Yesterday I read this post from EP at Shifts and Sets about the infamous pink jerseys, and it inspired me a little rant about some marketing trends of the NHL.
I completely agree with EP about those pink jerseys. I think it’s a rather unfortunate way to try to appeal to the female hockey fans. But I think what bothers me about this is actually not so much the assumption that women who like hockey need pink stuff (I mean, who doesn’t know women love pink, flowers and Johnny Depp? Duh!), but rather the way the nhl looks ready to attempt anything to grab cash. In the same way, I really dislike all this St Patrick marketing (Yes, Puck Daddy wrote about it this week. Did you actually believe I could think of original topics by myself?) I know some people find it fun, and after all, why not? but I almost feel insulted that the nhl believes I won’t notice it’s such a lazy attempt to get my money.
I know the nhl is a business. But the business of the nhl is hockey. Not selling overpriced and hideous carpets or uh… stuff. Yeah, the nhl is under a lot of pressure to make as much money as possible just to remain competitive in an entertainment market filled with other sports leagues and other leisure industries. But… that’s not what I want to think about when I think hockey. Call me a dreamer, or simply a moron, but that’s the way I feel.
Actually, it goes even further than that. I think I have a problem with the whole nhl shop.
Seeing them selling the exact same products for the entire league and just slapping a different logo for each fanbase is lame. I don’t want to feel the same as a Pens or a Flames fan. I want to think my team is special. And in the same way, I don’t want to have a green or pink shirt with my team’s logo on it, if those are not, you know… the colors of my team. Because it just negates the fact that I think my team is unique. What’s the point if the merchandise doesn’t even include the team colors anymore?
This makes me think about a somewhat similar trend going on in soccer football. Like in hockey, football teams used to have a home and away jersey. But unlike hockey, the away jersey was traditionally used only if the home team had similar colors than the away team. Now, almost every team uses a third jersey, often with completely wacky colors, that they wear for the european cups or sometimes the national cups too, regardless of the home team colors. Those third jerseys have usually bold designs, supposed to make them trendy. Of course, this means that most of them are simply awful. Here are some infamous examples from the recent seasons:
Liverpool. Colors: red
Lyon. Colors: blue, red and white
Marseille. Colors: white and light blue
Marseille again. Ugh.
And finally, Paris. Colors: blue and red.
Needless to say (but I’ll say it nevertheless), this is a trend that I really despise. Especially since all of those masterpieces are invariably subtly altered after each season, to sell, sell, and SELL more and more overpriced jerseys.
I don’t want to see the nhl becoming anything like this. One of the things I really like about the nhl is the fact that the jerseys have remained untouched by advertisement, and teams seem to relatively respect their own colors (except for this black third jerseys league-wide trend). I hope this doesn’t change.
I know this rant won’t make any difference, but whatever, it’s always nice to sound like a cranky old man.