NHL Should Not Be Only Focus

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by abracanada, Jun 19, 2005.

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  1. abracanada

    abracanada Registered User

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    If hockey is ever to become a top spectator sport in the United States, things are going to have to change on a number of levels. Over Christmas, I spent time in the US, and even though the World Junior Championship was being played in Minnesota, there was practically no televised coverage until the final games were played. I couldn't believe it. If the NHL wants to gain popularity, it needs to build into any television deal they have, the expectation that more hockey of this nature is covered. It would even make sense that the League become involved in sponsoring hockey at different levels. The problem isn't that NHL hockey isn't a spectator sport, it is that hockey is not a spectator sport.
     
  2. NYR469

    NYR469 Registered User

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    i agree completely. the nhl does an absolutely pathetic job marketing itself (both the game and the players). not only don't they market it but in recent years you couldn't watch a game for more than 5 minutes without being told how horrible the game was, the trap, clutching and grabbing, and so on. if i wasn't already a fan and i tuned in and heard people who think hockey is so great tell me how crappy it was i'd turn it off after a few minutes too.

    most of the guys in the nba and nfl are household names before they get drafted, lebron james was a household name as a freshmen or sophomore in high school. now i realize that college hockey doesn't compare to college basketball and college football and you aren't going to get it to the same level. but i see no reason why when sidney crosby walks to the draft podium that average fans can't know who he is. there is no reason why anyone not named gretzky, messier or lemieux gets a 'who's that?' from an average joe. there is no reason why guys like rick nash and kovalchuk are unknowns until they start tearing up the nhl.

    and it doesn't seem like such a complicated concept to me either. show some junior games, show some college games, show WJC coverage, run prospect profiles on espn, etc. every little bit helps and the more interest you build in the star players the more fans will develop and attachment to those players.

    maybe try to develop a tv network like the nba has with nba tv that can give constant exposure to the history of the game and the star players.
     
  3. abracanada

    abracanada Registered User

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    I also believe they could promote young players from College, or World Juniors, and have a regional focus. For example, Joe Blow plays for such and such a college, and is a player from Missouri. The NHL could sponsor some games on tv in the St. Louis area, and focus ads on the local making it big.
     
  4. London Knights

    London Knights Registered User

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    Part of the problem is that these events have even less appeal than the NHL. Until you have a large enough audience for the NHL game it is difficult to try and promote the offshoots of the game.

    The NHL needs to focus on getting people to pay attention to the NHL before they try and get people to pay attention to the million other hockey options. If you open them up to too many things at once they could lose interest in the game completely, or they may decide to be fans of the other options instead of the NHL.

    There are a lot of people in the US who absolutely hate the NFL, but are obsessed with college football. Essentially the same game, but they only watch one of the two. When the NHL is so desperate for ratings in the US, you don't need to be promoting the other options until you have them hooked on your product.
     
  5. FLYLine27*

    FLYLine27* BUCH

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    Well the NCAA does a good job..(or whoever)....every weekend there is usually a few games on if you have FSN. If you have satellite then you can choose from a variety of NCAA games to watch.
     
  6. abracanada

    abracanada Registered User

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    I could not disagree more. Most popular spectator sports in the US have a base of kids who feel they could make it one day. It is a fantasy they have. The minor leagues and amateurs feed that fantasy. Makes it more attainable. It also encourages young people to play the game. That is where it begins.
     
  7. arnie

    arnie Registered User

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    No, the problem is that hockey is a cold weather sport that takes years to learn to play and costs a fortune to pay for equipment and ice time and take time away from kids' interest in other, more popular and entenched sports.

    It's time to wake up. The NHL is not football, baseball or basketball and never will. It is a niche sport with limited appeal. As someone once said, the NHL is like RC Cola. A nice little drink with a nice little following of supporters. But it's not Coke or Pepsi and it never will. The NHL has nearly sunk itself because it fails to accept this.
     
  8. abracanada

    abracanada Registered User

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    Pretty negative opinion IMHO. Soccer was a european sport only at one time.
     
  9. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

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    And CSTV and ESPNU are incresing coverage. The expansion of college hockey should help the NHL.
     
  10. Yus

    Yus Registered User

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    World Juniors were in North Dakota. :teach:
     
  11. abracanada

    abracanada Registered User

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    North Dakota and Minnesota to be exact.
     
  12. missK

    missK Registered User

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    Because of the lockout and total hockey withdrawal, my friends and I started watching NCAA hockey in December. We started going to sports bars with satellite to watch FCSN, CSTV & NESN (before ESPNU went live). Then we found out we could get the Fox College Sports Network channels on our digital cable which was a great surprise. And it was only $2.99 a month and you could cancel it anytime. We still went out to watch games on CSTV or NESN but it was great to sit home and to watch hockey again. Once the NHL is back it's going to be a problem fo me because now I have favorite teams/players in the NCAA and it will be hard to follow both the NHL and NCAA!! :D But hopefully, it will be a good problem to have!

    Back on subject.....I think that USA Hockey has to team with the NHL to increase viewership of hockey in general. I've said this for years and while I've seen some connection on a local level, I've not seen anything at a national level.
     
  13. arnie

    arnie Registered User

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    There's no comparison. Soccer can be played anywhere by anyone and cost practically nothing to play. This is preceisely why it is so popular.

    More importantly, why is the is negative? Who cares a rat's behind if hockey isn't more popular? All that does is make owners and players richer.
     
  14. abracanada

    abracanada Registered User

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    Make hockey more popular in the U.S., and especially with young players, and the quality of the prospects rises considerably. More quality prospects, more good hockey.
     
  15. mooseOAK*

    mooseOAK* Guest

    Expansion to non-traditional markets was done to achieve that but then you get the people whining that it is bad for hockey and the same people cry that the league isn't marketing itself properly.
     
  16. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    Thank goodness that the NHL has that huge lucrative ESPN TV contract to grow the game in the USA .. Hate to think where we would be without it ..
     
  17. mooseOAK*

    mooseOAK* Guest

    TV is a minor component in increasing the popularity of any sport, having a team in the market is far more important.

    Follow someone else around for a while, wiilya?
     
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