Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Wednesday Memo (3 PM Update)

News and Notes from around the Business World of Hockey...

- The St. Louis Blues come out with a season ticket offer that if you renew by April 10th by putting as little as 10% down the season ticket prices will remain the same ( If not, all season ticket prices go up by 10% for next season. And with the Blues only three points out of a playoff spot as of this morning, management is offering a "pay as we play" program if the Blues make the playoffs.

Up 10%? That sounds like a big jump to me.

- Tampa Bay Lightning Players, Coaches, Broadcasters, Owners, and Management visited homes and business throughout the Tampa Bay area on Monday to push their season ticket renewal packages along with delivering gift bags to season ticket holders (
"The reclassification of 1,300 seats in the upper-portion of the terrace level creates a decline of up to 80 percent to only $239 for the season or just $5.69 plus tax, per game. Some of these seats cost season-ticket holders up to $1,199 for the 2008-09 season. When combined with those that were available at that price in 2008-09, almost 4,000 (about 20 percent) of the Times Forum seats will be available for $239. Half-season packages will be just $149 in the same area.

The remainder of the terrace-level seating will decrease by 20 percent. Many of the lower plaza and club-level seats will decrease 6-12 percent for the season and fans can sit in the plaza level for as low as $35.69 per game plus tax, per seat."
Good deals and great marketing getting out of the "office" and into the public. If you click on the article, a couple of the business apparently had a lot of memorabilia around their offices (naturally for the story, right?).

- In serious government Visa immigration rules that affect business, visa's for pro sports players have changed a bit (The Calgary Sun). Take a read:
"Foreign athletes participate in pro sports such as baseball, basketball, hockey and golf. They can come to the U.S. and play under what’s known as a P-1 visa, which is for internationally recognized athletes or members of internationally recognized entertainment groups.

Under the old regulations, recipients could get five years on the visa and extend it once for another five years, not to exceed a total of 10 years.

The new policy will require foreign athletes, at the end of 10 years, to leave the country before applying for a new visa. That’s not expected to be much of a burden for the athletes, many of whom return to their home country in the off-season."

The difference this could make is that at the end of their visa the player could be inclined to not return to the U.S. in favor for playing in their home country.

- The Blue Jackets "Nationwide Night" on Friday February 13th was apparently a huge success. The club partnered for the night with NASCAR to put on a cross promotional event (Partnership Activation).

- The Scotiabank Fan Fav award gives fans an opportunity to have an immediate personal connection with the league (Sponsorship Insight Group).

- Finally, this was arguably last years best NHL promo commercial; I think it was the best too:

BallHype: hype it up!

- NHL to ESPN next season? Not so much, says Bob McKenzie (Puck The Media).

- The NHL has always, oh whats the word, struggled with creative fan merchandise. So as they put out their annual St. Patrick's Day gear, Greg Wyshynski asks, "wheres a beer mug?" (Puck Daddy).

"But missing from the T-shirts and sweatshirts and the jerseys is, perhaps, the most popular aspect of the holiday in North America: the consumption of alcohol. No beer mugs, no pubs, not even a single reference to booze on the clothing.

Can the NHL make St. Patrick's Day an unofficial hockey holiday without also embracing its inebriated spirit?...

...Haskins said the NHL has produced this line of green gear at the request of its teams

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