Sunday, March 8, 2009

Marketing Hockey to Old Fans & New

This week the SportsBusiness Journal has a few interesting pie charts detailing fan demographics. The NHL has the highest female fan base of the four major sports. I have to say that I am a bit surprised by this, though I probably shouldn't be. I've personally been responsible for corrupting a few females into hockey fans...hehehe. Ok, no bragging.
True story: I took a woman to an Avs game once and the first thing she asked me about was the fighting. She was of the opinion that fighting is bad. Just my luck a fight broke out and she was up on her feet before the gloves hit the ice. It was a decent fight and once it was over she rather sheepishly sat down and admitted that was pretty exciting.
I have met, by far, many more women fans of hockey that actually understand the game than any other sport. A lot of women watch football, but they know hockey.
Some people seem to be picking up on this. The Wash Caps launched a site recently called The page proclaims that it is the "...official Web site dedicated to the Caps' female fanbase". While I think the marketing dept has the concept right, a few things went wrong along the way. First of all, the name. Scarlet? Really? I kinda thought I was being a pig because the first thing I thought of, the once a month, female-centric occurrence. And the second was a book called the Scarlet Letter, not a particularly flattering club membership. But my girlfriend agreed, just an unfortunate choice for the name. Next, the page looks like a romance novel. Don't women like hockey 'cause it is rough and tough?
Ok, well at least they are trying. They have a couple resident bloggers and I think the best thing that they have done is this hockey camp for women. Sounds like they get a chance to go out on the ice and learn first hand from Caps players and coaches about the game.
The Denver Broncos have offered the same sort of event for a couple years now, I don't recall the exact price but I'm pretty sure it was over $100. I think that is a bit steep. I don't know what if anything the Caps charged for this event. If you are a season ticket holder, shouldn't it be gratis?
I few more comments about marketing. The Avs have sent out their renewals and I have to say, from what I have heard, they are making a very poor choice in how they are approaching the loss of ticket holders with this recent plan. From what I hear and what has been in the news, the Avs are offering upper level patrons a couple of seats on the lower level for the killer price of < $25. But you have to purchase your uppers as well. So if you were considering cutting back on your entertainment dollar, why in the world would you spend yet another $2,000 (for 2 seats)???
Isn't that like buying something you have no use for just because it is 50% off regular price? We all know that doesn't make sense, right? In addition, this devalues the lower bowl seats to the patrons that are paying full price to sit in the attack twice corner, or where ever. I don't think the Avs have made a very savvy marketing decision. And I don't know why they think all their fans are so stupid.
The Wild are considering selling a new seat location in the box between the benches, normally occupied by photographers. Now that sounds like a good idea. And even better if they sell them in say, 2 & 5 game packages so that a lot of different people get a shot at sitting there.
Posted by: From the Point

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