Marketing the New NHL

How would you market the new NHL? Let us assume that the NHL resumes in 2005-06(at some point).

When the names of Conferences changed, we were all upset that the “history was taken away.” Well, the NHL wasn’t popular with that history in place, and it isnt popular now. So why not keep history where it is(on the trophies) and start again.

It has been rumored that the NHL has a new Logo to introduce as well as a new marketing strategy. I haven’t got a clue what the logo will look like, but I’m introducing my own “speculation” on what the NHL’s marketing strategy should consist of.


TV: the NHL has had the least TV time of every sport imaginable in the US. Remember, I’m not talking games. So the NHL must buy lots of commercial time.


1)Well, why not during Poker on ESPN? it gets semi-decent ratings for a taped event, so why not grab some of the audience back, and then retake the time slot!?

2)World Series/Baseball playoffs. It starts around the beginning of the NHL season, and lots of people watch it. It is prime territory to get some good commercials when people will see them.

3)SuperBowl. both the NHL and NHLPA should agree to do this one(one each, once a half at their own expense). there wont be a bigger TV audience in the US, and the NHL AllStar Game usually follows, so its prime commercial time.

4)Before playoff time: blitz the airwaves with commercials about the playoffs. they are the most exciting in sports, and always have the potential to be the “best ever” or have a game that is “classic.”

*Note: obviously, radio time is important too, along with Internet ads*

Who to Market?

Obviously, youre going to market the stars because they are stars, but what about these stars for “different” reasons?

Jarome Iginla: don’t take this the wrong way, but its the truth that “african” americans dont really watch hockey. what better way than to show that one of the BEST PLAYERS in the NHL actually is!

Scott Gomez: no more recognizable, hispanic name in hockey than his. let the hispanic communities know that other than baseball and soccer, that they can excel in hockey and even lead(tie) the league in an offensive category! there are plenty of hispanics in the NY/NJ and LA areas. plus, Gomez is one of the more “fun-loving” players(aka, good interviewer, like JR).

Martin St. Louis: hes not big, but he can play. make the NHL seem something other than a bunch of goons with sticks(the only part of the game the non-sports media covers). no pun intended, but we always root for “the little guy” and many would be impressed with his play.

Martin Brodeur: the only goalie(now) capable of breaking Patrick Roys win record and maybe even get 100 shutouts in his career. 3 Cups, 2 Vezinas, 1 Gold medal, 1 World Cup Gold, and thats not even including his stats.

Sidney Crosby: the NHL always needs “new” stars, and hes ahead of the pack. get this kids name out in EVERY NHL city once hes drafted and ESPECIALLY once hes playing. the NHL should do exactly for Sidney Crosby what the NBA did for LeBron James.

*Note: im well aware I chose 2 Devils, but I did not choose them BECAUSE they are Devils. Also, please include a defenseman*

What teams to market?

The USA needs to see another team other than Detroit on national TV. So, I think the NHL needs to create a “rivalry week” just like every other sport. Detroit v Chicago, Toronto v Ottawa, Philadelphia v Rangers(when good, NJ till then), etc, etc. and MARKET those games and teams during the week(s) before AND during.

Of course, a smart move would be to market not only Big Market teams, but the good smaller market teams. Also, it would be smart to market the MOST OFFENSIVE team as well(even if they may not be good).

How to market players and teams:

Obviously, you need TV time. This is quite obvious. But I leave to you to not only critique my ideas, but answer this question on your own.

I would also hope you add other “stars” to market and other ways and reasons to market them.