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Las Vegas NHL Expansion

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On 12/19/2016 at 8:22 AM, sparky chewbarky said:

A take from Billy Johnson...

...

 

Great global sports brands create more than a ‘handshake’ between the world market place and a community, city, location and lifestyle. They create an emotional connection.

Here are some great global sports brands and why they have become so:

New Zealand All Blacks. The use of the ‘silver fern’ brings New Zealand to the world. It represents their culture, heritage and mystique. The All Blacks are adopted my millions world wide.

New York Yankees. Simple; “NY” and all that it means – good and bad – to the world.

Dallas Cowboys. It reflects the world’s view of America; Cowboy movies, big, obnoxious. It’s a lone star on a helmet.

Los Angeles Lakers. Hollywood, Movies, Rappers, Nicholson. “LA”.

Las Vegas should be in this company.

...

 

I don't think his examples support his argument. Or at least I find them terribly unconvincing. I'm not familiar at all with the All Blacks or the silver fern he speaks of, so I'll set that aside for the moment.

 

But he's comparing a Las Vegas hockey expansion team to three of the oldest, richest, most successful franchises with huge bandwagon fanbases and saying part of why they are global brands is because of a "handshake" of city, design, logo and name?

 

The Yankees predate sports branding. The NY is iconic because it's New York. It was used before and after (Knicks). And it's been around a long time. To the globe, it likely represents baseball as much as it signifies New York or America to those wearing a cap. Vegas has a model of New York on a corner on the strip. They can't be in the same conversation.

 

The Lakers name is no tribute to L.A. -- as discussed often here, it didn't even originate there -- and their logo is so generic the team they shared their arena with used the same logo in different colors for decades. A third team in another league used the same typeface. What was his point again? Does Nicholson even wear the brand? Not really. He's part of it.

 

The Cowboys use a star. They became America's team. But is that why? Or was it the success? I mean, if he's asking that the Vegas star be the crest, I'm in. But is he? I'm sure to many around the globe it's just a star on a hat. 

 

His examples are all over the board with one weak phrase after each on "why it became a global brand." Huh?

 

Did Las Vegas have a chance to create something iconic? Yes. Did they, for the city or globe? No. But if 100 years from now they have the record of any of the three teams above and the world still cares about sports and that V helmet stays the same all that time...

 

They'll still be behind the Yankees, Cowboys and Lakers. And even the best LV monogram, sign star or gambling theme would not have changed that.

 

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4 hours ago, CubsFanBudMan said:

I don't think his examples support his argument. Or at least I find them terribly unconvincing. I'm not familiar at all with the All Blacks or the silver fern he speaks of, so I'll set that aside for the moment.

 

I agree that a lot of those brand successes are built on winning.  The All-Blacks among them.   And the US notwithstanding, the All-Blacks are quite possibily the most famous sporting brand in the world.  They're certainly in the conversation, and globally are more famous than any of the American examples cited. 

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11 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

the All-Blacks are quite possibily the most famous sporting brand in the world.

 

New Zealand rugby can't be ahead of Man U, Arsenal, and Chelsea.

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I think it can.  Not in the US, but across the globe.  The All-Blacks are very well-known in Europe, especially Western Europe where rugby is played.  So all of the areas where Arsenal and Man U are traditionally known are also All-Blacks territory. Plus their positioning in Oceania gave them a leg up throughout Asia, where global football is only recently gaining a strong foothold.  

 

They certainly have a claim on being the first global sporting brand, from a time before football clubs marketed themselves internationally.  Hence the "quite possibly". 

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51 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

I think it can.  Not in the US, but across the globe.  The All-Blacks are very well-known in Europe, especially Western Europe where rugby is played.  So all of the areas where Arsenal and Man U are traditionally known are also All-Blacks territory. Plus their positioning in Oceania gave them a leg up throughout Asia, where global football is only recently gaining a strong foothold.  

 

They certainly have a claim on being the first global sporting brand, from a time before football clubs marketed themselves internationally.  Hence the "quite possibly". 

If you think that in China or in India (2700000 population in total) they know better New Zealand National Rugby Union Team than Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Bayern München, Manchester United or Arsenal, I think you are wrong.

 

Rugby union is the national sport of New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Wales and no more. In no other country is the first sport. And, the impact of football is huge. Specially the big European clubs/brands. I think it's pretty clear that All Blacks aren't the most famous sporting brand in the world.

