Easy upsell to the full price for whole-league coverage! You know, the whole "hook people on your product" thing. Make it as flexible as possible to accommodate the increasing capacity to watch and connect with hockey on the go -- after all, NHL advertising loves to show off its mobile technology; it's time to make the reality fully match the sales pitch. This is more likely a flaw on DirecTV's part that their sales people did not know or did not look to see if any other channel packages included the NHLN without buying Center Ice.
Hockey fans in general have a good sense of humor. They're very competitive and have an intense loyalty not just to their team but also to hockey's traditions. The best advertisements for the NHL — be it individual team spots or the league as a whole — have played on fan intensity, humor, and tradition. This season, the NHL replaced the highly successful " History Will Be Made " campaign with the more obtuse " Because It's The Cup ", which was designed to both resonate with established fans but also to draw in new fans.
The problem is that the commercials stunk. On the storyboards there's no doubt that these concepts seemed to fit the bill. However, the execution left something to be desired — most of the "Because It's The Cup" ads sounded like they'd been recorded over somebody's cell phone. The intent of these commercials seems to be that they're supposed to be like your buddy is confiding in you about how great hockey is.
The main problem in these spots was that they conveyed little to none of the intense nail-biting energy and excitement that makes up the great sport of hockey. In addition, two League-produced commercials particularly stand out because of the hockey fouls contained within.
This, in combination with the government and business as the largest employers is a very interesting market to obtain long-term consumers. Washington, DC retains may government and military workers that are transient and may or may not stay in the area. As the seat of the Federal government, many people change jobs for promotion, relocation or change of political party. The ability for the marketing department to discern these target segments and build a strong base is a challenging task.
Changing of personnel in the area does often attract people from different areas of the country where hockey may be more culturally relevant and thus exposure and the ability to reach this incoming segment is a very cyclical process.
This investigation, while a primary data collection effort does recognise the need for continual evaluation. This market more than other markets may need constant measurement due to the constant regional and economic change agents. It was very interesting to note that This indicates a social, business or some other network that indicates that the long term full season ticket holder base may be a more than simple construct to deal with in this market.
While corporate hospitality did not seem like a significant factor, the box office percentage It would be well worth delineating the social network and box office walk up data to determine the actual acquisition practices of these groups. It could be suggested that the determination of how people are going to the box office, where they are from, may add The marketing of a NHL hockey team great value to the advertising campaign to determine the channels of how people purchase and why.
Follow up investigations will need to develop more specific and detailed information on these subgroups. The ability to determine the consumer behaviour and in particular the motivation to attend is a key point of this study.
Researchers like Funk et al. These points are well taken as hockey has only been in DC since the early s. Thus, the marketing of ice hockey to a non-winter region that does not retain the same fervour and cultural attachment that a franchise like Montreal or Toronto does pose unique challenges for an ice hockey marketing department.
It would be foolish to emulate Canadian or hockey rich culturally rich marketing strategies in this marketplace. The development of a niche or very unique marketing approach would appear to be well worth discussing. This does bode well for the development of a loyal and ice hockey marketing approach. However, the data also revealed that the barriers to attendance were the cost of the ticket and commitments work and family. The issue of ticket cost is very interesting since the demographics of the fan base indicates a much higher than average US household income.
This suggests that the Washington Capitals have not reached a high level of brand equity yet. Consumers seem sensitive to prices which in turn impact on brand loyalty. While there are five major sports football, baseball, soccer, basketball and hockey there also are a number of minor league teams and a myriad of other entertainment choices theatre, restaurants, gyms, etc.
Thus, the cost of the ticket may be affordable, however, the cost of two different professional sports teams may not be affordable to a family of four. The data from the customer satisfaction section of this investigation did reveal some very useful information. In particular This very much reinforces that there is the potential to develop a strong fan base that is attracted to the central elements of the game.
As well, the opportunity for social and family interaction was considered fairly positive. The points for worry would be the in game entertainment A number of people have indicated that the price of food and drinks was too high and of insufficient quality.
Once again, there appears to be a consistent theme around price. There should be steps taken by management to address this issue. Further, ticket prices and team quality were listed as the top two factors for importance for customer satisfaction.
The marketing department should be very happy with these results, however, it would be incumbent on them to determine why or how much of the variance that ticket prices and concession prices are elastic to the decision to purchase. A very salient finding from this data that could be further developed would be the intent to purchase a season ticket package. It was found in this study that This is a very promising finding regarding the construct of product sampling. It may be important to develop quick channels of contact, interactive ticket offers and K.
Product sampling, while not a new concept, may be a very reliable and time tested sports marketing technique if used properly in this marketplace.
It appeared that the demographics of spectators were one that was well educated, single, male, lived in the adjoining states and were fairly wealthy. Ticket prices and concessions were factors of concern for customer dislikes satisfaction.
On-ice action and being a fan of the Capitals were considered very large factors in customer satisfaction. Product sampling and the mechanisms that centre on exposure to the on-ice hockey product appear to be areas that should require the greatest focus for this franchise.
It is recommended that future research replicate this study on a frequent time interval due to the nature of the changing populous in the Washington DC region. Further detailed information should be gleaned from the box office, walk up and other point of purchase outlets to garner a more accurate information profile on this segment of ice hockey consumers. Finally, the ability to discern the elastic nature of ticket and concession prices in each of the segments should be undertaken.
References Aaker, D. Aaker, D. Aaker, J. Apostolopoulou, A. Backman, S. Couvelaere, V. Day, G. Ferrand, A. Funk, D. Gladden, J. Gustafson, R. Harris, F. Howard, D. James, J. Jubenville, C.
Kapferer, J-N. Keller, K. Kwon, H. Mahony, D. Mullin, B. Olson, J. Paul, R. Pons, F. The two other teams with double-digit percentage increases were the Islanders, up Canadian prices are translated into U.
The Canadian dollar rallied Story continues below advertisement The U. The Atlanta Thrashers had the biggest decline in average ticket price, down
These NHL contests among rivals led to an increase attendance. Average ticket prices rose 1. Hence, an increase in consumer spending will produce revenue i.
But the NHL's increase echoed upward moves by other leagues as the effects of the recession have eased. Howard, D. In addition, two League-produced commercials particularly stand out because of the hockey fouls contained within. Aaker, D.
Washington, DC retains may government and military workers that are transient and may or may not stay in the area.
This study was further delimited to those spectators who would fill out the instrument onsite with little or no prompting. Therefore, sport organisations should develop marketing plans which entail an effective pricing strategy for all ticket packages. People who buy GameCenter to be able to watch via computer but who do not get NHLN via their cable provider are unlikely to also buy Center Ice, due to the cost and duplication of the primary product game feeds. Mahony, D.