Monday, September 12, 2011

Shorty On Pre-Season Adverts

Hockey season is right around the corner. It's time to start selling tickets and moving merchandise. To do that, the marketers get called upon to crank out some sizzle that will sell.

The first test of the marketing crew is pre-season. Naturally, a team wants to sell as many tickets to these games as they can, at as close to regular season pricing as they can. The problem is, however, that it is a pre-season game. Nobody likes paying anything close to full price for tickets to an exhibition game.

This creates a dilemma, and the solution to it is advertising. Excitement needs to be generated so as to create some demand for the pre-season tickets. You could talk about getting to see the exciting new rookie first, or perhaps a sneak peak into a coaches new system. Perhaps you can sell people on being one of the first to see your local stadiums new renovations. Or if you are the Calgary Flames, you can just lie sell falsehoods peddle opiate exaggerate.

The Calgary Flames are selling their pre-season tickets with the line, and we will somewhat paraphrase it here, "They (the players) have a spot on the roster. Now they have to keep it." This is a lie, of course, because the current roster is largely set. There is no way, no matter how well a rookie plays, that a rookie will take a job from a veteran.

This is the roster. There are not enough spots on the roster, currently, for a Niklas Hagman, owner of a 3 million dollar a year contract to play hockey, to slot in. On top of that, everybody in the forwards, except Backlund, has a one-way contract. None of the forwards have anything to be scared of, really. And not just because of their contracts. The team's puppet GM, Jay Feaster, has publicly guaranteed that the club will make the playoffs. The team is going to need all hands on deck if it wants to get to 98 points. Which means the team can't even afford to risk allowing a young player to take the job from a veteran. After all, it may cost the team a win or two.

On the defence, it is the same story. Bouwmeester and Gio both have contracts, and will play even if they show up drunk to every pre-season game. Babchuk just got a new contract, so he isn't at risk of losing a spot. Butler is the candy of the GM's eye, so he is probably going to stick. Hannan won't be cut as he came here as a free agent, and it would hurt the clubs ability to sign free agents if he was to lose his spot in the pre-season. That leaves Sarich's spot up for grabs, and he owns a full NMC, so he aignt going anywhere. There are no spots open on the defence, either.

And do we even need to talk about the goaltenders?

King/Feaster have assembled a roster that is largely full of veterans with contracts. On top of that, they have issued a proclamation guaranteeing a playoff birth. Those two factors would seem to imply that there is little hope of anybody currently on the roster losing their spot, no matter how poorly they play, and no matter how well some rookie plays, during the pre-season.

Which gets us back to the way the club is advertising it's pre-season games. As stated above, the team is selling them based on the line "now they have to keep it (their roster spot)." But it is clear that no one on the team is in danger of losing their spot on the roster, because of the contract situation on this club. And the people who work for the team surely know that. So why are they selling the tickets based on a situation that will not occur?

We bring it up because we want to be dicks. Also, because we think it speaks to the organization. These advertisements are lazy. They have to sell something, sure, but don't sell little white lies. Sell the truth. If the truth isn't an appealing sell, maybe the organization should look at itself in the mirror, no?

(Look, it isn't even hard: Come watch the Flames as they show the hockey world last seasons second half was not a fluke. Why couldn't the Flames do that? Why did they just go with the tired and the old, and the not very truthful? Call us crazy, but it speaks to a general level of disdain for the fan, we think. Or at the very least, a lack of energy within the organization.)

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias Ken King should be fired.


  1. a must-know:
    is leblond actually blonde ?

  2. the answer (now that i've checked) is, of course, no. he DOES, however, bear a striking resemblence to buddy from cakeboss.

  3. I thought Morrison was a maybe for opening day because of the off-season surgery so there might, might, be one spot on the fourth line if Sutter opts to go without a dancing bear in the line up.

    The seventh defenceman spot is up for grabs.

    Maybe if Ortio can get his crap together he could push for the starting AHL job.

    Otherwise, yeah, unlikely to be eventful. I am personally hoping the lose all their pre-season games and hope against reason that it will prevent a pre-Christmas debacle like last season.


  4. I prefer to appease the fates with the bones of chickens. Your method seems less messy.

  5. First of all, if it reaches a point where Mikkelson has to be inserted into the lineup, it better be because Brodie and Carson are dead.

    Secondly, if they want me to go to preseason games, they should have never signed that new Budweiser agreement. If they had a WNBA game played at the Dome, I'd go to it if I knew I could get ham sandwiched on heroin beer.

    Anywho, if I were the marketing team, I would have started to build my campaign the second Feaster was told to say that the team will make the playoffs. If 20 years later we still get moistened thighs from Mark Messier guaranteeing a victory in the playoffs, a marketing team sure as shit can build a platform around a team living up to the claim of a gauranteed playoff spot. Not one (rational) Flames fan in this city believes that any of the kids on the farm are stealing any jobs this year, nor does anyone truly beleive Calgary's making a Cup run anytime soon under this current look, but there's a case to be made for an honest approach, and that's what they should have done here.

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