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The Devils struggle with their "brand"


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#21 RowdyFan42

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:37 AM

I like how this "NEW" News. The Devils have always had trouble with attendance and marketing.

Nobody said this was "NEW" news. This isn't a news article, it's a commentary piece. I think people just see "ESPN" and automatically go into hate mode without pausing to consider that Buccigross isn't a blowhard like almost everyone else at the mothership.

This is a problem that has gone on since the Devils moved here. McMullen and Lou have always had the impression that if they promoted their players, they would then become stars and demand big money. They admitted it someplace in an interview long ago. However, they would like for you to believe they do this as a way to put team above player which is total BS.

And it's not going to change until the Lou Lamoriello era comes to an end.
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#22 RowdyFan42

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:48 AM

i have a degree in marketing, i dont use it, there is surely a difference in what you think would be cool and what a survey says.

brand management has more to do with not sullying a good name.

First line of the article: "Twenty-first century corporate America is about developing, marketing and then protecting the brand."

Kind of what I was thinking.

Devils have a VERY loud and clear branding. System Hockey with an emphasis on defensive responsibility and consistency. Winning above all, risk averse, team play, little to no commercial presence. What's not clear about that?

anyhow -- we all understand what he was trying to say :P

Which is all well and good, but it only serves to bring in the diehards. Maybe it would be different if the Devils weren't the third team in a three-team TV market, not to mention the other six Big Four pro teams that call the NYC/northern NJ area home.
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#23 Marv4Life

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:55 AM

Which is all well and good, but it only serves to bring in the diehards. Maybe it would be different if the Devils weren't the third team in a three-team TV market, not to mention the other six Big Four pro teams that call the NYC/northern NJ area home.

Precisely. Like it or not a defensive-minded, boring, "trap" team with no marketable stars in a fringe league is NOT appealing at all to the average casual sports fan. And I have yet to hear anyone from the Devils come out publicly to even attempt to dismiss that notion.
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#24 Daniel

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 10:02 AM

It's just an overcrowded sports market, especially when it comes to hockey whose total fan base is limited. That is, the total market of people in the area that are or would remotely interested in the NHL enough to pay money to go to games is relatively small. The geographic market has three different hockey teams (maybe even four if you include the Flyers), and one of those teams has been around for years and already had a large following in NJ before the Devils came along. You can do all the advertising and ingenious marketing strategies that you want, but it will only help out at the margins.

Just compare to the Nets. Even when they were good and went to the finals on a couple of occasions, their attendance was still awful, and vastly outnumbered by those of totally pathetic Knicks teams.

Small crowds, especially in the regular season, are just a fact of life for the Devils or any Jersey team that might come around. It doesn't mean the fans we have are any less passionate or knowledegable than those of any other team. And the Rangers can take their big crowds of fans who think the world revolves around them, and I'll take a franchise that has been much more successful than the Rangers have been ON THE ICE where it really counts.
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#25 justdo3043

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 10:13 AM

It's just an overcrowded sports market, especially when it comes to hockey whose total fan base is limited. That is, the total market of people in the area that are or would remotely interested in the NHL enough to pay money to go to games is relatively small. The geographic market has three different hockey teams (maybe even four if you include the Flyers), and one of those teams has been around for years and already had a large following in NJ before the Devils came along. You can do all the advertising and ingenious marketing strategies that you want, but it will only help out at the margins.


i agree with this
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#26 Marv4Life

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 10:23 AM

For a team who has been around for 30 years with 3 Cups, numerous postseason appearances with multiple division and conference titles and a few legit Hall-of-Famers, the idea that geography is the big problem is just an excuse. While they were legit Cup contenders they had plenty of time to market themselves to gain new fans and cultivate an audience when the Rangers were sucking and the Flyers weren't on the Devils' level.
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#27 Daniel

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 10:26 AM

Precisely. Like it or not a defensive-minded, boring, "trap" team with no marketable stars in a fringe league is NOT appealing at all to the average casual sports fan. And I have yet to hear anyone from the Devils come out publicly to even attempt to dismiss that notion.


I'm certain that if the Rangers, had the reputation of being a "defensive-minded, boring, 'trap' team"" that had even close to the success that the Devils have had in the win department, they'd have an even bigger following than they do now, and would be talked about a lot more than they already are.
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#28 Triumph

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 10:30 AM

I'm certain that if the Rangers, had the reputation of being a "defensive-minded, boring, 'trap' team"" that had even close to the success that the Devils have had in the win department, they'd have an even bigger following than they do now, and would be talked about a lot more than they already are.


