SBD/September 18, 2012/FranchisesPrint All
Senators President Cyril Leeder yesterday said that all of the club’s “170 full- and part-time office workers have either been temporarily laid off or asked to accept a reduced work week,” according to a front-page piece by Ken Warren of the OTTAWA CITIZEN. Leeder said that "'more than 10' full-time employees have been laid off for the duration of the lockout." Other full-time staff members “are now working four-day weeks.” Part-timers, who “work during event days at the arena, will also see fewer shifts, although the appearance of the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s at Scotiabank Place this season will partially offset the loss of Senators home games.” The staff was “given notice about the implications of a lockout one month ago.” Meanwhile, the club indicated that it will “either refund the cost of tickets or will provide five-per-cent interest" for season-ticket holders that allow the Senators to "keep their money." In addition to the loss of jobs, the lockout also “means a potential drop-off in funds for charities.” The Senators Foundation was “forced to cancel its annual preseason golf tournament, originally scheduled for Wednesday.” Leeder insists that the Senators Foundation “has made ‘contingency plans’ and that the charities won’t be forgotten.” Leeder: “We’re finding different ways to raise money” (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 9/18). In Ottawa, Tim Baines cites sources as saying that the “actual figure of layoffs is as many as 40” (OTTAWA SUN, 9/18). Leeder said, “This really is the area that I worry about the most. It’s not good for anybody when we have a work stoppage and the people most affected are our staff here” (CP, 9/17).
HERE TO STAY: True North Sports & Entertainment President & CEO Jim Ludlow yesterday said the Jets “will not be laying off any staff while the NHL is in lockout mode.” Ludlow said, "We are not retrenching or retreating or laying off or rolling back any relationships we have with employees. We think it's valuable to continue to invest in our employees and our people and our building and our relationships” (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 9/18). Meanwhile, Bruins President Cam Neely in an e-mail said that the team has “no current plans to execute layoffs for any full-time or part-time employees currently earning wages from the hockey club” (CSNNE.com, 9/17).
The Wild have “officially postponed single-game ticket sales" due to the lockout, while season-ticket holders yesterday were informed “about what options they have for their tickets,” according to Michael Russo of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Season-ticket holders can either “receive refunds after games are canceled or keep their money in their accounts in return for 10 percent APR interest for each day that games remain canceled or postponed.” That amount is “a higher incentive than every team in the NHL,” as most have “offered options ranging from no interest to 5 percent.” Single-game tickets were set to go on sale Saturday. Meanwhile, it also was announced “to a 200-person staff that there will be no layoffs ‘at this time’ and that executives and higher-compensated employees on the business side and coaches and management on the hockey operations side will receive paycuts.” Sources said that the salary reductions “affect any Wild employee making more than $70,000 a year, and would be a 30 or 35 percent (depending on salary) reduction of the overage over $70,000” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/18).
DEAR SIR: In Calgary, Scott Cruickshank notes the Flames yesterday “sent out notices to all of its season-ticket holders, with kernels of optimism and hard figures.” The notices read in part, “Should games be formally cancelled, interest will be paid on the value of cancelled games at a rate of 3% per annum.” The Flames’ letter also “indicated that fans could opt for a full refund, but that avenue would cost them their seat.” Fans who choose a full refund would lose their "ticket allotment and seniority.” Flames President & CEO Ken King said that the seat loss “is standard.” Meanwhile, Cruickshank reports “paycuts are in effect" for the team's 160 staffers, though they are "for only those above a certain salary threshold” (CALGARY HERALD, 9/18). In San Jose, David Pollak notes the Sharks are not going to offer "interest on refunds for tickets to games that might be canceled." Sharks Exec VP/Business Operations Malcolm Bordelon said that most of the teams doing so “have collected 100 percent of the cost of 2012-13 season tickets, while the vast majority of San Jose fans have paid 70 percent to this point” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/18). The Red Wings will "inform season-ticket holders later this week regarding refund policies for any potential canceled games” (DETROIT NEWS, 9/18).
INSIDE-OUT SWEATERS: In Vancouver, Brad Ziemer notes the Canucks yesterday in their first skate since the lockout “made a point by turning their Canuck practice jerseys inside out.” Canucks D Kevin Bieksa said, “We’re no longer employed by the Canucks so we’re not going to be representing them” (VANCOUVER SUN, 9/18). In Ottawa, Ken Warren notes several Senators players yesterday “arrived on the ice sweaterless, allowing their shoulder pads to show as they made a few laps of the ice.” Eventually, they “donned navy blue jerseys with 'Bell Sensplex' or 'Central Junior Hockey League' written on them for practice drills and a scrimmage." The club’s top prospects “chose to wear their Senators sweaters inside out” (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 9/18). In Nashville, Josh Cooper notes a group of Predators, prospects and former Predators yesterday at A-Game Sportsplex "practiced for the first time since the NHL lockout started." Only a couple of players “wore their official Predators practice jerseys” (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 9/18). Ice Sports Forum GM Brenda McKinnon said that 18 Lightning players yesterday “paid the same rate as anyone else to rent a rink” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 9/18).
NO MIXING & MINGLING: In Philadelphia, Sam Carchidi notes six Flyers players yesterday “took part in a benefit golf tournament for area children's charities.” But Flyers employees “were told they could not be at a players' golf tournament during the lockout.” Flyers LW Scott Hartnell said, "I was a little upset about it. Even though we have a labor dispute right now, there shouldn't be any dispute about helping the (Hartnell Down) foundation" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/18).
The Royals are scrapping their “Our Time” campaign and “looking for a new marketing campaign to keep fans coming back in 2013,” according to Paul Koepp of the K.C. BUSINESS JOURNAL. The team’s creative account "is in review, and current agency VML is heading for the showers." In a “confidential brief distributed to local advertising agencies to solicit pitches, the Royals’ marketing office bluntly acknowledged that the team has become associated with losing.” The brief stated in part, “Suffice it to say, Royals fans have grown more weary, jaded and frustrated with each passing season. … the Royals brand used to be synonymous with class and excitement.” The brief also read, “The campaign that had quickly become a rallying cry just as quickly became a symbol of crushed hope.” Koepp notes the Royals’ top offseason marketing priority “will be to retain as many season-ticket holders as possible.” The team will not "lean heavily on the 1985 World Series winning team, which has featured prominently in past campaigns." Royals VP/Marketing & Business Development Mike Bucek said, “We want to celebrate that team but in a way where we don’t completely rely on them” (K.C. BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/14 issue).