 

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5 hours ago, CubsFanBudMan said:

 

I don't think his examples support his argument.

 

 

While I agree that the article is pretty poorly written and doesn't do a very good job of supporting his argument, I believe there is merit to his underlying point that the Vegas Golden Knights brand fails to leverage any of the equity associated with Las Vegas. Of the examples given, I believe that the All Blacks is by far the strongest in terms of creating a strong bond between brand and place (I don't know much about New Zealand, but the All Blacks are the one sports club I can name from NZ...I don't even know if I could do that for most countries). That being said I also agree with the assessment from others that winning is the common thread that unites all these brands. The LA Lakers in particular are a terrible brand (at least when it comes to reflecting the home market), but they're one of the greatest dynasties in American sports...so apparently that doesn't matter. 

 

If I were the one giving the examples I'd point to the Orlando Magic and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Both brands leveraged associations with the region (coincidentally Disney figures prominently with both) to become wildly popular in their early years of existence. It's also worth noting that Orlando in particular has a fairly high profile when it comes to international awareness (it always amazed me how many people I've met abroad who's one experience of America is Florida...I always found that somewhat embarrassing). While it's my understanding that Las Vegas is seeing fewer foreign (and domestic) visitors these days, the city still has an incredibly iconic and powerful place in global pop culture. Foley has completely squandered that potential...which I think was the ultimate thrust of that article.

 

Just to hammer this idea home (and because I've got nothing better to do with the snow coming down like it is), I'd like to propose a little thought experiment. By all accounts Bill Foley had no significant prior history with the city of Las Vegas before being awarded an expansion team. Rather, Las Vegas represented a confluence of several desirable factors (a new arena and an untapped market) that made it an ideal for both Foley and the league. So theoretically, under different circumstances, some other city could have just as easily been substituted for Las Vegas. Assuming that all other events would remain the same (ie Foley still being obsessed with all things Army, the Army refusing to share Black Knights, etc.), could the Golden Knights brand work just as well if not better in any other potential market? Say for example the Omaha Golden Knights?

 

The point being that Foley and the Golden Knights are effectively a "mad lib" organization...completely disconnected from the market and willing to place any market in the appropriate blank.

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6 hours ago, the admiral said:

New Zealand rugby can't be ahead of Man U, Arsenal, and Chelsea.

 

I am a fan of Chelsea, and I hate Man United.  (Which puts me in an awfully uncomfortable position with respect to Jose Mourinho.  But that's another story.)

 

As much as it displeases me to say this, Chelsea should not be mentioned in the same breath as Man United when it comes to branding.  United are on the level of the Yankees and the All Blacks ; Chelsea are several rungs below.

 

Arsenal is also far bigger globally than Chelsea, as is Liverpool.

 

Returning to the topic at hand:  the Las Vegas NHL team has absolutely no chance of ever sniffing the level of Man United, or of getting anywhere near the level of Chelsea or even that of the Lakers, no matter what its name is.  Nothing in the world will change this.  The team could win ten Stanley Cups in a row, and it would never approach being a global brand.  

 

This team's management would do well to retain a grasp of the playing field on which it is operating.

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Yes, the Magic and Mighty Ducks definitely sound more like what he was arguing to me. Something tied to the city that can transcend it. Whether it does or not, at least the locals feel like a part of it. Good point about Orlando overseas. I hadn't considered that it might be as familiar as some of the big ones, and likely Las Vegas in terms of smaller-city tourist destinations.

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6 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

Returning to the topic at hand:  the Las Vegas NHL team has absolutely no chance of ever sniffing the level of Man United, or of getting anywhere near the level of Chelsea or even that of the Lakers, no matter what its name is.  Nothing in the world will change this.  The team could win ten Stanley Cups in a row, and it would never approach being a global brand. 

 

Is any NHL team a global brand? I'd guess Montreal, Detroit, Toronto and maybe Boston, Edmonton and LA (the latter two due to Gretzky), but would they have any relevance in, say, West Africa? India? China?

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9 minutes ago, DG_Now said:

 

Is any NHL team a global brand? I'd guess Montreal, Detroit, Toronto and maybe Boston, Edmonton and LA (the latter two due to Gretzky), but would they have any relevance in, say, West Africa? India? China?

