Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/08/05 at 03:12 PM ET
Returning to the ice after a 16-month absence caused by a labor dispute, the National Hockey League faces a new challenge: winning back disgruntled fans. The NHL's answer? Overwhelm them with kindness. In advance of the dropping of the puck in the first games Oct. 5, hockey teams have slashed ticket prices and, in some cases, handed out thousands of free tickets, something rarely seen in professional sports. Teams have taken out full-page ads in newspapers thanking fans for putting up with the lockout. And in an effort to lure new followers, the league is giving the game a make-over with a series of rules changes, a classier-looking logo and the working slogan: "A Whole New Game." For the first time, the National Hockey League and the NHL Players' Association have entered into a joint marketing partnership in an attempt to woo fans. The two entities, which usually operate separately, will craft a "nontraditional, very aggressive" ad campaign, an NHL spokeswoman says, noting that details are still being finalized. "The worst thing we could do for hockey is to dwell on what happened this year," says Charlie Jacobs, executive vice president of the Boston Bruins. Rather than continue apologizing to fans, "We have to talk about our players, our game ... and [build] the excitement over our product," Mr. Jacobs says.
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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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