Of course after watching game seven of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I immediately got distracted by the ads they played after, looked up the history of the Stanley Cup, and opened my laptop to research the NHL's marketing/PR campaigns.
First, the video that the NHL made started off the commercial break after the cup was brought on to the ice. Nice placement. And I got the chills.
The picture above is a shot (some random person took, thank you Google images) of guerrilla marketing the league did. I've seen it for the past couple of weeks all around MPLS and St. Paul. This news release states that after their "History will be made tonight" campaign debuted last year and brought in "more than 302 million TV viewers-which was the most watched Stanley Cup Playoffs in 36 years" they (obviously) decided to bring it back and make it bigger than ever.
Love this Adage article with an interview with NHL's COO, John Collins. Please check out these impressive stats.
- NHL is on pace for their fifth consecutive year of record total revenue
- Sponsorship sales is at an all time record high (including a $400 million sponsorship with Coors)
- The Winter Classic was the most watched regular season game in 36 years
- Viewership of regular season games on Versus were up 17%
- Unique visitors on NHL.com are up 30%
- Facebook fans increased by 1.46 million (a 436% increase)
- NHL twitter followers are up by 54%
- Largest TV deal in the league's history with a 10 year, $2 billion agreement with NBC
Finally, with the discussion of a NFL lockout, it is interesting to see how this could effect NHL's ratings and fans.
Will fans start to watch guys run around, hit each other, and chase someone to get a ball on ice instead of watching huge guys run around, hit each other, and chase someone to get a larger ball on a field?!
This article on BleacherReport is spot on. This fiasco between players and the league is awful PR for the league.
The NHL bounced back with vengeance from their lockout in 2004. I'll be paying attention to how the NFL will up their PR and connect back with fans, as well as the NHL did.