January 19, 2013
NHL 2013 – The Puck Drops
After a long lockout, the NHL flurry of activity begins today. But it is yet to be seen how excepting and forgiving fans and commercial sponsors will be. Owners have suffered from loss of revenue and players have suffered as well, with loss of lucrative contract salaries for part of the year. With work stoppages in professional sports, fans lose interest and initially this can be seen in attendance numbers at the first few games. Commercial sponsors need to be very strategic about annual marketing and advertising activities and budgets, and with the lockout, had to adjust quickly with alternative ways (outside of the NHL) to promote products and services.
NHL 2013 – Recovery
As in past work stoppages in professional sports, the industry usually, slowly recovers. This is most likely to happen with the NHL, but how long that will take will be the big question. In these times of economic uncertainty, and knowing NHL revenues are derived from discretionary spending of the consumer, it should be expected that the recovery will be a long gradual one.
It is interesting to observe how the NHL is handling and how NHL owners are offering fan incentives, from free tickets to prize draws, to lure fans back quickly. Some of these initiatives will accelerate the levels of interest and recovery.
For those NHL fans and sponsors that have stayed loyal, the fun begins today. Game on!
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