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Survey: NHL Lockout doing alarming damage to brand

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Old
12-18-2012, 01:04 AM
  #1
LadyStanley
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Survey: NHL Lockout doing alarming damage to brand

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...medium=twitter

Quote:
The league has a major marketing challenge facing it, whenever it decides to end the current lockout – and the longer it goes on, the worse it will get.

Such are the astonishing – yet, in other ways, not at all surprising – findings of a major survey conducted by Level5 Strategy Group, a survey that took place, significantly, in the slightly calmer period just prior to the recent press-conference histrionics in New York and the league deciding to sue the players’ union to determine, bizarrely, that it is in fact a union.
...
In the case of the NHL and its players, the abiding feelings of the moment are betrayal at one end of the scale and utter lack of interest at the other. If you’re looking for warm and fuzzy, get out a microscope – or, better yet, switch to curling.
...
“We found damage at levels we have not seen,” Kincaid says. “It’s quite alarming, really.
“If anyone thinks that the lockout can end and everyone will come back to Happy Valley, it ain’t going to happen.”
...
From a branding point of view, NHL hockey and its multiple corporate sponsors are facing a huge hurdle, Kincaid says. The passionate fans are angry, the neutral fans turned off and bored, the mostly non-fans – the people hockey needs to attract if it hopes to grow – disgusted.

“Think what this means to the sponsors of hockey,” Kincaid says. “For almost one-third of Canadians, you are wasting your time on them. You’ve lost them. They are not going to become even ‘neutral.’”

Article also talks about their methodology of conducting in depth interviews to determine the emotional connections (and how they differ from other public opinion surveys).


This was not done for the league, but to help sponsors.

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12-18-2012, 01:27 AM
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Killion
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Ya, this is a beyond serious problem for the NHL. Major sponsors are simply going to start running for the hills, several already have. In the game of sales by association, your entertainment vehicle, entertainer, sports or sports star takes a reputational hit, you the sponsor take one as well. Doesnt matter what tour, league, level. Takes years to secure some of these sponsors. Another Lockout, the 2nd in less than 7yrs, see ya. Not wearing the hair shirt's coming out of this one you guys had custom made for every single franchise & sponsor league wide.

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12-18-2012, 07:31 AM
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Pilky01
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Yet five year contract limits are the hill the league will die on.

Is it any wonder the league is in as bad shape as it is.

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12-18-2012, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Ya, this is a beyond serious problem for the NHL. Major sponsors are simply going to start running for the hills, several already have. In the game of sales by association, your entertainment vehicle, entertainer, sports or sports star takes a reputational hit, you the sponsor take one as well. Doesnt matter what tour, league, level. Takes years to secure some of these sponsors. Another Lockout, the 2nd in less than 7yrs, see ya. Not wearing the hair shirt's coming out of this one you guys had custom made for every single franchise & sponsor league wide.
I wonder if when the sponsors come back, are they going to start putting "lockout" stipulations in their contracts. IE: Brand XYZ pays the NHL $5M per year for 10 years, but if there is another lockout, the NHL owes brand XYZ 5 times the yearly amount back ($25M ) for every year they are locked out ( pro-rated of course for shorter lockouts )

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12-18-2012, 08:00 AM
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Bettman

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbcwpg View Post
I wonder if when the sponsors come back, are they going to start putting "lockout" stipulations in their contracts. IE: Brand XYZ pays the NHL $5M per year for 10 years, but if there is another lockout, the NHL owes brand XYZ 5 times the yearly amount back ($25M ) for every year they are locked out ( pro-rated of course for shorter lockouts )
Hey I'm hardly a Bettman fan, but he's not stupid. He's done a marvelous job at building the 'Brand' of the NHL and most if not all the success the NHL has had from a marketing standpoint, sponsor contract and TV deals accrues to him. Given his track record in this area I doubt he'd even consider a contract the contains the language you suggest.

