A little marketing perspective, Canadian-style...
Inspired by Mack's post
today about evangelism and a loyal fan base, I thought I'd write about something near and dear to my heart, both personally and professionally.
The National Hockey League
has always been an enigma, to me. From a marketing standpoint, I see nothing but opportunity for the league and its member teams to superserve its core fan base and grow its business from within the confines of this already loyal and dedicated group. But the lure of the almighty buck down in US markets is just too great to pass up, and the league has expanded its product into markets like Nashville, Carolina, Columbus, and Florida - all with little success.
Now my question is - is it the product itself, or the way the league is directing its efforts? It's easy for me to say that the league's marketing efforts are the problem, as I love the game (right, Jord
?), but am I right?
Granted, hockey is a much different sport than football, baseball, and basketball, which are all largely popular in all of the markets mentioned above. That would lead me to believe that the league would want to take (or at least acknowledge) a different approach to what it has done to garner additional interest in these uber-competitive markets. But they haven't.
It's been expansion for the sake of expansion, with little regard for the core group of fans who stand by faithfully on the sidelines, waving flags (or towels) to support the team whose colors they bleed.
I think the NHL has missed the mark (badly) in their approach to the game down south. I'm not saying the game won't succeed, but their strategy has got to be different if they want to reap the rewards they desire.
I don't have the answers, but I do have a strong desire for this game to succeed in whatever market it enters. If that means changing its strategy for each respective market, I'm all for it.