Canucks and Beyond
Entries with the tag: marketing
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.
Steve McLean at Chart Attack provides some background on the Vancouver Millionaires marketing angle to this year’s playoff run for the Canucks:
Mighty marketer Jon Mikl Thor is muscling in on the Vancouver Canucks’ Stanley Cup playoff run with the “Vancouver Millionaires” single/video and his new Vulcan Sky Records album, Sign Of The V.
The record was originally scheduled to come out next year to coincide with the Olympics being staged in Thor’s hometown, but the Canucks requested the use of “Vancouver Millionaires” as a motivator and team promotional tool as part of the “Let’s Do It Again” campaign. [...]
The Canucks are playing the album’s first track at games and promoting Sign Of The V at the team’s stores. It’s being played 25 times a week by TEAM 1040 Sports Radio, which is also running commercial spots recorded by Thor.
Chart Attack goes on to tell us that Thor is a “self-described rock icon” who feels he he belongs in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. (At least he’s not shy…) Anyway, I’m skeptical, but I might just be too old—or too sober at the moment—to fairly appreciate the nuances of contemporary hard rock.
The video is below in case anyone hasn’t heard it, so you can decide for yourself:
The Detroit Red Wings have a new holiday contest where fans submit and vote for their favorite home holiday display. And here are the prizes to be distributed December 30th:
First Prize: 2 Delta Airlines tickets
Second Prize: 2 tickets to the Winter Classic
Third Prize: a Winter Classic authentic jersey.
Which sounds good until Joe Hass at Winging it in Motown breaks down the problems:
It’s sort of surreal, spotting giant posters of yourself on the wall of a Vancouver Skytrain station…
Thanks to the Vancouver Canucks for including me (and the rest of The Crazy Canucks) in their new marketing campaign. Freakin’ cool.
*image belongs to miss604’s flickr. click on the photo or here to enlarge
From an interview with Gene Simmons on MSNBC:
Q: What would you say has been your biggest failure?
A: I haven’t had too many big ones but for the past two years, I’ve been dancing with Gary Bettman [the NHL commissioner], trying to figure out some way to [get him to] hire Simmons Abramson. It hasn’t happened yet.
Q: That’s a failure, your inability to seal a deal with Bettman?
Simmons Abramson is the marketing firm founded by Gene Simmons and Richard Abramson, currently responsible for branding an Indy race near you with the slogan: “I Am Indy.” (Clever, clever stuff.)
So, would you hand over the NHL’s marketing to Gene Simmons? Well, the NHL did that once already, actually…
How does an 18 year old who’s never played a NHL game in his life end up as the official spokesman for a pricey Swiss watch company?
Well, being the #1 draft pick has its perks, and being thought of as the “next Sidney Crosby” doesn’t hurt, either.
Which brings me to the video.
The Vancouver Canucks may not lead the league in on-ice performance (like the Wings), or corporate branding (like the Leafs) or pretty much anything else, but it seems like they’re always on the cutting edge when it comes to new ways to make money.
In Forbes, I saw this today:
[Two] major league sports franchises, baseball’s New York Mets and hockey’s Vancouver Canucks, have signed deals with Nortel Networks to upgrade their in-house voice and data systems, likely leading to instant concession stand ordering from all over the arena.
At least two well-known Vancouver business executives have invested in the Flip Flop Shops concept, including Vancouver Canucks president Chris Zimmerman [...].
“I like the simplicity of the concept,” Zimmerman said in an interview. “The product has a very universal appeal and I think there’s a real void in the market for people to go to one place and find the latest styles and brands.”
Such a major market void (*cough*) Zimmerman is likely investing somewhere in the $200,000+ range for at least one store. A store that sells nothing but plastic summer shoes.
The Canadian Press reports that Hayley Wickenheiser—the all-time leading scorer of Canadian women’s hockey and widely considered one the best female players to ever set foot on the ice—has made the cut for men’s professional hockey again.
A Swedish third-tier team, Eskilstuna Linden, has reportedly signed her for the 2008-09 season. The last time Wickenheiser played men’s pro hockey was a short stint in the Finnish Second Division, and her signing was met with mixed reviews, but there’s no doubting the impact she’s had on professional hockey culture.
A few words from Jamie Fitzpatrick on the issues faced in the past:
“Orca Bay” is no more—the Vancouver Canucks’ operating company underwent a long-overdue name change today: Canucks Sports & Entertainment.
And it’s a big day for the new company, as tonight’s game represents the team’s 200th consecutive sellout. Which is all well and good, but team president Chris Zimmerman isn’t taking anything for granted, either:
...Zimmerman doesn’t want to hear comparisons to the sold-out-from-now-to-eternity Toronto Maple Leafs.
“That’s an incredibly dangerous thing that I would never say,” Zimmerman said. “We talk all the time about ‘don’t take any of this for granted.’ Loyalty can be a fragile thing.”
Especially in Vancouver, which has historically been a fickle market.
That’s for sure.
Yesterday’s Player of the Day.... the Sabres must be so pleased.
I realize this sort of thing happens all the time, but seriously: no one can find a pic of this guy in a Flyers’ jersey?
The guy’s getting a bazillion dollars to play in Philly over the coming 5 years. I think “franchise player” is a reasonable definition of Briere’s job at this point.
It just makes you wonder at the people doing the marketing around this league sometimes. The NHL’s own media guide also still promotes Briere with the same photo.
And what is really the point of “Player of the Day” if not marketing the league and the player?
It’s definitely not a boring week in the hockey business when the very league we love—despite all the ways it drives us nuts—receives notification of a lawsuit filed against it by one of it’s own member teams, MSG and the New York Rangers.
The lawsuit alleges that the NHL monopolizes control over team promotion. The Rangers appear to be the only team left in the league that hasn’t handed over their website, as everyone else has followed the new standards. And that hasn’t sat well with the NHL: