Thursday, September 28, 2006

Marketing Makeover

I guess sometimes miracles do happen (Adam Proteau, The Hockey News):

Wednesday in New York, deputy commissioner Bill Daly and the NHL’s marketing team will be meeting with a number of high-profile agents to discuss its strategy on how to market the league’s star players.

“They maintain they are creating a new direction,” said one agent who will take part in the two-hour meeting. “The players will not be hidden anymore. They’ll be front and center.”

It’s about time.
No kidding. Which genius thought that the best way to re-introduce the game and its players after a year-long lockout was by using no-name actors?

Scott Burnside (ESPN) mentioned recently the league's plans to scrap the "Art of War" marketing campaign.

After the widely panned "Art of War" campaign that launched the new NHL, the league has come up with a new strategy with the league's star players as the focus.

Among the league's initiatives this season will be a series of 75 mini-features produced by NHL Productions that will be available to broadcasters across the NHL. Ed Horne, the president of NHL Enterprises, told ESPN.com that having re-established a relationship with the core fan across the NHL last season, the league is focused on expanding that bond to the casual fan.

The theory is simple, if fans are twigged to the stories of a player like Jarome Iginla or Joe Thornton or Evgeni Malkin, they might be curious enough to buy a ticket. And, so the theory goes, once the fan is inside the building, the game sells itself.
Weren't we saying that all last season?

The NHL is also trying to push itself into the consciousness of the American public by insinuating its logos and brands into movies and television series via the league's ongoing talks with West Coast ad agencies. The FOX show "Bones", for instance, features NHL merchandise in office shots. And on Denis Leary's critically acclaimed "Rescue Me," seen on F/X in the United States, Phil Esposito did a nice turn as a firefighter in the past season.

The NHL is also pushing its major sponsors to use its players in their spots, as well, while hip magazine FHM will shortly unveil it's first hockey-themed preview issue.
Jonathan Cheechoo of the San Jose Sharks will be one of the players featured in the TV spots. Eric Staal and Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes took part in the FHM shoot.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:34 AM


At September 28, 2006 12:18 PM, Blogger fauxrumors said...

OK, Gary Bettman, et. al. have been at the helm for about 15 years now, and they just discovered their best assets are the players??
If this isn't an indictment of their incompetence we don't know what is!


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