I'm the Director of Strategic Marketing of an NHL team. I focus on revenue generation and customer engagement via digital media. My expertise includes strategy, business development, mobile marketing and application design, CRM, online marketing and market research. Ask me anything.
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Though HD has been a godsend for the NHL, the league hasn't been impacted as much as the NFL, NBA, or MLB as home entertainment has improved, since it's way better to see hockey live. Nevertheless, we focus a lot of our efforts on the game experience to keep fans happy and coming back. We do a lot of in-game fan engagement, such as text message voting, text-to-screen, intermission activities, giveaways, and contests. We play a lot of music and play a bunch of pump-up videos at certain points of the game to energize the crowd. We treat our games like big concert-like events, not just as hockey games.
Obviously this is a touchy subject, so anything I write here is my personal opinion and may not reflect what the Marketing team as a whole may do but I think it would be somewhere in the middle of your range. If that subject comes up, it is what it is and we'd of course support that player's decision but I don't think we would try to hide nor push to have it highlighted.
First of all, I like your username. Second, fighting definitely gets the fans pumped up which of course adds to the in-game experience. So I'd say that fighting is good for the game from the marketing perspective.
I have no idea what is on Gary Bettman's mind but I imagine that one or more of the southern teams will relocate. Phoenix is an obvious choice, given their tenuous situation over the last couple of years. The Florida Panthers are probably on thin ice (pun intended) as well. I think those two are the most likely to not exist over the next five years, and they'll probably move to Canada.
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Not a dumb question at all. Yes, we do have an African-American player on our roster but we don't highlight him in our marketing and advertising any more than other players. We'll feature him whenever we feel he would work best but nothing out of the ordinary.
I played street hockey a little bit when I was a kid. Playing hockey, nor being a fan of the team, aren't really requirements for working there. Passion for the game or team may help but isn't necessary at all.
Both sides have legit gripes and you can say that both and neither are being greedy. The owners are billionaires, but many are losing millions every season. The players are millionaires but they would essentially be taking pay cuts. It's an ugly situation but it needs to be fixed.
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