SBD/June 15, 2012/Franchises

Kings' Stanley Cup Run Has Big Impact On Merchandising And Ticket Sales

Fans are buying anything they can get their hands on to commemorate Stanley Cup Final
Kings COO Chris McGowan said that the team's Stanley Cup Playoff run "has had a 'humongous' influence on merchandising and ticket sales," according to Andrew Owens of the L.A. TIMES. McGowan said, "We've definitely seen a spike in season tickets already. Attendance was doing very well during the regular season. But then we made the playoffs and saw a big spike after we beat Vancouver in the first round. That's when we started to sell lots of season tickets." McGowan said that the team "already has sold out its partial ticket plans for next season and projects to do the same with season tickets -- a feat that has never occurred in team history." He added that just as the team is "experiencing a buzz at the ticket office, it has experienced a similar demand for Kings apparel and merchandise." McGowan: "Our numbers during the playoffs and finals were unprecedented in both hockey and basketball. ... People are coming down here and buying jerseys, hats, anything they can get their hands on that commemorates the Stanley Cup Final." Kings LW Dustin Penner said, "You start seeing a lot more silver and black everywhere and you get noticed a little more wherever you go" (L.A. TIMES, 6/15). Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille said that the team's "market research shows there are 2.5 million hockey fans in Southern California." YAHOO SPORTS' Nicholas Cotsonika noted those fans are "are spread out throughout the sprawl, diluted, and the Kings share them with the Ducks." Robitaille said that the goal is to "increase the total number of hockey fans to 3 million and to claim as much market share for the Kings as possible" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/14).

ROAR OF THE CROWD: In L.A., Gold, Allen & Leu note the L.A. Police Department estimated the crowd for Thursday's celebratory Kings victory parade "at 250,000." Later in the afternoon, "legions of fans packed every seat in the Staples Center." The crowd saved its "most explosive cheers" for coach Darryl Sutter. Fans also "stood as one" and "chanted 'MVP'" for Conn Smythe Trophy-winning G Jonathan Quick. Until now, despite "some playoff success and a slew of talented players, the franchise was probably best known for not winning the Stanley Cup despite signing the best player the world had ever seen" in Hockey HOFer Wayne Gretzky. But in the "glow of the champions, all seemed forgotten Thursday" (L.A. TIMES, 6/15).
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