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Winter Classic is a bigger event than the Stanley Cup Finals

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12-31-2009, 02:20 AM
  #1
Tricolore#20
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Winter Classic is a bigger event than the Stanley Cup Finals

Here is an interesting article from today's Globe and Mail by David Shoalts that explains that the Winter Classic is now a "signature" event and is viewed by sports executives with greater anticipation than even the Stanley Cup Finals:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle1415501/

Probably the most interesting line in the article is:

Quote:
The most astonishing statistic about the game turned up in the SportsBusiness Daily this week. A Turnkey sports poll taken in December showed the Winter Classic is in the top five of the events more than 1,100 senior executives in the sports industry are looking forward to seeing. The game placed fifth behind the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics, soccerís World Cup and the U.S. NCAA menís basketball Final Four. The game, which was the most-anticipated event by 7 per cent of those surveyed, finished ahead of the World Series, the Masters and the NBA finals, which finished seventh through ninth, respectively
Obviously, this is great news for the NHL if the survey holds any merit. They seem to have created an event that resonates on the national stage. Because of this, in spite of some suggesting that they should do fewer Winter Classics to preserve the uniqueness, I think this is a clear message that the NHL will continue to do an annual Winter Classic since it buys them exposure to an audience that normally would not watch. That has been the NHL's goal since the end of the lockout.

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12-31-2009, 03:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricolore#20 View Post
Here is an interesting article from today's Globe and Mail by David Shoalts that explains that the Winter Classic is now a "signature" event and is viewed by sports executives with greater anticipation than even the Stanley Cup Finals:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle1415501/

Probably the most interesting line in the article is:



Obviously, this is great news for the NHL if the survey holds any merit. They seem to have created an event that resonates on the national stage. Because of this, in spite of some suggesting that they should do fewer Winter Classics to preserve the uniqueness, I think this is a clear message that the NHL will continue to do an annual Winter Classic since it buys them exposure to an audience that normally would not watch. That has been the NHL's goal since the end of the lockout.
That is a really surprising and exciting stat to be number 5 of most anticipated sports events of the year. Every year that passes, I am hearing and reading of more and more high profile people either going to the game or taking a serious interest in the game, which is excellent news.

I'm not sure that New Year's is the best day to have it on, but I'm no expert in that field either. But the Winter Classic should be used as one huge marketing tool by the NHL to promote the game, and maybe more importantly, the individual stars in the league. This is one few things the NHL has done correctly in the marketing and expanding and promoting the game department.

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12-31-2009, 03:08 AM
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Strange, I've never been all that excited about the Classic. The only difference between it and any other game is the pregame stuff as well as the obvious fact that it's outside. I guess it's a much more exciting experience when you're actually there

Anyways, good for the NHL to hit the top 5 somehow. Now if only the Stanley Cup Finals, hockey that actually matters, can make it that high one day.

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12-31-2009, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by NorthVanCanuck View Post
Strange, I've never been all that excited about the Classic. The only difference between it and any other game is the pregame stuff as well as the obvious fact that it's outside. I guess it's a much more exciting experience when you're actually there

Anyways, good for the NHL to hit the top 5 somehow. Now if only the Stanley Cup Finals, hockey that actually matters, can make it that high one day.
I think a major part of it is that the NHL doesn't advertise nationally for the Finals, at least not near the extent that they are doing for the Winter Classic. I actually national commercials for the Winter Classic, something I have never seen for the Cup Finals. Maybe the NHL is starting to realize what kind of effect marketing and advertising does for the exposure of the league.

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12-31-2009, 09:19 AM
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Kinda lame really. But I can guarantee you the only reason it is is because we have seven game series. The Final would be huge if it was one game.

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12-31-2009, 09:39 AM
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Its huge because everyone has New Years Day off for the most part. Its considered a Sports Holiday in the United States since College Football and Basketball are on practically all day long. The NHL playoffs tend to fall on college finals, busy work schedules before going on Holiday over the Fourth of July, etc etc.