100% correct. People don't care if it's 'boring', people care if it wins. Just look at the Rangers' D zone strategy or as I like to call it the Easter Island defense. I don't think I've heard one national media person call the Rangers boring.
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#29 Legion15

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 10:58 AM

100% correct. People don't care if it's 'boring', people care if it wins. Just look at the Rangers' D zone strategy or as I like to call it the Easter Island defense. I don't think I've heard one national media person call the Rangers boring.


of course not, would they ever call an Original 6 team boring?
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#30 Daniel

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 11:23 AM

of course not, would they ever call an Original 6 team boring?


The Canadians have been called that especially when they were winning in the seventies. Remember seeing a Hockey News cover on the subject with a picture of a fan in the crowd reading the dictionary.
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#31 Pepperkorn

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 11:34 AM

I had a whole paragraph I deleted.

If I put on my marketing hat - I wouldn't waste my time with hockey. It has it's market in fans of the sport. The $$ market in NJ is affluent suburban moms looking for a hobby for their sons. MIghty Mite equipment. Ice rinks/paintball courts. mostly though it's in food. Kids go to games for the food. That's what gets the majority of them excited - that is what your parents are going to spend on. Throw out free shirts and have team give-aways whaaahoo. But really there isn't much else to be done.

Marketing a player only benefits the player at the end of the day. And it doesn't keep him in your town either.

Now lets all whine about how the Met has ruined opera... GO! Or shall we talk about Philly's opera company... that's what I'm talking about. Where is the profit when there is pretty much no convincing people to like this -- they like it or they don't.
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#32 DevsMan84

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 11:42 AM

I had a whole paragraph I deleted.

If I put on my marketing hat - I wouldn't waste my time with hockey. It has it's market in fans of the sport. The $$ market in NJ is affluent suburban moms looking for a hobby for their sons. MIghty Mite equipment. Ice rinks/paintball courts. mostly though it's in food. Kids go to games for the food. That's what gets the majority of them excited - that is what your parents are going to spend on. Throw out free shirts and have team give-aways whaaahoo. But really there isn't much else to be done.

Marketing a player only benefits the player at the end of the day. And it doesn't keep him in your town either.

Now lets all whine about how the Met has ruined opera... GO! Or shall we talk about Philly's opera company... that's what I'm talking about. Where is the profit when there is pretty much no convincing people to like this -- they like it or they don't.



That can almost be a direct quote from the Lou Lam's School of Marketing. It is also silly and very much incorrect. Promoting players also gets the team name out there as well as giving people a hero to cheer about. It is a lot harder for the masses to cheer a faceless logo than single personality that people can aspire and relate to.

Maybe not the best example, but take a look at Lin on the Knicks. The Knicks marketed the hell out of him and I bet you anything more people in NJ know about him, what he looks like and his jersey # than Kovalchuk in 2 years.
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#33 Triumph

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 11:50 AM

That can almost be a direct quote from the Lou Lam's School of Marketing. It is also silly and very much incorrect. Promoting players also gets the team name out there as well as giving people a hero to cheer about. It is a lot harder for the masses to cheer a faceless logo than single personality that people can aspire and relate to.

Maybe not the best example, but take a look at Lin on the Knicks. The Knicks marketed the hell out of him and I bet you anything more people in NJ know about him, what he looks like and his jersey # than Kovalchuk in 2 years.


yeah, i bet having ESPN lead off with lin stories for a week, or him being on the back page of all the new york tabloids for 2 weeks, didn't help. do the knicks own those companies?

the best marketing in sports is free, and the devils will never get that free marketing.

Edited by Triumph, 14 March 2012 - 11:51 AM.

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#34 DevsMan84

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 11:57 AM

yeah, i bet having ESPN lead off with lin stories for a week, or him being on the back page of all the new york tabloids for 2 weeks, didn't help. do the knicks own those companies?

the best marketing in sports is free, and the devils will never get that free marketing.


Alright another example: If you went back to the summer of 2003 and asked people in NJ who Elias was and who Jason Kidd was, I will bet anything that more people knew who Kidd was before Elias. Both went to the finals that year, Elias even won the cup and Kidd lost in the finals. Also I have the papers of the NY Post and Daily News through both the NHL and NBA finals that year and they both gave about the same amount of coverage to both.

The Nets put a lot of effort into marketing Kidd at the time and it paid off.

The only reason Brodeur gets recognition beyond the Garden State is because he is the GREATEST GOALIE IN NHL HISTORY. Without some marketing help the rest of the Devils don't have a chance.

Edited by DevsMan84, 14 March 2012 - 11:58 AM.

