Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: marketing
The NHL’s SVP of corporate sales and marketing—Keith Wachtel—spoke on a marketing panel this morning. Here are some of his comments via Karl Greenberg of Marketing Daily (MediaPost.com):
“Mobile is where things are taking place,” said Wachtel. “If a person is watching on TV, he’s doing it on iPad, too; he’s on mobile. Or he’s buying and sharing it on Shazam. Our fans are young, tech-savvy high earners.”
He added that the days of big sports leagues letting fans find them are over. “It’s us finding them, because they won’t go to NHL.com; they are more likely to look for NHL content on sites like ESPN,” he said. “So we have had to change our model: If you want our content, we will give it to you because at the end of the day, the platform shouldn’t matter. The younger demographic is always changing where they are, using social, not traditional sites. The question is where are they? You have to find them before pulling them into the brand.”
Also interesting were some points about the nature of NHL fan loyalty and of the realistic potential size of the NHL audience. Wachtel said the goal is not to grow the fan base since hockey has geographic limits other sports don’t (“If you can go outside and play the sport there, we’ll be big there,” he said), but to create the kind of league-level loyalty among fans that other sports enjoy, not just team-level loyalty.
“We are fourth of the big four and our fans are the most passionate of all sports partly because it’s a smaller fan base. But while we have avid fans, most of our fans are tribal.”
From Pat Coyle of Coyle Media:
Over the past 18 months, sports teams have amassed huge followings on Facebook and Twitter. In an attempt to understand the fans following sports teams, Coyle Media has fielded a series of surveys in partnership with various professional and collegiate teams. We’ve collected over 12,000 completed surveys and learned a lot about sports fans and their social media preferences.
We are continually analyzing these data looking for insights. We’ve found it particularly interesting to see how fans behaviors can vary from sport to sport, and between various media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Team Websites.
Below is the graphical representation of their data:
From the AP via NHL.com:
The most lucrative sponsorship deal in NHL history is in doubt after an Ontario judge ruled in favor of Labatt’s claim that the league reneged on its agreement with the beer company.
The Ontario Superior Court ruled Friday in favor of Labatt’s, which claimed it already had a deal in place with the NHL before the league committed to a $375-million sponsorship agreement with archrival Molson Coors.
It was called “a monster deal” by NHL chief operating officer John Collins when it was unveiled in February.
Origins of this lawsuit are explained in more depth in this February 22, 2011 story in the Toronto Star.
From Chris Sprow at ESPN The Magazine,
Last year, the Toronto Maple Leafs were a fairly dreadful team by most standards. They were last place in their division, had the fourth worst record in the East, were outscored by 29 goals and were an atrocious 78.2% on the penalty kill. Their record, however, was a competitive-looking 36-35-11. They were over .500!
But in the current NHL, who isn’t?
Last year, in a 30-team league, just 6 teams were under .500. In the West, discounting the NHL’s worst team—the Los Angeles Kings who were all of 9 games under .500— the other two “losers” combined to go a whopping 5 games under .500. Yikes! That’s because the NHL has devised a clever marketing ploy where at least based on a traditional look at the standings, your team is never really out of it.
From Mark Herrmann at Newsday:
[The New York Rangers] trip seems to have more than compensated in team chemistry what it had cost in practice time during a rushed training camp. That’s more tangible than the cool million dollars they earned by beating Metallurg Magnitogorsk for the preseason Victoria Cup in Switzerland.
American professional leagues do not release figures on exactly how much real compensation they receive for these trips, but the fact that they keep doing it tells you it is worth their while.
“Playing overseas is a marketing investment—for the league and the team,” said Stefan Szymanski, professor of economics and head of the MBA program at Cass Business School in London. “The long-term benefit is that the league will develop a new fan base.”
From Darren Rovell at CNBC’s SportsBiz:
A blog reader writes in today to tell us how similar the “NHL Face Off 2008” logo was to this year’s “NFL Kickoff 2008” logo.
It’s kind of ridiculous how similar they look. Have we really run out of logos? I know no idea is really original, but I hope the person who put this one together at the NHL didn’t get any sort of credit for it.
Rovell is apparently suggesting the NHL’s work is a knock-off of the NFL’s earlier logo. I’ll leave it to readers to decide, but he might have a point…
Which companies get the most bang for their buck advertising through the NBA or NHL? The answer, according to a study by Baylor University and iThink: beer, insurance and office supply businesses. We awarded NBA and NHL point totals to indicate how much “lift” a brand gets in distinction, loyalty and purchase behavior from sports fans over and above non-sports fans. [...]