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12-31-2009, 10:22 AM
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If they pull more than i believe 7.5m viewers then it will be bigger. Game 7 of last years finals pulled that number which is good.

I hope it does just to help keep growing the sport.

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12-31-2009, 10:34 AM
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The biggest difference is the NHL can pick the two teams in the Winter Classic as opposed to who plays for the Stanley....... wait, Bettman....Crosby.... love in.... nevermind then...

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12-31-2009, 11:10 AM
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Winter Classic:

Played in cold weather, in a hockey market, between two long-time rivals.

A success?

No, no, no. This won't stand. I demand that the next Winter Classic be held at the Georgia Dome, Thrashers vs Panthers.


Last edited by Alan Jackson: 12-31-2009 at 02:01 PM.
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Old
12-31-2009, 11:17 AM
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Obviously, most fans prefer the Cup-- I'd rather have my team in the SC than Classic any time of day. The Classic 'should' be a success because the NHL can decide who is going to be in it, and so far they've gone for the biggest markets and/or highest TV ratings potential. Pitt-Buff featured the face of the NHL, but both teams have HUGE local ratings.

It's fun to watch, gives you something to do on NYD if you're not a college football fan, so nothing wrong with that. Marketing-wise, it's an event.

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12-31-2009, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Adama0905 View Post
Kinda lame really. But I can guarantee you the only reason it is is because we have seven game series. The Final would be huge if it was one game.
That would be my thought process. It's easier for a casual fan to catch one game, especially when it's on the same notable day each year.

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12-31-2009, 12:32 PM
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Putting a rink in Fenway is one of the coolest sporting ideas I've ever seen. Brilliant! And that it will quite possibly be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence just gives it that much more atmosphere.

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12-31-2009, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricolore#20 View Post
Here is an interesting article from today's Globe and Mail by David Shoalts that explains that the Winter Classic is now a "signature" event and is viewed by sports executives with greater anticipation than even the Stanley Cup Finals:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle1415501/

Probably the most interesting line in the article is:



Obviously, this is great news for the NHL if the survey holds any merit. They seem to have created an event that resonates on the national stage. Because of this, in spite of some suggesting that they should do fewer Winter Classics to preserve the uniqueness, I think this is a clear message that the NHL will continue to do an annual Winter Classic since it buys them exposure to an audience that normally would not watch. That has been the NHL's goal since the end of the lockout.
He's right. The Winter Classic has transcended the sport itself.

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12-31-2009, 01:49 PM
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Hope this doesn't get to the NHL's head too much, or they might think of awarding the Stanley Cup to the winner of the winter classic!
Then the rest of the season will just be a formality.

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12-31-2009, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricolore#20 View Post
Here is an interesting article from today's Globe and Mail by David Shoalts that explains that the Winter Classic is now a "signature" event and is viewed by sports executives with greater anticipation than even the Stanley Cup Finals:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle1415501/

Probably the most interesting line in the article is:



Obviously, this is great news for the NHL if the survey holds any merit. They seem to have created an event that resonates on the national stage. Because of this, in spite of some suggesting that they should do fewer Winter Classics to preserve the uniqueness, I think this is a clear message that the NHL will continue to do an annual Winter Classic since it buys them exposure to an audience that normally would not watch. That has been the NHL's goal since the end of the lockout.
Oh, yes. Brilliant news.

Get back to me when all said executives are as thrilled about the prospect of a game that involves... wait for it - a CANADIAN team - THEN we have an idea that the league has some legitimacy.

The fact that the Winter Classic has all but been guaranteed to be held south of the 49th and involve only American teams is an unfortunate reflection of the way the League has to sell itself out in order for it to generate the interest claimed by the article. I'm not implying that there's some formal contract in place to ensure the above, but let's face it, a game held in Washington (let alone Ottawa) against the Ottawa Senators (the Capital Bowl ), while a worthwhile concept, would never fly as the Senators would suffer the fatal flaw in the in eyes of the American market: being Canadian.

