What the NHL is doing wrong (not about finances)...

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by thestonedkoala, Jan 27, 2005.

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  1. thestonedkoala

    thestonedkoala Everyone! PANIC!

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    The problem about the NHL isn't just about the finances, it is about having guys that sell the game. When I turn on the TV, I see commercials of football players, basketball players, baseball players, not just selling their sport but also selling products. But the key thing is, their face is getting plastered on my television so I learn who they are when they play and I might get interested to see who this guy is and how good he is if he is selling a product.

    The NHL has no guy like that. They have no one selling the game or trying to market other goods. The NHL needs not just an American star but an international star. Basketball has capitalized on this by having Ming and other European stars. They hype them, they get their names out there. NHL hasn't done this. No one really knows who Patrick Roy or Roberto Luongo is. But I bet you that people know Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Or maybe Alex Rodriguez or Mika Piazza or Pedro Martinez or Sammy Sosa. It is because they get their names out there.

    The NHL should be, and I know it's bad, but hyping guys like Crosby and Ovechkin. Get their names out there and try to get discussions going. Push SportsCenter to say their name and keep repeating it so people remember. When you see sports highlights you hear names like Vick and Manning or James and Camerlo Anthony. NHL needs a couple players to be hyped like this.

    With the influx of players and American players to boot, the NHL has a real good market to start getting their faces and names out there. They also can show that the NHL is an awesome global game by having guys like Gaborik, Zherdev, Nash, Kovalchuk, and others out there hyping the game and selling it.
     
  2. This is what I have been saying for so long. People laugh, and talk about dancers on commercials, well thats whats gonna attract the average person.

    They need to market there superstars. All I see is 2 europeans chasing a puck on the road. Not to sound rasict but Americans and Canadians are gonna have a though time digesting europeans. Lets get Jarome Iginla, Jermey Roenick as poster people for the NHL.
     
  3. thestonedkoala

    thestonedkoala Everyone! PANIC!

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    Well they liked Ming, Nowitzki, and Stojovick...not to mention they hyped the Euro teams like mad...
     
  4. Yeah well I don't know non english speaking people make it a little harder, unless they don't talk. I do agree with Kovalchuck being promoted though he is a exciting player to watch.
     
  5. thestonedkoala

    thestonedkoala Everyone! PANIC!

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    And Nash...

    Gaborik...

    Wouldn't it be sweet to have a bunch of Euro's speaking in their native language promoting hockey?
     
  6. Yeah I don't think that will get people hyped for a hockey game.

    There are tons of people to market the leauge has a lot of stars, and youne ones also. I see Iggy doing CIBC commercials where hes shown for a total of what 5 seconds.

    Another big mistake is there non advertising of the Stanley Cup Finals. Its seems like it means nothing. Watch ABC they flash NHL on ABC Stanley Cup Playoffs Tuesday Tampa vs Calgary, wow exciting. THen you got Black Eyed Peas lets get it started people dancing, a longer commercial promoting basektball, and you think well I wanna watch the NBA Finals instead, that hockey game I can catch highlights later dosent seem to important.
     
  7. SuperUnknown

    SuperUnknown Registered User

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    To be honest, I think a bit of the NHL's lack of appeal in the US is because there are too many Europeans playing. /dodge :dunno:
     
  8. thestonedkoala

    thestonedkoala Everyone! PANIC!

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    I think it's because people don't realize HOW cool some of these guys are. I met Parrish and he ROCKED.
     
  9. kerrly

    kerrly Registered User

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    Oh come on, how abouts Mats Sundin's incredibly successful Chunky Soup campaign.
     
  10. Reilly311

    Reilly311 Guest

    Marketing costs money. Money the league doesn't have. It doesn't even have a good TV contract. Why spend 100's of millions of dollars to advertise a couple games on ESPN2? They're going to have to start from the ground up. What has to happen first is people have to have something to talk about and have an excuse to go to a game or two. The NHL right now is boring. There aren't any great stories. There isn't any Lemieux/Gretzky like superstars. There hasn't been much good news as of late from the NHL either. Heatley's accident, Burtuzzi's sucker punch, the Danton case etc.. and now the lock out.


