NHL Community PR

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by The Bob Cole, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. The Bob Cole

    The Bob Cole Ohhhh Baby.

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    This is posed more as a question, but it's definitely up for discussion.

    The other major sport leagues have huge budgets committed to improving the league's and player's images through community outreach. The NFL and NBA (MLB too? Not familiar, but I assume so) market the hell out of it (David Stern has slowly made sure to transform the perception of the type of people that NBA players are). It's a PR hype machine and regardless of whether you buy into it or not (come on, we know they're forced into it), it helps clean up the image and show some connection and commonality for a fan to share with their heralded players.





    Just quick examples. We know there are many selfless players in the NHL that give in their own time. And most teams have requirements for visiting local hospitals/charitable functions. However, I never really see any PR from the NHL with regards to community outreach. Is this something they are missing out on? Should it be done? Is it done and just something I am unaware of?
     
  2. LadyStanley

    LadyStanley RIP Fugu

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    IIRC, there's a CBA requirement that players participate in at least two charity events/season.

    Guess you aren't following the Sharks.

    There's a golf tournament (benefiting the Sharks charitable arm, the Sharks Foundation), and Christmas "adopt a family" event (both of which every player participates in).

    Plus a number of other events like the upcoming wine tasting event, hospital visits, etc.

    The players' wives and girlfriends also do at least one player-favorite baskets which are auctioned off for charity. They also supply the people power for the sales of player-signed pucks at a dozen games/year (think every major holiday).

    Some of the guys have done community diversity skates, school visits to promote literacy (program is called Reading is Cool).

    In addition one player a year has donated a street hockey rink to a local school (out of their own pocket). There are also a lot of NHLers who donate to the Garth Brooks foundation everytime they get a shut out or score a goal.

    And that doesn't even cover the union or league charity events.

    Most of these have been (well) documented in the Sharks' 30 minute "Shark Byte" TV show.

    Give me more time and I might come up with even more examples just from the Sharks. :sarcasm:

    When the guys are interviewed on league shows (think NHL Network, XM Radio), these are often topics of discussion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  3. The Bob Cole

    The Bob Cole Ohhhh Baby.

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    Exactly, as a Canucks fan, there is a list equally large of contributions they make at a local level, but it doesn't spread beyond that. What the NBA and NFL do is make it a league-wide PR fixture. The NHL is unquestionably involved with the community, but is there enough PR for it - that was my question.
     
  4. LadyStanley

    LadyStanley RIP Fugu

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    MSM and many bloggers seem caught up in the "bad" rather than accentuate the positive.

    Such as:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=548388

    NHL announces creation of NHL Legacy Classroom in Pittsburgh hospital (in commemoration of Winter Classic) that allows kids to connect to family and friends outside the hospital. Should be up and running by April.

    And video conference by Cisco, NHL partner.
     
  5. billycanuck

    billycanuck Registered User

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    I know of a few NHL teams having a very strong participation in their local communities, and I am sure all 30 do too. Canuck Place has always been a popular one with my family as we had family friends that have used it in the past and raved about how amazing the facility, service and support was. Not too mention my friends getting to hangout with the Canucks and get autographs!

    I think what the NFL and NBA do for community PR is great for league brand recognition.It creates a positive affiliation with their leagues (and with shootings, drugs, hookers, sexting, - they need it!)

    But this is an area that I think the NHL could do more in; in terms of a league wide community out reach. Teams do it, but the league also needs better recognition in its communities too.

    I know the NHL is partnered with the Breast Cancer foundation. But I haven't heard of much else.
     
  6. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    The Hurricanes have a nicely conceived marketing campaign this year called "Pride. Passion. Community". Here's one of their ad spots:



    I think it was a smartly designed campaign, given the low expectations for the team this season. Rebuilding phases are one of those times when you can cash in on the community work you've done over the years. It helps offset the negative vibes of a losing season.

    Also, I was surprised to learn that the NHL will be opening a "Lion's Den" room at UNC Hospital in conjunction with the All-Star Game. I couldn't find much about it online (which is emblematic of the OP's concern) other than this blurb, but it's a nice touch that will leave a permanent impression from the ASG.

    Generally speaking, I'd say the individual teams do an ok job of emphasizing community connections (at least the Canes do) but the league itself should be a bit more aggressive about tooting their own horn.
     

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