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The Devils struggle with their "brand"


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#41 95Crash

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:39 PM

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.

I couldn't agree more with that last sentence.

However, I also agree with the article -- and those who agree with the gist of it -- that the Devils need to keep working on improving their brand/marketing. I believe, too, that the team has been trying to do that the last few years, especially since Vanderbeek took over the team.
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#42 Colin226

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:45 PM

The team's social media marketing alone netted an extra $500k in the first year.. The team markets itself a lot more than most other NYC area teams.. Billboards, radio ads on multiple stations like 101.5 and WFAN, social media, targeted Google banner ads.. Hell, they even put every home game in my towns calendar.. Viewing parties and the Jersey Tour are other good examples

The Devils sucked at marketing prior to moving to the Rock, but to say they are still doing a poor job is ridiculous.. Just because people don't come to games does not mean they do poor marketing..

The Devils market themselves more than most teams in the area but our issue is we have a crowded sports market, an overcrowded hockey market, and the fan base as a whole just doesn't seem to care about games except for a handful during the season and the playoffs
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#43 DevsMan84

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:59 PM

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.


To say Jason Kidd is a first ballot hall of fame player is quite a stretch. He is very good, but that is very much stretching it. Kidd also Had a very good supporting cast with him and when management cut corners to saw money as well as other reasons they went into decline. He helped them but wasnt the only reason.

I bet if you put up kidd against brodeur in 2003 more people will say they know Kidd better and you cannot use the other country and playing time excuse.

Also I can't remember the last time I responded to a post by PK outside the beer thread that you rushed to her defense with a condescending reply. I actually had the thought in my head when I replied to her post earlier and knew you were going to say something.

Edited by DevsMan84, 14 March 2012 - 01:03 PM.

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#44 DevsMan84

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:02 PM

The team's social media marketing alone netted an extra $500k in the first year.. The team markets itself a lot more than most other NYC area teams.. Billboards, radio ads on multiple stations like 101.5 and WFAN, social media, targeted Google banner ads.. Hell, they even put every home game in my towns calendar.. Viewing parties and the Jersey Tour are other good examples

The Devils sucked at marketing prior to moving to the Rock, but to say they are still doing a poor job is ridiculous.. Just because people don't come to games does not mean they do poor marketing..

The Devils market themselves more than most teams in the area but our issue is we have a crowded sports market, an overcrowded hockey market, and the fan base as a whole just doesn't seem to care about games except for a handful during the season and the playoffs


The Devils have done a lot better in the last five years at marketing mostly because it is JVB doing it whether Lou likes it or not.

Also for the social media part, you really don't target new fans with that. Unless you have already liked or followed the devils on Facebook and twitter you are not snaring in new fans.
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#45 Dead

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:06 PM

The above might be true, but ticket specials will be more likely to get fans in the seats at the rock.
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#46 DevsMan84

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:11 PM

The above might be true, but ticket specials will be more likely to get fans in the seats at the rock.


Almost every game there is a ticket special. How much more can they do without pissing off the STH?
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#47 Triumph

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:15 PM

To say Jason Kidd is a first ballot hall of fame player is quite a stretch. He is very good, but that is very much stretching it. Kidd also Had a very good supporting cast with him and when management cut corners to saw money as well as other reasons they went into decline. He helped them but wasnt the only reason.


Kidd is a first-ballot hall of famer. He took a largely average team to the Finals 3 times. He's 2nd all time in assists. 2nd all time in steals. A 10-time All Star in a sport where that actually matters to some degree.

I bet if you put up kidd against brodeur in 2003 more people will say they know Kidd better and you cannot use the other country and playing time excuse.


You're right, Brodeur is from the US, and a part of the US that speaks the same language as us too. Of course more people know Jason Kidd - basketball is more popular, he's a bigger star, and, this is probably circumstantial, but he was certainly a more important player in his prime.

Also I can't remember the last time I responded to a post by PK outside the beer thread that you rushed to her defense with a condescending reply. I actually had the thought in my head when I replied to her post earlier and knew you were going to say something.


We've all seen that you've had memory problems before, so this is also no surprise.

Edited by Triumph, 14 March 2012 - 01:17 PM.

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#48 DevsMan84

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:22 PM

Kidd is a first-ballot hall of famer. He took a largely average team to the Finals 3 times. He's 2nd all time in assists. 2nd all time in steals. A 10-time All Star in a sport where that actually matters to some degree.