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12-18-2012, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Falconone View Post
Hey I'm hardly a Bettman fan, but he's not stupid. He's done a marvelous job at building the 'Brand' of the NHL and most if not all the success the NHL has had from a marketing standpoint, sponsor contract and TV deals accrues to him. Given his track record in this area I doubt he'd even consider a contract the contains the language you suggest.
Hard to say IMO. If the damage to sponsor relations becomes severe enough ( ie: we lose this season and the next ), the NHL's choice may boil down to having a sponsor with stipulations VS. not having the sponsor at all. We will have to wait and see.

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12-18-2012, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falconone View Post
Hey I'm hardly a Bettman fan, but he's not stupid. He's done a marvelous job at building the 'Brand' of the NHL and most if not all the success the NHL has had from a marketing standpoint, sponsor contract and TV deals accrues to him. Given his track record in this area I doubt he'd even consider a contract the contains the language you suggest.
I strongly disagree with your statement... if you were to take a snapshot of the NHL today from a business perspective you have a league that 1/3 of the franchises are losing money ( if you take the owners at their word ) and a brand that has lost much of its value in the last couple of months. You'd think that after almost 20 years a NHL commissioner we wouldn't be in this situation if he were doing a marvelous job as you say.

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12-18-2012, 08:45 AM
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Yeah, if anything, success came too quick for Bettman after the last lockout and made him more arrogant. I think we are going to end up seeing main sponsors like Steak and Shake and Meineke at the end of this.

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12-18-2012, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Pilky01 View Post
Yet five year contract limits are the hill the league will die on.

Is it any wonder the league is in as bad shape as it is.
And full linkage is apparently what the PA will die on. It very much goes both ways but in this case if the PA stopped trying to maximize money outside the system or finding ways to undermine the system they would likely find the league far more receptive on the other issues. Without a good toolbox (full linkage) the other tools don't mean much so I think that is likely the hill the NHL will die on not contract length. Saying they will die on the contract length hill gives them a big give on the last day.

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12-18-2012, 09:01 AM
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So it's official? The NHL is worse than a British Petrolium oil spill?


Last edited by Killion: 12-18-2012 at 10:32 AM.
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12-18-2012, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falconone View Post
Hey I'm hardly a Bettman fan, but he's not stupid. He's done a marvelous job at building the 'Brand' of the NHL and most if not all the success the NHL has had from a marketing standpoint, sponsor contract and TV deals accrues to him. Given his track record in this area I doubt he'd even consider a contract the contains the language you suggest.
I believe COO John Collins should get an awful lot of credit for the sponsors the NHL has grabbed in the past few years, and for the building of the "brand" of the NHL. He's really the guy in charge of all of that. Bettman is in charge of making sure hockey is played most of the time from October to April, and he has failed miserably at that.

Not surprisingly, there was an article some time ago pondering if John Collins would stick around or move on the the NFL since a lot of his hard work has now been flushed down the toilet by this ridiculous lockout.

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12-18-2012, 10:19 AM
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Emotisphere?

Seriously?

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12-18-2012, 10:19 AM
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This league does not care a whit about the fans or the tiny sponsors they have.

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12-18-2012, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldsteelonice84 View Post
Yeah, if anything, success came too quick for Bettman after the last lockout and made him more arrogant. I think we are going to end up seeing main sponsors like Steak and Shake and Meineke at the end of this.


I laugh because my dad is a shop owner, so I have a pretty good understanding of their advertising. They have so much invested into their bowl game, it would take a really good deal from the NHL to prime their ad dollars away.

I know it's just a generic example, but figured I may as well add a bit of insite.

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12-18-2012, 10:30 AM
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While on the topic of sponsors, one thing that kinda surprises me is their sponsorship with Discover. There are 3 major credit cards in this country, and 4 major leagues.

Look at the top of all 4 league's online stores.
http://shop.nhl.com/home/index.jsp
http://www.nflshop.com/home/index.jsp
http://shop.mlb.com/home/index.jsp
http://store.nba.com/home/index.jsp

1 league is missing a 'preferred' credit card sponsor, and it's not the league you would expect to. Now why would Discover want to partner with the NHL over the NBA? Other than the fact it might be way cheaper.

