From a branding point of view, NHL hockey and its multiple corporate sponsors are facing a huge hurdle, Kincaid says. The passionate fans are angry, the neutral fans turned off and bored, the mostly non-fans – the people hockey needs to attract if it hopes to grow – disgusted.
Kincaid is Level5 Strategy Group CEO David Kincaid. From MacGregor;
Level5 is a 10-year-old company based in Toronto that has done “brand” analysis for such major enterprises as the NFL, NBA, 3M Co., Rogers Communications Inc., Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd., Second Cup Ltd., BCE Inc., Petro-Canada and many others.
My history intersects with Level5 at the point of Rogers Communications, Inc. I don’t know Level5 but we share this road traveled. If you’ve ever consulted Rogers, you’re a stone cold pro.
So when a group of this lineage says that the NHL has ticked off its best customers, turned off and bored its luke-warm, fair-weather and/or bandwagon fans and totally disgusted non-fans, the latter of whom it needs from which to grow the game; the NHL has earned a humongous “DOH!”
Even worse for the NHL and hockey, this survey was conducted before the NHL decided to sue the NHLPA to determine if its anticipated Disclaimer of Interest is legal apathy. Jeez, eh! Only lawyers would attempt to regulate apathetic. What part of we don’t care anymore don’t they get?
Think not? Consider the most recent post from a life long fan and blog- Bud czhokej, “I am so hockey – starved. But also too apathetic to make any intelligent comments.”
What does this indicate in terms of our Ducks? Expect paying customer crowds in the 10-12 thousand range when NHL hockey again takes the ice. Paying customers is not to be confused with the reported attendance. The rule of thumb is that paid gate is 20% less than the reported attendance.
In other words, when the NHL does return expect it to be received with a dismissive “Oh that” or the even more pejorative “Hockey is so 5 minutes ago.”
This is the stuff from which careers are made and sadly, broken.