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“What’s the difference between Vincent Lecavalier & Tom Brady?” February 3, 2008

Posted by Amy in sports.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Really enjoyed this article on Canada.com on how Brett Hull is doing now that he’s gone from “Ambassador of Fun” to co-general manager of the Stars in the span of about six months. Sure, it’s a little unstable that Hull suddenly went from having responsibilities like appearing in TV commercials to help Mike Modano campaign for the All-Star team to responsibilities like making a serious decision about whether or not to trade the most promising rookie the Stars have seen in years, Matt Niskanen, for a scoring winger for Mike Modano’s line. And you kind of get the feeling that Tom Hicks gave him the job because Brett Hull is the only name he recognized on the payroll that he could promote when he fired Doug Armstrong. But you can’t say that it hasn’t worked out so far.

I liked this bit from Hull. Good to see he can still talk about nothing at all when he feels like it:

“My God, you drink a lot of coffee in this job. I mean, you practically can’t function without a venti latte from Starbucks to start the day. On the road, there must be 40 ounces of coffee going in a day. You get up, you have coffee, you go to the rink, you have coffee, you want to meet with someone, you say ‘let’s have a coffee.’ You’re in the press box, you drink coffee. Game’s close, you drink more coffee.

“That’s a lot of coffee.”

The article also talks about one of the things that kills me the most about the NHL…Hully agrees with me:

“For the life of him, Hull can’t understand why the league isn’t plugging its talent more aggressively. He’s not alone there. Those commercials a couple years back, Room Service featuring Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, or the Swedish Twins, starring Daniel and Henrik Sedin, were bright, breezy and generated a ton of interest.

More like those, please.

‘We’ve got to bring out the personalities…I mean, look at Lecavalier. Male model looks, six-foot-four, a stud. A marketing dream, right?

‘I turn on the TV or pick up a paper and who do I see? Tom Brady. Why don’t I see Lecavalier everywhere I turn? What’s the difference between Vincent Lecavalier and Tom Brady?’ “

You can’t make marketers use NHL players for endorsements, but you can use the commodities that you’ve got—these players who all have these awesome, selling personalities—and you can use them to market yourself. To be real, there really isn’t much wrong with the commercials they’re running…the problem is, they only run them during hockey games. Preaching to the choir. If you want to reach a wider audience, run ads during football & basketball games. The problem with hockey is, since the national broadcasts are now on a channel that nobody ever just surfs to—I mean, you have to really be looking for it to come across Versus—people never just come across a game & sit down to watch. They just forget about you. You have to remind them you exist & you’re awesome & they should drop in sometime because they’re missing out on a great show.

Maybe Tom Hicks didn’t know what he was doing when he put Hull in a position where people have to listen to him, but regardless, he’s there now & he’s talking, & that’s a start.


1. j2i2m22 - February 3, 2008

The NHL totally needs to do a better job of marketing their stars. Those commercials they ran a few years ago were a solid start, but since then, there is really nothing. TSN does run a few of their own commercials where they have been using Ovechkin, Ryan Miller, Crosby and Eric Staal that are pretty decent, but thats realistically most in Canada.

2. Three Up & Three Down – Super Bowl Second Half Ads « strawgrasping - February 3, 2008

[…] – Chester Pitts “Hi. I’m Chester.” Give them credit, the NFL always makes great spots. And unlike the NHL, they always do a good job of marketing their players. “I play the oboe.” Aw. I almost played […]

3. StarsRule - February 4, 2008

At least Brett Hull is talking and not just “tweaking” first and then admitting that it was a mistake later, like Armstrong did. At least Brett and Les are NOT jumping at the first low cost player they see just to find that the player is another rehab case, like Armstrong did. Armstrong was digging a grave for the Stars and they were slowly sliding in. I think Brett and Les are a breath of fresh air and, so far, whatever they have done has worked. Hopefully, they do not get too trade happy because losing young players like Nisky would be just WRONG. I don’t think that will happen anyway. Our young talent MUST stay put so that we don’t end up with all our leaders retiring at one time and having no one to replace them.

As for the commercials, I don’t think there can ever be too much advertising for the NHL. The more it is done, the more people will begin to get interested in it. We just have to keep pushing and pushing for the ads because those clowns at the top don’t have enough imagination to figure it out on their own. Maybe the public themselves should get involved and start suggesting to Bettman what needs to be done. Hey, if they need any ideas on who to use with rugged good looks, just ask me and I can give them a very long list.

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