Here are the top 10, with NBA scores weighted 3.5 times more heavily than NHL scores to reflect its superior reach.
Here are the Top-10 most effective sports advertisers. (NHL fans like beer. A lot. Go figure. They also seem especially fond of office supplies…).
And Tom Van Riper has written a complete story on the subject here.
From Chris Reidy at the Boston Globe:
Moth-ball those wing-tips, hockey buffs. Give those pumps and penny loafers a night off. As of now, you can purchase customized footwear that celebrates the Detroit Red Wings’ recent Stanley Cup victory.
That’s the good word from Reebok International Ltd., the Canton sneaker brand that is the “authentic outfitter” of the National Hockey League.
And that means customized Red Wings Stanley Cup footwear. Fortunately you can put other NHL logos on your feet, too.
Anheuser-Busch said today it has signed a deal with the National Hockey League that enables Bud Light to remain the “Official beer of the NHL” through the 2010-11 season. Bud Light has held that distinction since 1998.
Simultaneous renewals with Anheuser-Busch and Labatt, which markets and distributes Bud Light in Canada, gives the brand category exclusivity and a brand presence in-game and at retail across North America. Financial terms were not disclosed, but analysts put the figure at $75 million.
Sheesh. 10 years and $75 million and I’ve still never had the urge to drink a Bud Light.
From David W. Unkle via Slam! Sports,
“Personally would I like to do it again, no,” said Pronger who also played games in Nagano and Turin. “Do I think it’s good for the NHL? I think it is but personally would I want to do it again? It’s a long way to go for a couple of games…for us this year it probably wasn’t the right move with the short summer…we weren’t the right team.”
Agreeing with Pronger is Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin.
“If you look at Anaheim and the struggles they went through when they came back home, you have to do it a different way,” said Sedin, who feels that the NHL should give teams more than a few days to acclimate to the time change.
from the Tennessean,
The National Hockey League’s Board of Governors is expected to approve Craig Leipold’s $193 million sale of the Predators to Freeman’s group this afternoon. Freeman and his colleagues could take control of the team as early as today.
The new owners plan to give Poile some guidance on the budget he can work with, which will allow him to start working on new contracts for players whose deals expire at the end of this season….
Freeman said the new owners will make their presence felt most in the Predators’ efforts to get more people into the Sommet Center’s seats for 41 home games a year.
Update 9:50pm ET (alanah): BOG has approved the sale of the Nashville Predators.
The fledgling NHL Network, which last month launched in the U.S., will break a campaign targeting core fans who live and breathe hockey as well as fringe fans not yet aware that the 24/7 network is up and running.
The spots, the first for NHL Network from Cenergy Communications, East Aurora, N.Y., will juxtapose nonstop action from the 1950s and 1960s with that from the 2007-08 campaign. One spot begins with black-and-white footage of a game between the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens purposely made to look as if it was being viewed on a TV screen with really bad reception.
Versus has an ad promoting today’s If-you-don’t-have-our-channel-it-sucks-to-be-you game between the St. Louis Blues and Detroit Red Wings, and the picture is, to say the least, one of those images that would make a “We didn’t land on the moon” conspiracy theorist giddy as a schoolgirl:
Paul sent this one to me with a simple question—is this really Chris Chelios?—and when he suggested that it looked more like Brendan Shanahan, save the 06-07 Easton gloves, I agreed. As a hockey picture hound, however, I went to town on the image, looking for inconsistencies…
The National Hockey League (NHL) debuts two TV spots featuring the new NHL tagline “Live Every Shift,” today on NHL.com. The spots will air for the first time tonight during the VERSUS broadcast of the San Jose Sharks - Dallas Stars game, and will re-air later this week on TSN, CBC, HDNet and NHL Network. The ads were written and produced by top advertising agency Young & Rubicam in collaboration with NHL Productions. This is the first creative work done by Y&R since being hired as the NHL’s Agency of Record in September.
continued… *You can see the new advertisements at that link as well
Update 3:37pm ET:
More on the TV spots with Dan Rosen at NHL.com.
The Dallas Stars commercial below features the one-and-only Daryl Reaugh.
*youtube video online here