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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The NHL Lockout Continues: Advertise Elsewhere

The NHL Lockout Continues: Advertise Elsewhere
By: Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont

The NHL is no stranger to lockouts and union issues.  This current one is the fourth to have happened in the past 20 years and the league still holds the record for the longest lockout among American leagues.  Although fans may miss the sport and wish the games were being played, their attention is ultimately grabbed by something else (the NBA?).  Who this really ends up hurting are those brands whose marketing plans revolve heavily around the hockey season.

Top-Business-Degrees.net reports that nearly  27.8 billion dollars are spent annually on advertising within the sports industry.  This type of money likely dominates some marketing departments' budgets and the plans for these campaigns are not created a few days before the season.  What happens to all of the work that has been put into a commercial or billboard?  Are refunds possible and who is really responsible for this problem?  Ultimately the companies have to suffer this irreversible waste of resources.

It appears this October that businesses will need to react quickly to the change of events.  A great example of this is Nike's campaign last year during the NBA lockout where Nike made the game of basketball the focus of their ads and not the players or teams.  It will be interesting to see the ways in which major corporations will adapt this season to recover or if they even will.

To quote Mad Men's Don Draper, "Endorsements are lazy."  There is some truth to this as slapping a sports logo on marketing materials can be effective enough, but companies should always have a backup plan.  It is not always easy to predict when the focus of your efforts will cease to be relevant.
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