    IMO, the NHL's first shot in a long time at getting public attention is with Ovechkin, Crosby, and Kessel. Assuming those 3 players are superstars in the NHL, they might have something. They're going to have to get creative though. The game itself needs to be fixed too so those superstars can play and make fans jump out of their seats.


    They got a lot of work to do.
     
  11. Simon

    Simon Registered User

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    The league doesn't have money because they don't promote themselves the way that major sports do. I know it's kinda tough to put on a huge media blitz when you need a $300 mil war chest to defeat the union. But I don't think they realize that hype sells, regardless of the product. The superbowl didn't become the TV event of the year by being the most exciting game. It got there because the league understands hype. Even while you're watching it seems like half the game (commentary, random sound effects) is hype. I don't want the NHL to hit that extreme, but packaging sells. Year to year the best selling sets of headphones always have the most extravagant packaging. Same with music, same with movies, same with sports. The NHL needs to grow into the oughts. Or 2ks. Or whatever you want to call them. Personally I kind of like the double O's.
     
  12. Jack Canuck

    Jack Canuck Registered User

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    They need to get on T.V, though. I mean it is rediculous when you can turn on the local sports channel and be blasted with football, poker, pool, and golf all day (half the time college football). Yet at the same time the WJC of hockey is going on and there isn't a peep about it. Sure I am not in a hockey area but still it is a hell of a lot more interesting than poker!

    Hockey on the whole needs to be promoted better, and made more visual. Plus it needs a better reputation in my opinion.
     
  13. Coffey77

    Coffey77 Registered User

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    That is true. IMO, the other 3 sports market their teams and players much better than hockey.

    I don't follow Basketball, football or baseball but I know who Curt Schilling is. Brett Favre (unlike Ben Stiller I know how to say it :D ), Lebron James, Yao Ming, Ben Wallace, Jerome Bettis, Mehmut Okur, Carmelo Anthony, Ray Lewis, Mike Piazza etc. Ask a fan that doesn't follow hockey who Brett Hull or Ilya Kovalchuk are and they probably won't know. A lot of Americans don't know that there is a lockout. That's pathetic.
     
  14. Devils Advocate

    Devils Advocate mmmmmm....Crow.

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    Why market someone's face if they are hidden under a helmet or behind a face shield. They need to enourage all players to skate during warmups with their helmets off. Then they should throw out that rule that only the 5 skaters who start the period can skate around the ice, when they come out for the 2nd & 3rd periods. They should let all the players take 1 or 2 minutes to cruise around the ice. Again without their helmets if possible.

    Then Bettman needs to get his buddy David Stern to lend Lebron, Shaq, and Yao Ming for a commercial with some NHL players (Iginla, Chara because of his size maybe, & Lecavlier) to cross-promote both games.
     
  15. Cawz

    Cawz Registered User

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    Oh how I wish people would realize this. Compare hockey to the other 3 major sports, and realize the marketing differences. In basketball and baseball you can recognize the players. In football, theres 2 minutes of commentary for every 10 seconds of action.

    In hockey, the casual fan has no idea who is on the ice for the majority of the game. This comes from watching hockey with my non-sports-fan girlfriend and co-workers during Calgary's cup run (if I had a dollar for every time I was asked what number Iginla was and when he was on the ice. I'm not a Flames fan, so I'd tell them he's #52 and he's not playing because he was injured in the pregame skate.)
     
  16. Bicycle Repairman

    Bicycle Repairman Registered User

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    Thankfully, the NHL will have a snappy new logo and high definition TV broadcasts when they return. That low profile marketability problem will be a thing of the past! Players? Bah, mere afterthought.
     
