Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/20/12 at 09:07 AM ET
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
He (Andre Richelieu, a Laval University professor) was asked, naturally, for his thoughts on the NHL lockout, now more than two months deep into what he believes is fast becoming the NHL’s blackest and bleakest season – one that, at the grassroots level, will take another turn for the worse this morning as Kraft Foods moves to cancel Hockeyville 2013 in favour of donating $1-million to Hockey Canada affiliated minor hockey associations across the country.
“The message the NHL has sent is that ‘we are stupid,’” he says. The NHL cannot possibly have any other opinion, he says, because the league has previous proof – two earlier lockouts – that the league can treat its fans in a cavalier way and they will always come back.
“That is the calculation they make,” Richelieu says. “When they say ‘We have the best fans in the world’ the presumption is that the fans will come back. That is the best example of insult and marketing myopia I know.
“From a sports-marketing point of view I think the NHL is about to realize that the last word is what the fans have. It is consumer power. When the consumers decide to act, to send a message to the organization, then the organization has no other choice but to change things.”
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