You're right, Brodeur is from the US, and a part of the US that speaks the same language as us too. Of course more people know Jason Kidd - basketball is more popular, he's a bigger star, and, this is probably circumstantial, but he was certainly a more important player in his prime.


Might want to fix that to Canada there


We've all seen that you've had memory problems before, so this is also no surprise.



Shall we go over your recollection of how you became a fan in 1996? When I brought it up you said that you were a fan earlier but then other posters even chimned in saying that you did indeed post that on here. You then tried to pass it off and ask us do we trust what you wrote here in plain english or what you remember doing.

Since even you said we cannot trust what you write here, then I guess all your posts are nonsense.
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#49 sundstrom

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:52 PM

i'm a little late to the party here but the attendance issue is so much more about the crowded sports landscape in the area than costs. costs matter, but there are clearly enough people in the area that will spend money to fill a hockey arena every night. if you want to add MSG, NVMC and the Rock attendance together this "market" basically packs in a winter classic for every game.

only LA is comparable to the NY/NJ Metro area in terms of "home teams".

Rangers fans aren't going to go to Devils vs Florida because its cheap. They don't care about those teams. And Rangers fans are either born that way b/c of familial bias, drawn to the "aura" of NY teams, or idiots. In seriousness, the number of Devils fans are growing. I can tell you PLENTY of my friends who are Rangers fans whose children are Devils fans (to their chagrin) because they identify with here because those are the games they go to and they actually get the "New Jersey" part of the sport.

as for the chicago reference and the fact that they "marketed better" and that's why their crowds came back - that's ludicrous. they sucked and drew dick. they got a lot of high draft picks and made an excellent trade for pat sharp and got good. with no other hockey team to compete with, and the bulls not being all that good, their fans returned to what had become an event.
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#50 iamtheprodigy

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:12 PM

Shall we go over your recollection of how you became a fan in 1996? When I brought it up you said that you were a fan earlier but then other posters even chimned in saying that you did indeed post that on here. You then tried to pass it off and ask us do we trust what you wrote here in plain english or what you remember doing.

Since even you said we cannot trust what you write here, then I guess all your posts are nonsense.


Oh brother. Please let's not turn this into another "board politics" thread. There is a lot of interesting discussion going on about the Devils here, don't ruin it with this nonsense.
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#51 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:14 PM

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.


Here's a post I made in the McMullen thread...not only does it illustrate what the Devils were up against in 1982, but it shows that even though McMullen deserves kudos for being the guy who brought NHL hockey to NJ (doesn't matter if he's likable or not), he clearly wasn't the right guy to try to make inroads into the established fanbases of the Rangers, Islanders, and Flyers:

In bold: I think this is what McMullen deserves the most criticism for [poor marketing strategy or lack thereof], though I think he and Lou are a two-headed monster on this one. Not only was his team moving into an incredibly crowded hockey market as it was, but look at the teams: one was the very best team in the NHL at the time in the Islanders, another had a strong multi-generational fan base in the Rangers, and a third, the Flyers, had already enjoyed success with two Stanley Cups, and had pretty much nabbed whatever hockey fans there were in South Jersey as their own. McMullen needed to be as proactive and aggressive as possible in trying to dig into those fanbases, as well as attempting to reel in the casual fans who maybe thought the NHL was kind of cool, but hadn't committed to a team yet. This was especially crucial since the on-ice product he was bringing to NJ was clearly not going to be any good for some time. He seemed to think having a team with "New Jersey" in front of its nickname would take care of everything, and that fans would automatically show up because, hey, this team plays in New Jersey!

The team was the "best kept secret" in the NHL for far too long when McMullen was the owner, except when, of course, the Devils' success and the way they went about it put them on the map as hockey killers and sleep inducers in the eyes of the masses. It would be interesting to see where the Devils might be today, from a fan standpoint, if McMullen had some of Vanderbeek's more personable and creative personality traits.


And yeah, it doesn't help that that the Devils moved into a market that was already well-spoken for, as far as major league sports go.