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12-18-2012, 10:32 AM
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The reality is the NHL still has not fully recovered from the last lockout. This one may kill the sport as we know it.

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12-18-2012, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbcwpg View Post
I wonder if when the sponsors come back, are they going to start putting "lockout" stipulations in their contracts. IE: Brand XYZ pays the NHL $5M per year for 10 years, but if there is another lockout, the NHL owes brand XYZ 5 times the yearly amount back ($25M ) for every year they are locked out ( pro-rated of course for shorter lockouts )
There already is language in sponsor contracts to give them breaks in case of lockout. (As mentioned in a couple of other threads.)

Looking at an under-60 game season, the NHL will be giving its sponsors some breaks.

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12-18-2012, 10:58 AM
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While I agree the sponsorship dollars will be impacted, this idea that a huge contingent of fans are going to abandon the game is really a joke, and doing a survey of attitudes at the height of the lockout is going to lead to emotional responses and misleading results.

Personally, I'm just so sick of all the fan whining and complaining. As soon as this lockout ends, next week or next year, we'll all be back buying tickets, jerseys and $8 beers. You know we will. Because we love the game. All the "I'm never going to another game" BS, is just that, BS. We all know we'll be back and the league knows it too. We're a small fan base, but we're insanely committed to the game.

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12-18-2012, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilky01 View Post
Yet five year contract limits are the hill the league will die on.

Is it any wonder the league is in as bad shape as it is.
Every other league went through their labor headaches in the 1970s and 1980s and generally got it out of their system. The NHL didn't do that, possibly because of massive corruption on both sides. As a result, the NHL is going through the same stuff that everyone else did, but the stakes are higher because the money involved is much greater than it was when other sports went through it.

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12-18-2012, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by du5566 View Post
The reality is the NHL still has not fully recovered from the last lockout. This one may kill the sport as we know it.
im beginning to think that might just be the point ... burn it down and start again ...

interesting article. does anyone know how many folks work at NHL HQ? or what sorts of consultants they have on call? i really have to wonder if the braintrust even considered, let alone understood, the meso- and long-term implications this lockout would have on branding, public perception and buy-back.

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12-18-2012, 12:54 PM
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Excellent news. I hope both sides suffer terribly from their self-inflicted fallout.

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12-18-2012, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Every other league went through their labor headaches in the 1970s and 1980s and generally got it out of their system. The NHL didn't do that, possibly because of massive corruption on both sides. As a result, the NHL is going through the same stuff that everyone else did, but the stakes are higher because the money involved is much greater than it was when other sports went through it.
Mayor Bee when you post it really hurts about just how poor the NHL is run. The thing is doing this now means the league might just go away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuelphStormer View Post
im beginning to think that might just be the point ... burn it down and start again ...

interesting article. does anyone know how many folks work at NHL HQ? or what sorts of consultants they have on call? i really have to wonder if the braintrust even considered, let alone understood, the meso- and long-term implications this lockout would have on branding, public perception and buy-back.
Endgame is the sport just becoming like bowling or whatever. It happened to horse racing.

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12-18-2012, 02:23 PM
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3 lockouts in the past 20 years have tarnished more stats, records, and stability than two world wars and a polio epidemic did. Just let that sink in fellow fans.

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12-18-2012, 02:26 PM
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That's crack reporting, right there. Is this paper also reporting that water is wet?

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12-18-2012, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrose Munch View Post
Mayor Bee when you post it really hurts about just how poor the NHL is run. The thing is doing this now means the league might just go away.
It's not the first time that people tell me that my posting causes them pain.

It's a lot like looking at the comparison between European society 500 years ago and the Middle East today. Fundamentally they're similar, but the danger is that, due to advanced technology, it's possible for a group of terrorists using religion as a weapon to carry that battle around the world in 24 hours.

Quote:
Endgame is the sport just becoming like bowling or whatever. It happened to horse racing.
Horse racing declined due to an increased focus on things like breeding practices and animal rights as well as the rise of other sports. Boxing declined due to almost unbelievable amounts of corruption, and the focus on the later-life health of boxers.

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