Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dough Mollenauer of TheStreet,
Most companies don't like to see their names abused in public.
And yet Monday night's thrilling finale to the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs saw some of the best hockey players in the world jostle, push, and slam each other into dasher board advertisements for brands such as Honda, McDonald's, Coca-Cola and Verizon.
Players even smashed into dasher ads for Tim Hortons, the coffee and donut joint that's not well known in the U.S. but is considered a national treasure in Canada. The logo of its cross-border rival, Dunkin' Donuts, was only a few feet away, ready for the next pummeling.
Why would sponsors pay good money for such apparent mistreatment?
Because sponsors go where the fans are. And after a lockout that cut the regular season almost in half, record numbers of National Hockey League fans made a beeline to hockey arenas and high-definition television sets across North America.
from SportsBusiness Daily,
NHL team owners "provided more than $3 million to politicians, PACs and independent expenditure groups during the 2012 election cycle," according to Sunlight Foundation data cited by Louis Serino in a special to PHILLY.com.
Owners contributed "more than three times as much" to Republicans, as more than $2.7M of the contributions went to "conservative causes compared to $680,000 to Democratic causes." Five teams -- the Flyers, Lightning, Wild, Blue Jackets and Sabres -- gave "exclusively to conservative campaigns."
from Craig Custance of ESPN (paid subscription),
Leafs TV, owned by the team, was launched in 2001 and immediately added leverage to negotiations to televise Maple Leafs games and helped raise the value of the franchise.
"What I can tell you, the television deal prior to Leafs TV arriving and the first contract after Leafs TV -- the rights fee per game doubled," said John Shannon, who was the vice president of programming at MLSE and now an analyst for Sportsnet.
During his time running LeafsTV, Shannon said three NHL teams approached the Leafs directly about setting up their own network, much like the Leafs did with the Yankees and their YES Network.
With teams like the Leafs, Rangers and now the Capitals leading the way, it threatens to create a gap between those NHL teams adding significant revenue through television deals or their own networks and those unable to do so.
"It drives up the revenue for the league and it drives up everyone's salary cap number," Leonsis said. "So if you're not generating more revenue while the league's revenues are going up, it means you're paying more in salary without have the additional revenues. There's this real drive to try and find more revenues so that you can keep up."
Which led to the creation to the Monumental Network. The problem for teams that don't also own an NBA team or arena, is it's a little tougher to create a network that would add leverage to local television deals. The infrastructure costs alone would take a good 10 years to recoup and a hockey team doesn't provide nearly enough content to fill a channel.
read on if an ESPN insider...
from an email I just received,
Budweiser is launching a new campaign this Super Bowl Sunday. You may remember the response from last year’s Budweiser’ Flash Fans ad. Well, this year, Budweiser is back at it and we wanted to share a taste of what’s to come. A hint: the campaign features the newest piece of must-have hockey gear that will help Canadians celebrate hockey’s most exciting moments.
One video here and two below...
from Fitch Ratings,
Fitch believes the decision by the National Hockey League (NHL) and the NHL Players' Association to end the lockout and restart the season is positive for arenas and the sport. The tentative 10-year agreement (with an opt-out clause for both sides after eight years) must still be ratified by both sides. A 48-50 game season (usually 82 games per team) is expected to begin between Jan. 15-19 depending on when the new collective bargaining agreement is finalized. In total, the league missed approximately 500 games, including the NHL's Winter Classic and All-Star games.
While a potentially brand damaging full-season stoppage was averted, Fitch still has concerns related to possible harmful long-term effects to the NHL brand and fan support. NHL franchises have a solid dedicated arena fan base, as demonstrated by solid arena attendance after the 2004-2005 season work stoppage. However, fan attendance and corporate support for the 2013 season, as well as 2013-2014, could be materially different, given the combination of weak and uncertain national and regional economic conditions and various sport entertainment options.
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
Level5 is a 10-year-old company based in Toronto that has done “brand” analysis for such major enterprises as the NFL, NBA, 3M Co., Rogers Communications Inc., Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd., Second Cup Ltd., BCE Inc., Petro-Canada and many others.