 

 

Two good videos I came across a while ago. These guys are struggling to play hockey in climates that can't sustain it, and look up to the NHL. Both are good watches.

 

 

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Thanks for sharing. Those are cool videos.

 

I like that in the opening minutes of the Indian one, the answer to "what's the most popular hockey team in East Asia" seems to be the Chicago Bulls :)

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34 minutes ago, DG_Now said:

 

Is any NHL team a global brand? I'd guess Montreal, Detroit, Toronto and maybe Boston, Edmonton and LA (the latter two due to Gretzky), but would they have any relevance in, say, West Africa? India? China?

 
 
 

 

That's a great question. 

 

Many years ago I remember reading an article talking about how the NHL is the RC Cola of professional sports. The gist was that the NHL represents a niche sport with substantial limits as to how big the sport can grow, but that the fans it does have are very passionate and loyal. However, rather than embracing it's cult status the NHL has tried desperately to compete with the NFL and NBA (Coke and Pepsi) only to fall short time and again. These challenges are only exacerbated on the global level. 

 

The point being that even the most successful and popular NHL teams will probably only have a fringe following in all but a handful of countries.

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1 hour ago, DG_Now said:

 

Is any NHL team a global brand? I'd guess Montreal, Detroit, Toronto and maybe Boston, Edmonton and LA (the latter two due to Gretzky), but would they have any relevance in, say, West Africa? India? China?

 

1 hour ago, DG_Now said:

Thanks for sharing. Those are cool videos.

 

I like that in the opening minutes of the Indian one, the answer to "what's the most popular hockey team in East Asia" seems to be the Chicago Bulls :)

That's the NHL's crack marketing team for ya.

 

See also; Golden Knights, Vegas.

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NHL global? In the sense anyone anywhere can access, I suppose. But just like silly UK sports no one here in North America cares about really we know they exist but don't give a damn.

 

If Vegas shirts make it to India it is in a care package at Christmas.

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On 2016-12-19 at 9:22 AM, sparky chewbarky said:

"The biggest property VGK acquired for its $500 million expansion fee is the perceived legitimized reselling of the name ‘Las Vegas’ as their own. Initially, it has been squandered." 

 

While I agree that Billy Johnson's examples didn't exactly back up his point, the above excerpt from his article is bang-on. Yeah, you'll find ice-hockey in some unlikely places around the world, but the City of Las Vegas has much more of a global recognition than the NHL or any of its teams. 

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23 hours ago, Zeus89725 said:

 

Two good videos I came across a while ago. These guys are struggling to play hockey in climates that can't sustain it, and look up to the NHL. Both are good watches.

 

 

Great videos, Zeus...

Where can I get one of those Kenya hockey sweaters?!!

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On 1/8/2017 at 1:19 PM, DG_Now said:

 

Is any NHL team a global brand? I'd guess Montreal, Detroit, Toronto and maybe Boston, Edmonton and LA (the latter two due to Gretzky), but would they have any relevance in, say, West Africa? India? China?

 

Just judging by the apparel available in Footlocker etc across Europe, Asia and Oceania I would say that the San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, LA Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks (when they  were still Mighty) are the biggest NHL brands globally.

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/sports/nhl-vegas/golden-knights-trains-running-team-prepares-1st-season

 

Quote

JERSEYS

Foley said the team has pretty much settled on its design and color scheme for its home and away uniforms. The uniforms, which will be produced by adidas, the NHL’s new official supplier, are expected to be unveiled in June, in time for the expansion draft.

But according to Nehme E. Abouzeid, the team’s vice president for business, the official sweaters won’t be available for purchase until September.

However, a version of the team jersey is being sold at some Target stores in Southern Nevada. The jersey, which is black and has the team’s crest and is available only in youth sizes, is not the final product. Nor is it a knockoff, as the NHL’s licensing division has approved its production, distribution and sale.

“We can’t control the inventory in every big box store,” Abouzeid said. “But we did check with Target, and we checked with the NHL, and even though it’s not the jersey we plan to wear, it is approved by the league, so we get a cut of the sales.”

“One-31st,” Foley said with a laugh.

 

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I don't think new Leafs gear was available until late summer last year either, weeks & weeks after the draft.  I remember cuz I kept checking to buy my new cap.

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