An AP article on Southern California and hockey

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by LGP8771, Jun 8, 2007.

View Users: View Users
  1. LGP8771

    LGP8771 Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=210149&hubname=nhl

    I can't believe they would quote a 34-year old housewife. The NHL doesn't care about her - she's not in the target audience.

    Then they talk about a 22-year old who jumped on the bandwagon and told all his friends, and suddenly his friends were watching hockey.

    Still, the writer of this article irritates the $*** out of me. He ends the article by quoting again from the 34-year old housewife, and she says that her neighbors went wild when the Angels won the World Series, but nothing happened when the Ducks won on Wednesday night.

    Baseball has been around for so long, so that's not a surprise at all. This is such a poor way to tell this story. It's a rotten way to report on this. There's no mention that the Ducks have been around for only 14 years, and the Angels 46 years. And also, is there even a story here? Yet another member of the American mainstream sports media who just doesn't get it. They're making hockey look bad again instead of reporting on the good news. :shakehead
     
  2. Fugu

    Fugu Administrator

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    36,952
    Likes Received:
    204
    Trophy Points:
    1,000
    Occupation:
    Existence
    Location:
    ϶(°o°)ϵ
    Why is their target the 22 year old male? The last time I checked, that guy doesn't have much of a disposable income, probably guzzles too much beer, and is a firmly entrenched football or baseball fan first.

    The NHL has more female fans than any of the other sports, at ~40% of all fans. NHL fans have the highest education and income levels compared to the other leagues, and according to Bettman are early adopters of technology and the most tech savvy of all fan groups. Furthermore women are increasingly responsible for major purchase decisions in most American households, seeing that the majority now rely on two incomes anyway.

    There may be some good reasons why everyone targets the 18-35 year old male.... I'd like to hear anyone else's ideas how this helps a league that needs 60% of its support from the corporate base (presumably to take clients out who typically aren't 22 year old males); a league that would like to have >75% of tickets in full season ticket packages, preferably at average prices in the $50-60 range. Ideas?
     
  3. Spungo*

    Spungo* Guest

    The 22 year old college student of today will be the corporate executive of tomorrow. Generally, business tends to target younger consumers because their opinions can be shaped and changed. There's very little point selling a sport to a 50 year old. If he's been alive 50 years and hockey hasn't grabbed him by now, it never will. The same reason Pepsi doesn't target 40+ year olds. Hate to say it, but older people tend to be set in their ways. At that age, they're "coke drinkers", or "baseball fans", or "Nascar fans" for life.

    The NHL isn't going to convert the Jay Leno types.
     
  4. Fishhead

    Fishhead Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    4,050
    Likes Received:
    523
    Trophy Points:
    185
    Location:
    So. Cal
    That article is pretty spot-on, unfortunately. I live only a few miles from the Honda Center and other than seeing it on the sign for the arena, you'd have no clue a local team won anything. Here in Anaheim, 95% of the time you'd get the same response the housewife gave regardless of who you asked and their demographic. I hate to say it, but a very, very small percentage of people here care about hockey. Those of us who do are almost always of the die-hard variety. It's a situation of extremes, there aren't too many middling fans here. The Ducks and Kings can still sell out games because even though the percentage of fans is very low, the population is so huge that there are sufficient fans for two teams.

    I'm hardly a Ducks fan, I was following and supporting the Kings 10 years before the Ducks were even formed, but I feel bad that they aren't getting the local recognition. You would figure that as a Kings fan I would laugh that no one cares about their victory, but I think it sucks. There is no parade, very little fanfare, and people care more about Paris than they do about the great accomplishment of winning the Stanley Cup. All year the Ducks played great, yet I could easily go get tickets to any game except for when the Kings or Detroit came to town.

    It was a tough blow to see the Ducks win the cup this year, but seeing the aftermath is even tougher. What happens when the Kings finally win it - a team I've watched for years? Is anyone going to care? The Kings do have a larger following than the Ducks out here, but the two reasons for that are they have been around longer, and a large amount of fans was gained when Wayne came here. The heirarchy in these parts is always going to be

    Lakers > Dodgers > Angels > USC/UCLA > Clippers > Kings > Ducks

    The only thing that is less popular than hockey here is the WNBA, Arena Football, and the Lacrosse league.

