You probably don’t either, but I’m going to talk about it anyway. Deal with it.
At this time of the year, I should be talking about how exciting the last 40 games have been, and how awesome the Winter Classic was on New Years Day. I should be glowing about how the Minnesota Wild are a top contender for the Stanley Cup, and they’re playing with the best record of the season.
But I’m not. The NHL was locked out in October, and as of this writing hasn’t had a game yet this season. This made me a very angry fan, and I spent much of the time griping about the players and owners acting like greedy babies. I decided to boycott the NHL when it was locked out, and didn’t buy anything NHL-branded. I followed other types of hockey, and even got into basketball a bit. That was rough.
The players and owners finally agreed to a deal, and the season’s back. I’m excited, and it seems a lot of other people are too. But how amazing is it that these fans, these customers of a product, are so willing to come back.
Would you go back to do business with a company that has shut down three times in the last 15 years?
That kind of loyalty amazes me, but I realized something amazing during this lockout: These teams are brands, and some people have been customers of this brand for all of their lives. There are customers out there who will do business with brands regardless of issues surrounding that brand.
There are many people who have said they’ll boycott this season, and won’t buy tickets to games. That’s fine with me. I’m sticking with my solution, and won’t be buying any NHL stuff this year, but I’ll be making purchases next season. What can I say? I’m a sucker for pro hockey.
Sports leagues are a totally different monster in terms of loyalty. I know that. But are you doing all you can to have raving fans like your favorite sports teams? I know there’s a message here. Let me know what you think.