The NHL’s marketing has been its biggest weakness over the last four decades. The last time the NHL had a player cross over into the mainstream consiousness was when ProStars aired.
At that point the Wayne Gretzky even rated an intro over two sport superstar Bo Jackson. Yes #99 was probably the greatest player ever, but that’s hardly the only reason people get famous. When you look at it there are lots of bigger, stronger, faster, better looking, more charitable guys who have come and gone since 1991. When you look at all the opportunities players, and the league have to advance themselves, it is rather amazing that the two best known hockey players for anything other than hockey are Sean Avery and Paul Bissionnette.
When the new Coyotes ownership took over, they started off by talking about their passion for marketing, I got hopeful. I knew that given the history of NHL marketing whose high point might just be the New York Rangers ownership and NHL getting into a legal battle over the teams marketing, that i shouldn’t let my hopes get to high. When I ran into the first spot in the new marketing campaign, I almost didn’t watch it. I didn’t want to lose hope. I didn’t want to consign the Coyotes ownership to the ranks of the 20+ other ownership groups that can’t market to save their lives.
Then i watched. I still have hope. This is exactly the type of ad the team should be making. They focused on who the team really is, on what they’ve done, and what they’re aiming for. It’s simple, and it leverages the teams one enduring on ice icon. Other players have come and gone; Doan has endured. Doan has been the rock and personality the team was built around through turnover among coaches, players, owners and fan interest. What the next ad will be, and where in the feild of treachery that is marketing their steps will land are worth watching and wating for.