Its expertise lies in in-depth interviews that determine the “emotional attachment” people have to various products.
In the case of the NHL and its players, the abiding feelings of the moment are betrayal at one end of the scale and utter lack of interest at the other. If you’re looking for warm and fuzzy, get out a microscope – or, better yet, switch to curling.
According to Level5 chief executive officer David Kincaid, the survey was conducted not for the benefit of the league but as a tool that might be sold to the multiple corporate sponsors of professional hockey, in order to show what they need to tap into with hockey fans if they hope to regain their former good standing.
It will not be easy.
“We found damage at levels we have not seen,” Kincaid says. “It’s quite alarming, really.
“If anyone thinks that the lockout can end and everyone will come back to Happy Valley, it ain’t going to happen.”
from John Brennan of NorthJersey.com,
Wrapping up our five-part series on the depositions of the czars whose sports leagues are suing New Jersey to try to prevent sports betting at the state’s casinos and racetracks, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman had his turn on Nov. 19.
During a couple of hours of testimony, Bettman echoed similar themes to his colleagues’ depositions – gambling is the most pernicious scourge out there because it can create a perception of “fixed” games; no specific studies have been done on this because it is self-evident; the leagues would prefer that Nevada didn’t have sports betting, either, but they’ve come to terms with that.
Bettman, whose deposition was released Friday like the others, said the league generally is “connecting” effectively with its fans. Of course, due to the current lockout, “they might be a little cranky, and understandably so”:
Los Angeles-based attorney William Wegner, who questioned Bettman on behalf of the state, then interjected, “Especially in LA, because we finally won the [Stanley] Cup.”
“I’m sorry we haven’t been able to hoist the banner,” Bettman said, adding that he was there and “I didn’t get booed presenting the Stanley Cup.”
added 2:39pm, Watch Bettman present the Cup to Dustin Brown below...
from Bob Van Voris of Bloomberg,
A group of baseball and hockey fans can go forward with claims that the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball violate U.S. antitrust law in their control over television and Internet broadcast rights.
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in New York today denied the leagues’ request to dismiss the suits, filed by subscribers to broadcasts of hockey and baseball games. The group sued the leagues; individual clubs; regional TV sports networks; Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), the largest U.S. cable broadcaster; and DirecTV LLC (DTV), the largest U.S. satellite television provider.
The plaintiffs, seeking to represent other MLB and NHL viewers in a class-action suit, claim the practice of dividing live game broadcasts into exclusive territories, protected by local blackouts, is anti-competitive. They also targeted the sale of “out-of-market” packages only through the leagues.
Mike Ozanian and Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes discuss the financial value of NHL teams.
Watch below (autoplay is on)...
added 12:31pm, Found the story in case you would rather read than watch the video...
from Mike Ozanian of Forbes,
So why have the owners thus far cancelled 422 regular season games of the 2012-13 season, as well as the All Star Game, insisting on a new CBA that drastically reduces the amount of money (currently 57% of hockey-related revenue) that can be spent on player salaries?
The reason is because on the financial scoreboard, the league’s 30 teams have never been further apart.
Consider the two most recent team sales. In May, Tom Stillman acquired the St. Louis Blues, the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, the lease to Scottrade Center, and a piece of the Peabody Opera House for just $130 million. One month later, the NHL approved the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan sale of its controlling interest in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns Toronto’s Maple Leafs (NHL) and Raptors (NBA), and the Air Canada Centre, for an enterprise value of $2.05 billion. We estimate the transaction placed a value of $1 billion on the Maple Leafs.
“If I was a company being courted by the NHL today, or if I was advising a company being courted, I would be concerned.” The current commissioner [Gary Bettman, commissioner since 1993] has three work stoppages under his belt.”
-Michael Neuman, managing partner for Scout Sports and Entertainment. More from Terry Lefton and Christopher Botta of SportsBusiness Journal.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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