Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/22/05 at 11:02 PM ET
The Boston Bruins yesterday unleashed a marketing and public-relations blitz - including a major ticket-price cut - in a bid to win back fans disenchanted by labor turmoil that canceled the most recent National Hockey League season. The Bruins will cut ticket prices across the board this coming season, though the exact amount is still being hammered out. Children 12 and under will be given free passes to early season games. Team executives also plan to offer close to 1,000 seats at $10 each - a ticket price not seen at Bruins games in 20 years. "Virtually every seat will have a price rollback of some sort," said Charlie Jacobs, a top Bruins executive whose family owns the team and the newly renamed T.D. Banknorth Garden. The pocketbook incentives come as part of a larger marketing campaign by the Bruins. The team will take out full-page ads tomorrow in the Herald and the Boston Globe, with TV spots planned for the fall. Jacobs has also hired a top public-relations firm, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, to help woo the media. And quirkier promotions are planned, including ice sculptures to be unveiled today in the summer heat at Faneuil Hall and other gathering places. "We have a several-million-dollar campaign in broadcast, TV and print," Jacobs said. Teams across the NHL are scrambling to court fans and fill arenas when play resumes this fall. League owners and players recently cut a labor deal after a year of bickering. The pact is expected to help rein in the sport's spending binge on player salaries, restoring the league's battered finances. By putting fans in seats - even with price cuts and free tickets for young kids - the Bruins would benefit from food, beverage and other concession sales. Jeremy Jacobs, who owns the Bruins and the Garden, also owns the arena's concessions company. Yesterday, Jeremy Jacobs acknowledged that the long labor battle wasn't ideal for the NHL - or hockey fans. "I plead guilty. We did take way too long," he said.
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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.
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