Not even Martha Burk, of gender rights and Augusta fame, could wake a controversy or media attention for the NHL. The new campaign the NHL has been using is getting mixed reviews. Some believing that we are selling not the sport of hockey, but seats, while others do believe the campaign cuts to the core of the sport, like a spiritual awakening of some kind.
Personally, the NHL is targeting the wrong people. The Capitals don’t benefit from a national campaign, nor will they fill seats at hockey games just because we found some spiritual meaning in hockey. Mark Bettman believes that the sport is widely accepted as a major sport in the U.S. It’s not. Their ad campaign should be localized. Instead of millions of NHL dollars going to national media buys, they should be spending that money to build local bases. By creating a localized campaign in each city makes the team part of the community and the NHL will see significant return on their investments.
The Capitals have been out of the eye of Washingtonians for over a year. To win back interest, they must allow the teams to tap into the local veins, make heroes of their players and make themselves worth buying a ticket for.