Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/30/13 at 10:37 AM ET
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Let's pretend you're the CEO of a $3-billion industry.
The product you sell is wildly popular in a certain segment of your market. Although that segment represents only seven of your 30 franchises, it drives your industry, generating more than a third of your total revenues and more than a third of your ticket sales. Consumers are fiercely loyal among those seven franchises. Their appetite for your product is insatiable. Yes, the overall size of this market is limited, but any business would kill to have customers like this.
Now, let's pretend you're considering expanding. Your business, while reasonably healthy on the whole, isn't as successful among the other 23 franchises. To be sure, there are places where it thrives and this larger segment represents greater potential for growth. But there are a number of trouble spots that have detracted from the overall image of your business.
So here's the question: When you do expand, do you go to the area where your success is guaranteed, or do you gamble on these other markets? Do you take the safe and sound choice, knowing it will only enhance the value of your business, or do you try again in riskier markets? These are the questions which face the NHL. On the surface, the answers would appear to be easy but, if history has taught us anything, it's taught us nothing is easy for the NHL when it comes to expansion.
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