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SBD/Issue 15/Leagues & Governing Bodies
Little Promotion Evident In Finland For Blackhawks-Panthers
Published October 2, 2009
|This Weekend's Panthers-Blackhawks Games
First NHL Regular-Season Games In Finland
IMPACT QUESTIONED: In Detroit, Chris McCosky writes under the header, "Swedish Opener Makes No Sense For The NHL." The Blues and Red Wings are playing two games in Stockholm on Friday and Saturday, and there is "nothing to be gained, from a business standpoint, by playing games abroad" in Stockholm, Helsinki "or wherever." McCosky: "How can the NHL be thinking global when it is struggling in its main market? There is no chance the NHL is expanding to Europe. There isn't going to be any spike in merchandise sales over here" (DETROIT NEWS, 10/2). The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Ethan Skolnick wrote there is "some international marketing benefit" to playing overseas, but that "comes with the debasement of the product through the creation of an inequitable schedule." The NHL "needs to sell its product to this country first." The L.A. Times' Helene Elliott wrote the "real motivation ... is business," as Finland and Sweden are the "top-ranked countries in terms of overseas visitors to NHL.com." Meanwhile, the Hartford Courant's Paul Doyle wrote it is "not a terrible idea to spread the NHL brand to Sweden and Finland," but "forcing four teams to shift training camp overseas and open their schedule in another part of the world seems unfair to players and fans" (LATIMES.com, 10/1).