Sunday, June 21, 2009

Boycott NHL Licensed Products Until Canada Gets 7th Team - Petition

I've started an on-line petition so Canadians can let Gary Bettman and the NHL know that we're going to hit them where it hurts until they put a 7th team in Canada.

Can Hamilton support an NHL franchise? Absolutely!!! Instead of having struggling teams in cities like Nashville, Columbus, Tampa Bay and Phoenix the NHL could have perhaps as many as 6 more Canadian teams, in cities where hockey matters and is front page news.

With the revenue sharing agreement between the NHL and its player's association cities like Winnipeg and Quebec City would now be viable. It needn't end there, Regina and Halifax might also prove lucrative markets, with the city of Toronto ripe for another team.

But Gary Bettman and the NHL hardly seem interested, they'd rather ignore a country where people live and breathe hockey, while dreaming about expansion or relocation to places like Las Vegas, Kansas City and Portland. There's a good reason for this, there are 24 U.S. teams in the league right now, and many are already struggling to sell tickets. Owners of U.S. teams think its easier to flog tickets for games against cities like NY, LA or San Jose than it would be if the Hamilton Puckheads or Regina Wheat Kings were coming to town.

Sports is big business, and hockey is no exception. The only way to get the league's attention is to hit them where it hurts, in the wallet. I'm not going to suggest that people living in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal stop attending games...that would never work. Neither would asking people to stop watching the games on TV, we love our hockey too much.

But ticket sales and television rights aren't the only revenue streams for the league, there's also licensing fees. Every team sweater and toque with an NHL logo on it brings in $$$. Hats, socks, boxer shorts, flags, hockey cards....there has to be a million products generating licensing revenue. This is where Joe and Jane Canadian can hit Gary Bettman and make it count.

If you think Canada deserves and merits another team, stop buying products licensed to the NHL. The league generates over $1 billion each year by plastering team logos on everything from sweaters to key chains, and it stands to reason that a hefty percentage of that money comes from our Loonies. In fact the NHL forecast an 8% increase in licensing revenue back in August of 2008 according to SportsBusiness Journal.

SIGN THIS PETITION and let Gary Bettman and the league know you will not be purchasing any NHL licensed products until a 7th Canadian team is approved.

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