Canucks and Beyond
Entries with the tag: gary bettman
I’ve been thinking a lot about the NHL’s advertising power since the playoffs, having experienced first-hand the domino effect of Vancouver’s massive marketing machine. And not even just their marketing, but the trickle-down effect of having so many people willing to market your brand for you. Aside from the thousands of jerseys everywhere, there’s also everything from the Canucks Drink Special of the Day at every yuppie bar, to the street musicians doing their own turn at Canucks anthems. And a thousand things in between. So many people taking their little—or massive—cut of the action.
As someone who doesn’t get to attend games very often, I remember the first time I saw an arena blimp advertisement: that giant aluminum-wrapped phallus that is the Chipotle Blimp. At the time I’ll confess to having no idea what the hell a “chipotle” even was, and my imagination ran amok with the idea that someone had decided that floating this giant, hot-air-filled, mid-life crisis was a good idea inside a hockey arena. (Although it is kind of awesome.)
It was also the first time I’d seriously considered the extents to which marketing in sports arenas could go to. A blimp is pretty conventional, but the landscape of other revenue-generating surfaces seems virtually endless.
Let’s go back a few days, to Sunday, when Bruce Dowbiggin wrote the following at the Globe & Mail:
The Stanley Cup final matchup last year was the best thing to happen to the NHL in the United States since Wayne Gretzky dried his tears on the pier at Santa Monica, Calif., in 1988. The meeting of the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers, the third- and fourth-biggest media markets in the States, produced substantial ratings…[...].
The Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks pairing in 2011, by contrast, has been compared by some to the Fox TV glowing puck as a broadcasting non-starter. Ratings from the local Vancouver market don’t count in the U.S. Nielsen ratings. To Americans, Vancouver might as well be Vladivostok at this time of year. The Sedin twins, likely to win back-to-back Hart Trophies, rival the GOP presidential field on the invisibility factor. Boston is dropping as a major U.S. market.
But in reality, an entirely different picture emerges, as ratings from “Vladivostok” give NBC a whopping 14% increase over last year, and are, in fact, the highest game 1 ratings in 12 years.
Random, post- All Star weekend thoughts on a variety of topics—some serious, most not.
- Watching Gary Bettman and Ron MacLean chatting at the ASG, I was struck by Bettman’s demeanor. He seemed to be almost vibrating throughout that interview and it led me to wonder if he has some mild neurological disorder developing that’s been unreported. (Note: I’m not in any way making a joke here. Hopefully I was just imagining things. But he seemed really jittery…). You can compare this year’s conversation with his time talking to MacLean at last year’s ASG. Bettman seemed—to me—to be much more ‘wired’ yesterday. Is there some mysterious illness at work, or was it just a sign of too much espresso? (Update: alternate theories from readers added below…)