    As far as the NHL not caring about certain demographics, that's simply not true. The NHL cares about every possible group because they have to in order to survive. They don't have a lucrative TV contract, fans are their major source of income. The reporter isn't making hockey look bad, he's just reporting the facts as they are out here. The reporter does get it unfortunately - the vast majority of people here just don't care.
     
  5. Meichel Kane

    Meichel Kane My Name Is

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    10,857
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    131
    It's the same thing they did in the other southern hockey bashing article - quote people who 99% of the time won't know anything about hockey anywhere in the US. I'm shocked - shocked! - that a 34 year old female knows little about hockey.

    California likes winning teams. If the Ducks continue to win, the sport will grow (as it has been).
     
  6. Fishhead

    Fishhead Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    4,050
    Likes Received:
    523
    Trophy Points:
    185
    Location:
    So. Cal

    I totally agree with you here, but unfortunately the NHL is not going to succeed selling hockey to college-aged people in Southern California. It's not feasible. The days of the college student becoming rich out here are over, very few younger folks realize that dream. I've lived here my whole life and only a few of my friends under 30 own a home, and they live 2 hours outside of LA where it is affordable. Rent and housing costs out here are astronomical. If you have a young family and want to get a house out here at this time in a good area and have a nice car and a private school (the American Dream, etc), the cost is astounding. Your household income has to be around $250,000 per year netto get close that kind of living standard. Making 6-figures isn't squat out here, yet very few people make that much. You have to rake it in unless you are already an established homeowner. The vast majority of people out here that have disposable income are those that bought real estate over 10 years ago. People just aren't going to throw their limited dollars at hockey here with so many other options.

    To broaden their fan base in So. Cal, the teams and the NHL need to target people in the two ranges - the 30-55 range and the under 18 range. You try to bring them in and get them hooked, so they bring their kids and grandkids, and put them in hockey programs. I have had season tickets for the Kings for years now, and most of the ST holders out here are older by a wide margin. They need to target the 34 year old housewives because they are the ones that can afford to go to a hockey game. Unfortunately the NHL doesn't have the marketing saavy to see this, nor do they have the desire to spend the dollars to market their sport properly. So. Cal is a different world compared to most of the country. The way to get people to come to your product out here is by making it the "thing to do." You gotta make it hip. This is why you also target the under-18 crowd. You market hockey out here like it's myspace or the ipod, so they bug their parents incessantly until they take them. There is a huge potential market out here, but it's going to go unrealized until the NHL understands the dynamic of the population out here.
     
  7. Fishhead

    Fishhead Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    4,050
    Likes Received:
    523
    Trophy Points:
    185
    Location:
    So. Cal
    Californians in general love a winner, but even if the Ducks won 5 cups in a row, they would never be as big as the Lakers, Dodgers, Angels, or the college teams. It's just not going to happen that way. Winning is important, but what's important out here is image and perception. Even when Wayne was here, the Kings weren't as close in popularity to those teams. The NHL was flying high, and the NBA was having major troubles, yet the Kings weren't close to the same ballpark as the Lakers. Not even close.

    You have to understand that articles are going to be like this because 99% of the people out here really don't know anything about hockey. That's just the fact of the matter. If you walked down the street out here and talked to random people, I would be suprised if more than 1 or 2 out of a hundred could tell you what the rule for icing is.

    The NHL is never going to be the big show out in So. Cal, but they need to maximize their fans by proper marketing. I bet if you got Paris or Linsey Lohan pimping hockey on TV, you'd see a substantial rise in ticket sales. Sad, but true.
     
  8. Pepper

    Pepper Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Messages:
    14,543
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Canadian article and the original poster "convienently" forgot this quote from the article:

    ''I have a bunch of friends who never watch hockey, and now they're watching it, calling me after the game,'' Robert Isambert, a 20-year-old student from nearby San Clemente

    Anaheim or SoCal will never become Toronto or Edmonton.

