Before I delve any deeper into this apparent necessity in order to achieve anything, I’ll preface by saying that this topic is not original. Ever since the lockout was imposed, breaking news has been scarce. Add the fact that for some reason, NHL.com seemingly refuses to acknowledge the current situation of the league and -Poof- we’re left with the sincerest form of flattery.
Believe it or not, Yahoo has had some of the best offseason/no season coverage other than myself, Justyna Gluch, and Joe Romano. After reading it however, I didn’t think it was disgruntled enough. I mean, I really detest rallies.
Sure, there are exceptions. Championship rallies are cool, I suppose. My beef lies with the groups of people who are angry and organized throughout city blocks or god-forbid public parks. In regards to the NHL, each and every rally, twitter handle, fan video, and protest will fail. Well, let’s say accomplish nothing.
Why? Because we’re not important. At least not in the sense you’d hoped for. And certainly not in the discussion of CBA negotiations. Time and time again we’re thanked and praised for support of our local team. And yes, facets of that support do find their way to directly influence decisions made by the organization. Ticket sales can go a long way. Not only in creating the coveted revenue which has us all sad and angry, but in influencing players to maybe think twice before leaving, or signing somewhere else. Pros love to play the game. They love it more in a packed stadium.
But the opposing sides in this battle aren’t worried about that. They’re carving up a pie that has already been made and is cooling on the window sill (or at center ice, if you like related analogies). I have a feeling the rebound from the lockout of 2004-05 is better than anyone anticipated. So too is the surge of quality in the game. With that in mind, they’re certain our support will continue. The cries of the fans are falling on deaf ears.
What of those who say they’ll never go to another game? To those, I say what took you so long? If it’s your opinion that professional sports are all about greed and making the big buck off of you, then congratulations. Your epiphany is a century late.
Analogies aside of pro athletes being warriors, gladiators, hired guns, etc. Pro sports is an entertainment business. The end all be all of entertainment is to make a profit off the show you offer. Business will always come first. Look no further than Old Man Wirtz for the prime example of trying to maintain a business model that keeps the cash flowing. No, it wasn’t the best model, but it’s not crazy to believe offering something for free (televised games) can take away from your product. He was banking on gate receipts, merchandise sales, and concessions. Staunch until the day he died, too. And since lucrative TV deals are what bring the product to millions of homes, the money to be made is mind boggling. It was a no brainer to sign with WGN and Comcast when Rocky Wirtz took over. But, keep in mind the years of progression in TV channels and what they broadcast. These networks haven’t been around forever.
So, you’re not going to attend any games? Not only will someone fill your seat, but chances are your saved dollars have already been covered two or three times over in advertisement, merchandise, and TV deals.
I’ve also heard of some extremists who refuse to purchase products of team and league sponsors. League wide and off the top of my head, this would include: Bridgestone, Illinois Lottery, Tim Horton’s, Molson, LaBatt, NorthShore, Kia, University of Phoenix, Chevrolet, Galaxie Home Remodeling, Shell Gasoline, Ketel One, Budweiser…
The PDF file was about 19MB. It may not be as hard as it seems to avoid some of these. THIS IS AMERICA! And commerce is our specialty. Freedom of choice is another. Cool, good on ya’…
Again, you’re not doing anything of substance. Not only are these established companies that pay for the privilege to be associated with one team, but they align themselves with many. If by some miracle a congregation of unhappy humans was able to get them to pull sponsorship (*for some dumb reason*), another company would swoop right in and smile like the cat that ate the bird.
**I say a dumb reason, because there is NO sensible reason to end sponsorship. Nothing has happened in the current situation of the NHL to upset a sponsor. Negotiations and lockouts aren’t enough to make the stereotypical Board of Important People shake their fat heads and sneer. **
Oh, I also forgot about Bauer, Easton, Graf, Warrior, CCM, Reebok, Sherwood, Winnwell, Montreal, and the countless other companies that continue to sell hundreds of thousands worth of equipment to leagues that aren’t locked out.
Do what makes you feel proud and proactive. Me? Count on me waiting it out in my Galaxie refurbished basement watching an Aquos big screen while drinking a case of Budweiser and scratching off some Illinois Lottery tickets. Then I’ll be able to buy a bunch of Reebok apparel for the Midway Madness crew. Also, Molson is delicious.
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