The discrepancy existing between Canadian and American locales and franchises suggests that there is hardly the unity required for a solid, relevant league. In turn, I'll hold back in endorsing the news as exciting until there's a preparedness - and capacity - to be more equitable.

Just sayin'.

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12-31-2009, 02:40 PM
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Not really surprised it finished ahead of the World Series, NBA Finals, and Presumably the Cup finals is because the Winter Classic is an single event where those are a series over the course of a week or two in several locations that aren't pre-determined. It is hard to pull off all the extra stuff (Parties, corporate schmoozing) that comes with these events for those series as you don't know where it is going to played (nor when it ends). A major reason why the Super Bowl is so big is because it is an event, that is carefully planned around.

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12-31-2009, 02:42 PM
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IMHO...there hasn't been one good classic game.
In terms of good hockey.... they've been crap!

In terms of $$$$...that's a different story

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12-31-2009, 03:01 PM
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I was watching Powerplay on NHL Network last night, they said revenue has tripled for the Winter Classic. Bringing in something like 8 million for the league and 3 million for NBC.

while, personally I think one every year might get tiresome, if they continue to grow and become more of a cash cow for the league and NBC (and perhaps CBC), business wise they would be foolish not to do it.

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12-31-2009, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrdevil View Post
Not really surprised it finished ahead of the World Series, NBA Finals, and Presumably the Cup finals is because the Winter Classic is an single event where those are a series over the course of a week or two in several locations that aren't pre-determined. It is hard to pull off all the extra stuff (Parties, corporate schmoozing) that comes with these events for those series as you don't know where it is going to played (nor when it ends). A major reason why the Super Bowl is so big is because it is an event, that is carefully planned around.
Totally agree with this post. Just to add, if you look at the other two events that are not one day events (the Winter Olympics and World Cup), these events only happen every so many years, so they are much more anticipated and hyped than something that happens every year.

Bottom line, I'm glad to see that the Classic is doing so well.

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12-31-2009, 04:03 PM
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Its hard to imagine anyone being more interested in the annual outdoor game than the Stanley Cup final from anything other than a business angle.
They can have it, i'll take any playoff game 10 times out of 10.

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12-31-2009, 05:51 PM
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Its hard to imagine anyone being more interested in the annual outdoor game than the Stanley Cup final from anything other than a business angle.
They can have it, i'll take any playoff game 10 times out of 10.
I agree with this entirely. But as big hockey fans, we're not the target audience.

The NHL has hit pure gold with this event in attracting people who are, at most, casual hockey fans. Contrary to the consensus opinion on HFB, apparently Bettman isn't a total idiot after all.

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12-31-2009, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by kcspence View Post
I agree with this entirely. But as big hockey fans, we're not the target audience.

The NHL has hit pure gold with this event in attracting people who are, at most, casual hockey fans. Contrary to the consensus opinion on HFB, apparently Bettman isn't a total idiot after all.
Nonsense! He doesn't even know how to tie a pair of skates

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12-31-2009, 07:17 PM
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More non-hockey fans will watch the winter classic than the SCP.

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12-31-2009, 07:43 PM
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The big thing about it is that it really seizes on the public's imagination. Hosting it in iconic places like Wrigley Field or Fenway Park is the real key, it's kind of mind blowing for people, even non-hockey fans.

My idea is the NHL should really try and go for some cool locations that will continue this trend. Forget about having to pack 40,000 fans in, make it intimate, for TV, and about the location. Have the game in Central Park, on an aircraft carrier deck, the las vegas strip at night, etc. Real iconic stuff.

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12-31-2009, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Turboflex View Post
The big thing about it is that it really seizes on the public's imagination. Hosting it in iconic places like Wrigley Field or Fenway Park is the real key, it's kind of mind blowing for people, even non-hockey fans.

My idea is the NHL should really try and go for some cool locations that will continue this trend. Forget about having to pack 40,000 fans in, make it intimate, for TV, and about the location. Have the game in Central Park, on an aircraft carrier deck, the las vegas strip at night, etc. Real iconic stuff.
Excellent observation. I think this captures the essence of it all. New Year's Day is the perfect canvas too.

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