I think the one guy who could've made a huge difference in the long run for the Devils would've been Mario Lemieux, if McMullen had said "fvck it" in 1983, and decided not to try to get the team to start playing better out of pride. The Devils had clearly had some good players back in the 80s, but a guy like Lemieux would've given them that all-time, all-century talent that would've given the Devils instant attention...even though the team would still have been bad for awhile, suddenly one of the two best players in the NHL would be a New Jersey Devil. I've often wondered how an alternate Lemieux/Devils timeline would've worked out, on a number of different fronts.
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#52 DevsMan84

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:24 PM

Oh brother. Please let's not turn this into another "board politics" thread. There is a lot of interesting discussion going on about the Devils here, don't ruin it with this nonsense.


Just remember it takes 2 to tango. He responded with a smart-ass response, as did I in return.

Besides after that last post im done with that. I'm ready to go back to the Devils now, thank you.

Edited by DevsMan84, 14 March 2012 - 02:25 PM.

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#53 mouse

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:28 PM

Dear Choke-on-a-stick17,

Your posts on the board have gone from "bad" to "hysterical". Nobody takes you seriously, nobody cares about your absurd Kovy-blind-hate ("facts" made me giggle) that would make even Manta say "whoa slow down buddy". If you can't see the skill, leadership, and hard work Kovalchuk brings to the team you're nothing short of an absolute moron. You're going on my ignore list now, but I needed to say this one last time.

You're a sad, strange little man. And you have my pity.


Couldn't have said it better myself. I wasn't sold on Kovy initially. Hell, I wasn't sold on him in October. Anyone who isn't sold now is blind or a hater. Even manta's been quiet.
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#54 mouse

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:31 PM

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.


Which is the real problem. Why is old news being brought up now? Because, while our crowds haven't changed, our team has changed for the better (by a lot) for the first time since the lockout. We may not be a cup favorite by a long shot, but IMHO this is the most marketable, watchable (to the casual fan) team we've had since 2000-01. That makes the marketing issues all the more noticeable -- for awhile we had an excuse, we needed to play a boring trap because our team wasn't that great, and Madden and Pando (my favorite players, so I'm not hating on them at all) were logging big minutes. Good luck marketing them to a casual fan, especially as they're sucking the life out of an exciting guy like Jagr.
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#55 devlman

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:32 PM

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


Agreed. The old dinosaurs that control the mainstream NYC media control what gets covered. If these old farts like Fatcessa or Russ Salzberg wanted to make the NY Liberty the most exciting thing since sliced bread, they could do it, and the Liberty would sell out every game for the year. Its one reason soccer is under-covered, one reason the NBA is over-covered, and one reason hockey doesnt get the attention it deserves.

Edited by devlman, 14 March 2012 - 02:32 PM.

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#56 Chuck the Duck

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:32 PM

We play in a market that doesnt cover its own backyard of NJ, or hockey in general.

It wouldnt matter if we marketed ourselves til we were blue.


This is a great point. Besides Boomer trying to talk about the Rangers (only when they win) over Carton shouting about how "nobody cares about hockey," and the intolerable Steve Sommers at night (if you can actually listen to this guy, he is terrible), there is no mention of hockey on the radio, let alone Devils hockey. Devils scores are often a throw away at the end of sports segments on the local news (after what Carmelo ate for lunch, how big CC's dump was after breakfast this morning, and what ridiculous comment came out of Rex's mouth today). This team gets no pub., and is disrespected in its own home market.
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#57 mouse

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:33 PM

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.


I don't want this to happen, because their fans deserve better, but the Isles going to Quebec, Kc, Seattle would be the best thing that could happen to us from a financial perspective.
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#58 DevsMan84

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:34 PM

I don't want this to happen, because their fans deserve better, but the Isles going to Quebec, Kc, Seattle would be the best thing that could happen to us from a financial perspective.



How though? I really don't think the Isles fans will suddenly convert to Devils fans.

Honestly if they move I think we will barely feel it.
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#59 Chuck the Duck

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:35 PM

The Devils market themselves more than most teams in the area but our issue is we have a crowded sports market, an overcrowded hockey market, and the fan base as a whole just doesn't seem to care about games except for a handful during the season and the playoffs


Good point. It is amazing that they have lasted in this market this long with how little support they get, and how much money they've lost over the years.
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#60 DevsMan84

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:38 PM

Good point. It is amazing that they have lasted in this market this long with how little support they get, and how much money they've lost over the years.



Colin might be right in that in the last 5 years the Devils have marketed themselves the most out of all the area teams, but we are still 25 years too late to the game. It will probably take another decade to see the true effects of the marketing efforts today.
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