    It has been a common them for all canadian media to bash southern US hockey cities any way they can, I guess it makes them feel a little better after 3 straight losses.
     
  9. KzooShark

    KzooShark Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Messages:
    2,178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The only sport the average 34 year old housewife might be aware of is the t-ball or soccer team little Jimmy is playing in.
     
  10. Fugu

    Fugu Administrator

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    36,952
    Likes Received:
    204
    Trophy Points:
    1,000
    Occupation:
    Existence
    Location:
    ϶(°o°)ϵ

    What age range and status do the 40% of female NHL fans encompass then?
     
  11. pitseleh

    pitseleh Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    18,444
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    154
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Puck bunnies. ;)
     
  12. Jazz

    Jazz Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Messages:
    3,446
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Home Page:
    You can't say "Always" things change over time. You would not have predicted in the 1950s that by the 1990s, the NFL would have overtaken Baseball in the US.

    Anyways, I am not concerned, yet. In SoCal, the sport only got it's first real shot in the arm with the Gretzky trade in 1988, so we are only talking about 20 years. Also, there are many Californians who have been drafted into the CHL and now NHL in the past 5 years, and there will be more.

    This is the most important part of the article:
    Sports cultural shifts starts with the younger generation.
     
  13. SoCalPredFan

    SoCalPredFan Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Dude, there are 17 million (yes, 17 MILLION) people in the LA/Long Beach/OC metro area ....

    Even if ONLY 1% of the area were big hockey fans, that's still 170,000 people.

    I've lived in LA for 6 years. There's a ton of hockey love out here. Sure, it gets diluted amongst the millions here who don't like/care about hockey ... but so what.

    hockeymonkey.com and hockeygiant.com are based out here. There are a TON of youth and adult ice hockey leagues, inline hockey is obviously huge.

    There is a definite hockey culture here.... it just gets ignored and then pi$$ed on by the Canadian media.

    Kings and Ducks both averaged over 16k fans this season. Kings averaged over 17k the year before.

    the SoCal hockey market is strong, in my opinion.

    -t
     
  14. Fugu

    Fugu Administrator

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    36,952
    Likes Received:
    204
    Trophy Points:
    1,000
    Occupation:
    Existence
    Location:
    ϶(°o°)ϵ

    GC and IB will find this hilarious....

    So if I go to an NHL game I'm likely to see a huge number of puck bunnies? You'd think that fact alone would increase the 18-35 yr old male attendance rates. :D
     
  15. frivolousz21

    frivolousz21 Registered User

    Joined:
    May 17, 2007
    Messages:
    3,163
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Location:
    St. Louis, Mo
    I believe over 700K watched game 5 in the LA market
     
  16. pitseleh

    pitseleh Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    18,444
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    154
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Since the Canucks acquired Taylor Pyatt, they've sold out every game. It's a fact.
     
  17. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Messages:
    12,334
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Location:
    Eire
    SoCal hockey fans are deluded if they feel their market is strong, it's a tolerable market because it's so big but it's not a strong one especially with 2 teams there. I think the market is big enough to be decent for one team but two teams is probably overkill.

    There are hardcore fans and they add up in such a large area which is why there is a lot of hockey stuff out there but that won't fix TV ratings and overall public perception. Hockey is a fringe sport in SoCal, that's a reality and there's probably no way to change that as the area becomes more hispanic and less white given that hispanic immigrants would likely be soccer and baseball fans rather than hockey fans.
     
  18. SoCalPredFan

    SoCalPredFan Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    You're speaking directly out of you a$$. The future of the sport is not set in stone, nor are the demographics or ethnicities of its viewership.

    Hockey has a strong following in SoCal --- the fact that its only a small percentage of a really large metro population is really the best part ---- there is SO MUCH UPSIDE and GROWTH potential. Outside of NY and Toronto, the sky is the limit for this market to grow.

    If I were an owner, I'd LOVE to be in LA.

