The New York Times did a feature on advertising in the NHL and of course Sidney Crosby was all up on that. I think this plays a huge part in the league and I'm glad to see it's getting some attention in one of the nation's largest papers. Read on for quotes and more...
“He’s their LeBron,” said Bruce Jacobson, creative consultant at Young & Rubicam, the advertising agency that created the N.H.L.’s new television spots that will begin appearing Wednesday as part of a campaign valued at more than $15 million.
“He’s their Jordan, their Bird,” said Cliff Skeete, also a creative consultant at Young & Rubicam.
Not to mention, the entire article (after the initial "Sidney") refers to him as Mr. Crosby.
I think advertising and the NHL is an interesting topic. The prelockout advertising was all about graphic designs, cheesy cartoon robots (remember that one) and the glow puck. But once the league got its game plan together following the agreements, then we started to see players promote the game they play. I know, I know - it sounds like such a revolutionary idea. But it helps. What better way to give a face to the game then to promote the faces IN the game?
A lot of people, particularly in the US, bash the hell out of hockey for it's lack of "excitement" (obviously their words, not mine). This may also contribute to the fact that the NHL is not broadcasting regularly on network television. Not everyone can (or will) pay for Center Ice, and to top it off you can't really force someone with quasi-interest to hunt down a game they hardly know on a channel embedded deep within the programming guide. "What's it on tonight? VS, THN, NBC?"
Getting back to my point, hockey players are heavy believers in promoting the sport as well. It's good to see guys like Sid, Patrick Kane, Jarome Iginla, Henrik Lundqvist and Dion Phaneuf - oh and don't forget Ryan Miller/J.S. Aubin AMP commercial - getting out there and establishing a good light on a sport that has spent far too much time in the dark.