  17. Lard_Lad

    Lard_Lad Registered User

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    The problem is, they're stuck halfway: boring, standardized helmets for everybody. Give them all Star Wars-style stormtrooper helmets that cover the whole face, and let them be like goalies and paint the helmets however they want. I mean, nobody remembers Gilles Gratton for his goaltending skills, but that tiger mask of his is in the Hall of Fame. Maybe if Jim McKenzie had a head painted like a skull and Jeremy Stevenson one like a lion, I could tell the difference between them.

    As an added bonus, guys like Ricci and Chelios could be forced to keep the helmets on during post-game interviews.
     
  18. Epsilon

    Epsilon #TeamHolland

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    In my experience, US sports fans are a lot more interested in European and Asian athletes than in Canadian ones.
     
  19. PecaFan

    PecaFan Registered User

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    What's being missed here is very little of this extra recognition factor for baseball, basketball players etc is caused by the league.

    You recognise those guys because you see their faces on the sports report most every night. You seem them in a commercial for Coke or Pepsi. The NHL can't force the CBS sports report to show hockey, or Coke to run a national campaign with Jarome Iginla.
     
  20. Devils Advocate

    Devils Advocate mmmmmm....Crow.

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    No, but if there is any truth to this report from TSN, then Hockey might actually be such an exciting sport that the networks would be forced to show hockey. Yes, they have talked about obstruction before, but this is the first time I've ever heard them specifically mention stick work on the body. Obstruction (body to body contact) can be pretty tricky to call sometimes, but obstruction (stick work on the body) is pretty cut and dry. I assume they're not talking about your everyday cross-checks but rather the hooking & tugging that is done with sticks.

    Imagine the style of play in the All-star game with about half of the offense (or even 1/4) and actual hitting, grinding, & fighting.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story.asp?ID=112688

    specifically the comment:

     
  21. HckyFght*

    HckyFght* Guest

    It's not just hype either. The NFL and MLB are constantly explaining the game to the fans while the game is in progress. But the NHL has such a phobia about taking on the didactic chores of explaining the game as it goes on. I've heard guys like Bill Clement say that they don't want to insult fans by telling them what they already know. ESPN actually has aired games where they take a hockey 101 approach. This is simply assinine self consiousness. Broadcasters have a duty to explain the game. The NHL needs to quit acting like an exclusive club for Canadian hockey enthusiasts and act like a big time sport.
    -HckyFght!
     
  22. Street Hawk

    Street Hawk Registered User

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    Promote what?

    I don't think promoting NHLers is going to do wonders for the NHL unless the players can actually do something exciting on the ice.

    Look at the top guys in the other sports:

    Football, you've got Peyton Manning breaking records, Vick and his flashiness, Owens celebrations, Ray Lewis's enthusiasm and work ethic, Patriots team domination, etc.

    Baseball, you've got ARod, Jeter, Bonds, Ichiro, etc breaking records and getting HRs and RBI totals comparable to what the elite guys in the past did.

    Basketball, Kobe, James, Anthony, McGrady, Stoudamire, all about the dunks and the no look passes.

    In those 3 sports, the top guys are producing at a comparable level in terms of TD, HR, RBI, PPG, etc. that the very best in those sports did in the prime.

    In the NHL now, you don't have any 100 point guys or 50 goal men. Heck, the top goal scorer had 41 goals and the top point guy, did St. Louis hit 90? That's way down from the days where a dozen players scored 100 points.

    The NHL needs to get its butt in gear and call the interference. I mean, people were concerned about the illegal contact calls the NFL was going to enforce this year, and it has gone sharply up, but the NFL made the conscious decision to make the call and stick with it. I heard a Sportstalk guy say that after the NHL Coaches met to talk about Obstruction, he said, here we go, with MR. Arm in the Air. Hey, just call it until they stop and if they don't, then a parade to the penalty box it shall be.
     
  23. txomisc

    txomisc Registered User

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    I'm all for it. You intentionally touch an opposing players body with your stick, you sit.
     
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