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#35 Marv4Life

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:12 PM

More people knew who Jason Collins, Lucious Harris and Brian Scalabrine were than Patrik Elias, let alone someone like Jason Kidd.

Edited by Marv4Life, 14 March 2012 - 12:13 PM.

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#36 DevsMan84

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:15 PM

More people knew who Jason Collins, Lucious Harris and Brian Scalabrine were than Patrik Elias, let alone someone like Jason Kidd.


Yet Elias is one of our franchise players. If the nets, as paltry of attendance and success on the court are, can get those names out there then the devils can do. However with Lou Lams in there that won't happen. It really took JVB to go over Lou's head and start a marketing department to get the ball rolling.
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#37 DaneykoIsGod

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:16 PM

Alright another example: If you went back to the summer of 2003 and asked people in NJ who Elias was and who Jason Kidd was, I will bet anything that more people knew who Kidd was before Elias. Both went to the finals that year, Elias even won the cup and Kidd lost in the finals. And this is just talking about the NJ market.

The Nets put a lot of effort into marketing Kidd at the time and it paid off.

The only reason Brodeur gets recognition beyond the Garden State is because he is the GREATEST GOALIE IN NHL HISTORY. Without some marketing help the rest of the Devils don't have a chance.


Hockey and basketball are two different beasts.

Hockey simply is not a priority in the local sports media. Basketball, baseball, and football will always trump it. And in the limited time and space the sports media does give to hockey, the city teams will always trump the Jersey team. Face it, we're a niche sport whose team is going against the NY and Philly media with ... what ... NJN, CN8, and 101.5 to call our own? And even those media outlets don't matter because, in order for Jersey's team to get any attention at all, we have to sign a contract with a NYC network named after the arena our biggest rival calls home.

The Devils' biggest problem is that too many New Jersey hockey fans don't root for the New Jersey hockey team. And part of that problem is the fact that a lot of New Jerseyans don't identify with New Jersey as much as they do with New York or Philly, depending on which city they're living in a suburb of. Could marketing help with that? Maybe. But most of it seems to stem from "My Dad was a Rangers fan, so I am too." Commercials probably wouldn't lessen a boy's desire to bond with his father over a sports team.

The only solution is simple: Kick Rangers fans in the nuts until they are incapable of fathering Rangers fan children.
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#38 Devil Dan 56

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:16 PM

For a team who has been around for 30 years with 3 Cups, numerous postseason appearances with multiple division and conference titles and a few legit Hall-of-Famers, the idea that geography is the big problem is just an excuse. While they were legit Cup contenders they had plenty of time to market themselves to gain new fans and cultivate an audience when the Rangers were sucking and the Flyers weren't on the Devils' level.


If anything, that PROVES that geography is a huge part of the problem. The Devils were that last team into the area. It's going to be hardest for them to get fans. Usually, you follow the team that your older relatives did. Add to that, it's the least popular sport when it comes to main stream media. The reason a trash team like the Rags from 1998-2005 were more popular than the Devils was because their fanbase had been ingrained here for generations. Plus main stream NY media rarely pays attention to hockey, but when it does, it thinks 1994 was last Thursday.
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#39 Devilsfan118

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:23 PM

The only solution is simple: Kick Rangers fans in the nuts until they are incapable of fathering Rangers fan children.


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#40 Triumph

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:33 PM

Alright another example: If you went back to the summer of 2003 and asked people in NJ who Elias was and who Jason Kidd was, I will bet anything that more people knew who Kidd was before Elias. Both went to the finals that year, Elias even won the cup and Kidd lost in the finals. And this is just talking about the NJ market.

The Nets put a lot of effort into marketing Kidd at the time and it paid off.

The only reason Brodeur gets recognition beyond the Garden State is because he is the GREATEST GOALIE IN NHL HISTORY. Without some marketing help the rest of the Devils don't have a chance.


Oh good, more cart before horse logic.

See, the thing about basketball is, if you watch 1 game you know who the best players probably are. If you want to see Jason Kidd, you've heard about how good he is, and if you watch one Nets game, you will see him make a great pass or hit an open shot or two. You'll experience Jason Kidd. The NBA exists on the back of the best players, and everyone involved in the sport knows that - that people love watching the top 20 NBA players. The best players play for 5/6ths of the game, whereas in hockey, they don't even play for half. In hockey, goals are infrequent - the best goal scorers still have more games without goals than with. Patrik Elias is a great player, but he scored 29 goals that year, hardly a world-beater. He's from another country, one that most people can't point to on a map.

Jason Kidd is a first ballot Hall of Fame player, an all-time great point guard. His presence on the Nets was the only thing that got them close to the Finals.
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