Breaking Sports

Monday, June 06, 2005

nhl- What about the Players

from Spector and FoxSports, Whenever the National Hockey League finally gets back into action, it will have serious work ahead in repairing its tattered image.
A new national television deal in the United States may have to be negotiated, either with ESPN, which recently decided not to pick up the option year in its contract with the league, or with another network.
Sponsors will have to be placated and replacements may have to be found for those that feel their advertising fees are better spent elsewhere in the wake of the lockout.
Most importantly, the league will have to woo back the fans, particularly those that invest in season tickets.
League headquarters and the owners of the 30 NHL clubs will have to pull out the stops to sell their product, particularly in the United States where the league's visibility among American sports fans prior to the lockout was already fading.
To do this, the league and the team owners will have to highlight the accomplishments of its players as well as improve the image it presented of the players during the lockout.
The league deserves much credit for the way it waged the public relations war against the NHL Players' Association during the course of the lockout, as many polls indicated the majority of NHL fans supported the owners rather than the players.
This was helped along by media coverage, which painted the players as greedy, selfish, spoiled athletes more interested in money than in the good of the game. The press also tarred NHLPA director Bob Goodenow as either an egomaniac on the verge of being overthrown by his constituents or a dictatorial Svengali who duped and bullied gullible players in following his on...