.

Honestly though do any pro sports leagues market themselves outside of their own TV time slots? I've never seen an NBA commercial directly from the NBA during a non-NBA related event, ditto for NHL, pretty sure it's the same for the NFL.

The NBA "marketing" particularly in the 1990s was actually largely provided by companies like Nike and McDonalds and Gatorade that have corporate sponsorship with the NBA (for example) that created a lot of the ad campaigns that popularized the league (ie: Be Like Mike).


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12-14-2012, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Soundwave View Post
Crosby is a great player, but has the personality of a cardboard box, watching him on Letterman was like watching paint dry.

Ovechkin has the personality, unfortunately American sports fans tend to gravitate more towards American-born athletes. And Ovy hasn't won the big prize, people like winners.

Honestly though do any pro sports leagues market themselves outside of their own TV time slots? I've never seen an NBA commercial directly from the NBA during a non-NBA related event, ditto for NHL, pretty sure it's the same for the NFL.

The NBA "marketing" particularly in the 1990s was actually largely provided by companies like Nike and McDonalds and Gatorade that have corporate sponsorship with the NBA (for example) that created a lot of the ad campaigns that popularized the league (ie: Be Like Mike).
Yep, and let's be honest. Ovy isn't a great-looking dude.

As far as marketing non-North-American athletes, good looks and good English help a lot.

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12-14-2012, 06:57 PM
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Do you guys know and understand what marketing is

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12-15-2012, 03:27 AM
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thestonedkoala
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Originally Posted by Crease View Post
I think star-power drives casual fan interest. It certainly does in the NBA and NFL. Those two leagues do a great job of building up story lines, subplots, and individual matchups, and continue to push them during the game. The games become narratives.
Ding, ding, ding!

The NHL doesn't know how to sell itself.

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12-15-2012, 03:38 AM
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I cant even name a nascar driver..

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12-15-2012, 04:28 AM
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I cant even name a nascar driver..
Me neither... I'd be lucky to name 3 PGA golfers too...

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12-15-2012, 05:16 PM
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Hockey must act on a couple of issues to become a viable marketing platform. The shifting rules and enforcement make hockey impossible to handicap. This eliminates betting. So, fans can't "make it interesting"! This alone, puts the NHL into the comedy bin as a pro sport.

If a sport can't be taken seriously, what is the point of being professional?

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12-15-2012, 05:43 PM
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For the casual and non-fan, hockey is a very complex sport and difficult to watch due to its speed and chaos and complexity compared to other sports. It is, and will forever be a cult-sport.

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12-15-2012, 05:49 PM
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Me neither... I'd be lucky to name 3 PGA golfers too...
Not trying to criticize you personally, but golf is much more popular than hockey. As for NASCAR, I have no argument.

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12-15-2012, 06:01 PM
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For the casual and non-fan, hockey is a very complex sport and difficult to watch due to its speed and chaos and complexity compared to other sports. It is, and will forever be a cult-sport.
Fine by me, I enjoyed growing up watching a 6 team league, so obviously I'd have no problem with 20 or less even.

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12-15-2012, 06:06 PM
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Fine by me, I enjoyed growing up watching a 6 team league, so obviously I'd have no problem with 20 or less even.
Me too.

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12-15-2012, 06:10 PM
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Again when people say marketing nascar or pga tour thats a perspective of Americans.Hockey is number 1 a canada its athletes are known every were as for nascar its an american sport without any traction outside America.If the players were american and the story of hockey history were american the sport would be huge.Pga tour is well Known outside of America but nascar takes a back seat to Formula 1.And American football if played in France or England at the same time as a big rugby match would again take a back seat.Every thing is perspective.Hockey will be big in cold snowy american states where they have had nhl for decades.

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12-15-2012, 06:19 PM
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Me too.
Except for the fact that several minor league organizations exist an are successful. A 6 team NHL would just be another.

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