Canucks and Beyond

Can Jessica Simpson Conquer the NHL?

02/15/2007 at 3:40pm EST

Sex and sport—some may not like the mixture, but there’s no denying the effectiveness. So I thought I’d have a little fun with the idea…

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A post at the always-entertaining Freakonomics blog a while back got me thinking about the issue indirectly when they emphasized the differences and similarities between Canada and the USA. Using the top 2006 searches on the Yahoo! search engine as the basis for comparison:

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You’ll note—perhaps not surprisingly—“NHL” was the #1 Canadian search term in 2006. By contrast, Americans were most in need of information about “Britney Spears”. (Good grief, America. Although to make fun of Canadians, look no further than #s 6,7 and 8 on Canada’s list. Britney Spears might be an improvement.)

But Freakonomics pointed out there is one individual person that both Canada and America had in common in their queries: Jessica Simpson.

Is this information useful? Absolutely. It’s a marketing bonanza that should take all of North America by storm—take Jessica Simpson, plaster her into every NHL television advertisement produced, and voila! Magic!

And if you don’t think selling sex has any place in the NHL, you’ll have to pardon me for disagreeing. Or at least insisting that you’re a few days late to the trend—sex already sells the NHL in cities all over the league. (Hello, Ice Girls! Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, New York Islanders... and so on.) And furthermore, while the NBA isn’t a professional league I’d want to see the NHL emulate in many ways, you’ve got to admit they know how to run their marketing efforts.

One more thing—if you look at the list above, you’ll see one other match between nations: WWE.

I’m no fan of the wrestling world, but I think it’s a telling commonality, and what it tells me is this: people everywhere love a good whooping. Bring on the hockey fights!

Sex with a touch of violence. Is it My NHL? Sure, I’m cool with it.

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