Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The NHL "Brand" is Back

According to Sports Marketing and PR Roundup along with Marketing Daily, the NHL brand is back and stronger than ever. The articles cites changes to the on-ice rules, the NHL's strong Internet presence, and the creation of the Winter Classic as some of the biggest factors in the resurgence.

I did a marketing piece a little over a week ago, which focused on moving forward using partnerships and technology as the catalysts. I might have to look back now on what the NHL needs to stick with so they don't stray away from their target audience in their growth attempts. As the Marketing Daily article puts it:
The NHL has made great strides. But like any reviving brand, the league must guard against migrating too far from its target customer in growing its franchise. Ticket prices, for example, are rising rapidly again, posing a potential barrier to the core fan attendance. And the salary cap per team has jumped from $39 million to $58 million, making it difficult for smaller teams to compete.
I think I will also take a look into how fast the ticket prices have risen since the lockout at some point as well.

In other News, Electronic Arts will be creating a line of athletic toys with Toy Island which will aim to teach kids how to play different sports. Upon further research, I found a little more information on the new series of toys which are set to hit the shelves this fall. This includes:

• A line of interactive training tools featuring voice commands and instructional coaching elements designed to take budding stars to the next level

• A complete game-in-a-box containing all the equipment necessary for kids to practice and play a sport; a line of sports toys that will utilize electronics to reward young athletes with cheers when they use proper techniques

• A basic line of high density-foam balls to help kids develop throwing and kicking motor skills at an early age.

Hockey is amongst the list of sports to be included in the series, amongst Basketball, Baseball, Football, and Soccer. Hopefully more news breaks on this, but if not I will definitely be looking for these sets as I am curious to see what they would do for our sport. I hope the set comes with gloves and does its best to encourage fighting, but that might be wishful thinking.

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