    -t
     
  19. hockeydemon05

    hockeydemon05 Registered User

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Messages:
    2,688
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Occupation:
    Senior!
    Location:
    So Cal
    +1

    Hockey is growing in SoCal, and it will continue to grow.
     
  20. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Messages:
    12,334
    Likes Received:
    651
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Location:
    Eire
    It's not a "strong following" if it's a tiny percentage of the population, no matter how big the population is. Less than 1% means fringe, whether it's out of 1 million or 10 million. There is a following but that's it. And of course it's hurt by the fact there's two teams because it means even amongst the hardcore base that does exist there's a split.

    You can go to SoCal today and you'd have to go out of your way to hear about the Ducks winning the Cup. In most traditional markets the entire city goes nuts when the team merely makes the Cup Final nevermind wins it, in SoCal (almost) nobody gives a damn if a team wins the Cup. As the guy said the hockey teams are the least popular major sports teams out there.

    There is potential yes, but potential needs to be realized, at the moment the NHL is losing viewership not gaining it however. The trend seems to go in the opposite direction, not the one you seem so set to believe in.

    And with regards to the demographics, hockey is for better or worse mostly a white sport and you just have to go to a NHL game and look at the players, refs, announcers and audiences to see that. No surprise either as hockey is rooted in Canada and in the U.S. in New England and the Upper Midwest - areas that outside the inner cities tend to be almost entirely white. That's the cultural heartland of hockey.

    Now it's difficult enough to even sell this sport to Americans south of a certain point, what are the odds that immigrants from countries that are even further South and come from a culture to which hockey is entirely alien would embrace it? Especially if the sports they primarily like, soccer and baseball, can all be followed in their new home as well? Heck there's a Mexico-based soccer club with its own LA branch now. And it's not like the environment of Los Angeles would in any way entice people to watch hockey, you can live your entire life there without knowing there is such a thing as hockey. If the same people migrated to Canada it might be a different story but these are people who care zero about hockey moving to a place where hockey interest is almost zero. It seems pretty obvious that this would work against hockey.
     
  21. MojoJojo

    MojoJojo Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Messages:
    9,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Home Page:
    Lets be real here. Or havent you noticed that other half of the population in Southern California that watches MLS?
     
  22. SoCalPredFan

    SoCalPredFan Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Your entire statement is ALL anecdotal.

    Look at the Kings attendance (16k+ past year, 17k year before that, etc)
    Look at the Ducks attendance (16k+ last two years)
    Look at the number of youth and Adult ice hockey leagues (El Segundo, Valencia, Culver, Norwalk, Pickwick, and several in Orange County)
    Look at the amount of inline leagues
    Look at NHLers who hail from California (a number that continues to grow)


    WHY DOES HOCKEY HAVE TO HAVE "CULTURAL MAJORITY" IN A CITY TO BE CONSIDERED A SUCCESS?

    SoCal is NOT Canada. It is not Maine. It is not Minnesota.

    Yes, the percentage may be small ---- but the numbers, the revenues, the amount of youth playing, all ADD UP TO A SUCCESSFUL MARKET.

    This notion that b/c it's only a small fraction of the 17 million people makes it a lousy market is horsesh!t.

    I've been on this board for about 3 months now. I simply cannot get over how NEGATIVE the majority of people are around here about markets that fall outside of Canada, Minnesota, or the Northeast. It's a shame b/c hockey is a GREAT sport and being positive in new and non-traditional markets only betters the game and its fans.

    -t
     
  23. Jazz

    Jazz Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Messages:
    3,446
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Home Page:
    I agree with you.

    But welcome to a sport that has a majority of its followers not believing in spreading the game. Probably the only sport in the world that can say that..... :shakehead
     
  24. ARS

    ARS Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Messages:
    4,548
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Isn't the Kings attendance number kind of inflated? I've heard that Lakers season tickets buyers are forced to buy Kings season tickets as well, but the person who said that could've been mistaken.
     
  25. I am utterly shocked there is yet another bitter post cup final column after a Canadian team loses for the third straight time, I cannot believe it.
     

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"