The NHL‘s website is still trying to make a profit during the NHL Lockout. Their latest ploy is running video ads on their website that try and convince fans to customize jerseys to say whatever they please. In a lockout world, the NHL has been reduced to selling “#1 Dad” T-Shirts and poorly thought out declarations like, “Puck Head”. While most of these will end up on a jersey foul blog, the worst part is a working strategy. Fans continue to wear their favorite team’s logo despite the lockout, which only promotes a sport that does not deserve support.
A hockey team logo works like any other logo. Not only does buying the product provide revenue for the affiliation, but it is also free advertising. Nike does not think that “the swoosh” is the coolest thing in the world, but it tracks its logo like hits on an Internet site. The more times consumers see the logo, the more familiar they become with it. The more comfortable they are with the products, the more likely they are to buy them. This theory of advertising is applicable to the NHL, where logos can remind people of the hockey team even when they are not playing.
Wearing a hockey logo also shows support for the owners. The sports cliché is that the name on the front matters more than the one on the back. Therefore, wearing a logo, even sharing a jersey with a player’s name, makes it seem like these people are supporting the owners in the cause for the lockout. In its third month, is it possible to support any party at this point enough to wear their logo? I have a third of my closet full of clothes I can’t wear because of the lockout.
Finally, wearing an NHL team logo makes a fan appear oblivious. The first thought I have is that these people are wearing the logo because they think it looks cool (obviously I haven’t seen anyone wearing a Phoenix Coyotes logo during the lockout). A real hockey fan is too mad to support their team by wearing a jersey. The league thrives on the idea that everyone will come rushing back as soon as the battle is over. Wearing that logo supports their delusion.