Very cool. Unfortunately, the NHL is horrible when it comes to marketing the sport in this country.
For starters, let's take Pittsburgh....
1) During this whole preseason, they did not bother to televise one game. Instead they decided to focus on a pathetically owned and managed baseball team ending it's 16th straight losing season.
2) While they did televise them for a year or two, they do not bother showing WBS/Scranton hockey games. If there is a night when the Penguins are off and the Baby Penguins are playing, why not televise the games? Instead FSN decides to show poker and The Best Damn Sports Show back to back to back. For a city who recently started watching hockey again, you would think many would want to learn about and watch the younger kids coming up through the organization so they at least have a clue when those players eventually join the big club.
Those are my two biggest beefs in this city when it comes to marketing the sport. Outside of this city, where to begin?
1) Putting games on Versus. For starters, half the damn country doesn't even get Versus. Then there was the All-Star game f-up and I believe they even screwed up the draft one year. That's not counting the horrible game announcing crews they have in place.
2) Marketing the sport in Sweden and in Europe. One question...why? They are having a hard enough time selling the sport in this country, but they want to try over in Europe. Why not try and market the sport better in this country first, then worry about Europe? You have cities with pathetic attendance numbers in this country (Atlanta, Florida, Nashville, Carolina), but you want to worry about how it will fly in Sweden and Finland? Dumb if you ask me.
3) Football, basketball and baseball. All commercialize league stars to no end. I turn on my TV and I see Peyton Manning every other two seconds. Jeter, Jordan, A-Rod...etc. While the NHL/Reebok started marketing Ovechkin and Crosby, they are not doing it enough. Your Kovalchuk's, Lidstrom's, Brodeur's, etc. you do not see enough of in this country.
The NHL has a LONG way to go in it's marketing department. When it comes to commercials, they are going in the right direction, but overall, they still stink.