So normally I try and keep my posts Sabres related – mainly because thats why I am, a Sabres fan who loves to write about his team, and the great Fansided Sports Network gives me the opportunity to accomplish that. It also gives me an excuse to tell the wife why I have to watch all 82 games throughout the year, even if it means skipping out on an -in laws birthday party or something.
Today though, I had an opportunity to go higher than the Sabres, and be a part of a conference call with Brian Jennings, Executive VP of Marketing for the NHL. Talk about an experience.
The primary focus of this call was to take about the “What if….” History will be made campaign that the NHL is using in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Now in my opinion, this is the best campaign that the NHL has come up with since the lockout season. Their gimmicks before seemd to target too much of the casual fan base, and not key in on the fan that has been with the league through and through.
Jennings commented on this, and said that the NHL is marketting their games towards the avid fan base, to increase their appeal of the game, to strenghten the core you might say, before going after the more casual fan. While the other campaigns after the lockout didn’t appear that way, I can definitely see this campaign being successful.
Jennings also went on to talk about the rapid fan expansion of the program – and how many fans are making parodies and What ifs of their own. I tried getting the ball rolling for all you would be producers out there to see if the NHL might capitalize on some of the better fan work out there, but Jennings expressed the multitude of legal hurdles in taking on such a venture. He did say that the league considered something like that – a contest of sorts — but the legal hurdles prevented that from coming to fruitation.
On the actual campaign itself, Brian said it was used because the league thought that it would instill and envoke the true fan emotions, and I think they are doing a pretty good job of representing that nature of the game.
For non-Sabres fans reading this, if your team is still in it and your lucky enough to go to a game – make sure your showing your true team pride and colors, because the NHL is trying on a “fan” version of the history will be made series; nothing has come through on that right now because they are lacking the proper camera angles, and if they do it they want to do it right.
Hopefully the NHL will continue to include the sports blogosphere in calls of this nature (I should point out we were the only ones on the conference call – tradition media outlets were not on this call). I will definitely sign up for any and all these calls that I can get my fingers on – and get the information out to you.
In closing the call, while not revealing what the actual campaign was evolving too, but he did say there are more “unseen” spots in the campaign that will come out in the conference finals and Stanley Cup Finals.