SBJ/January 29 - February 4, 2007/This Weeks News

All-Star jerseys stampede out of arena shop

Before the puck ever dropped for the NHL All-Star Game in Dallas, the largest fan shop at American Airlines Center had already sold out of all its authentic, Eastern Conference Sidney Crosby sweaters.

But it wasn’t just Crosby’s sweater that was selling well. Western Conference uniforms for Dallas Stars players Marty Turco and Philippe Boucher were moving fast, as well. The All-Star jerseys were sold for $149 for a plain replica, $249 for a numbered and named replica and $375 for a numbered and named authentic sweater.

Marty Turco’s jersey was selling
quickly at the American Airlines Center.

The Stars ordered 2,500 Reebok jerseys to be sold at their retail shops. Total sales were projected to reach 1,700. The league declined to comment on the sales until the final numbers came in, but the demand on-site was certainly high.

NHL.com update: At the board of governors meeting on Tuesday, the league informed teams that the first of the newly designed team Web sites will debut next month, and three more team sites will follow shortly. The sites will be designed by the league but the content will be provided primarily by each team. Ticket sales, news and information will be the primary focus of the sites, according to Keith Ritter, NHL senior vice president of new media.

The league continues to test its security technology for streaming live games, and Ritter said streaming games will go live to the public soon.

Pimp’d out: Geoff Moore, the Dallas Stars’ chief marketing officer, decided the Zamboni needed a face lift, so he hired Urban Auto Sports out of Detroit to trick one out.

The result is a booming black beast with chrome rims, chrome exhaust pipes shaped like hockey sticks, a 52-inch plasma TV, 14,000-watt speakers, a Harley engine and a smoke machine. It’s a Zamboni that would make Xzibit, the host of MTV’s “Pimp My Ride,” proud.

The pregame ceremony had everything
but the Stars’ “Pimp My Ride” Zamboni.

The vehicle cost $100,000, and the team plans to bring it to radio and media promotions and sponsor events. They sold a three-year sponsorship on the Zamboni to Lay’s, which has a logo on each side.

Atlanta ’08: Looking ahead to 2008, the city of Atlanta and the Thrashers are preparing to host next year’s All-Star Game, a first for the city. The organization had 22 representatives in Dallas tailing their counterparts from the Stars in an effort to glean tips for next year.

“Every time they turn around, one of us is there,” said Bernie Mullin, president and CEO of Atlanta Spirit, which owns the Thrashers and Philips Arena. “We’re intent on introducing the hockey world to Southern hospitality next January.”

The 2008 NHL All-Star Celebration will take place at Philips Arena, with the SuperSkills competition and YoungStars game on Jan. 15 and the All-Star Game on Jan. 16. The Thrashers were scheduled to host the 2005 event, but it was canceled due to the lockout.

New promos shot: The NHL made the most of having its players together by shooting a new spot for its “Just Like You And Me” campaign at a Dallas hotel. In the latest installment, NHL players return to their youth and behave like they’re on the road for a hockey tournament by getting rowdy at a hotel. Chicago’s Martin Havlat and Calgary’s Dion Phaneuf challenge each other to a baggage cart race; Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal and his brother from the Carolina Hurricanes, Eric Staal, get in a pillow fight; and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin keeps ordering room service and sending it to the room of Pittsburgh star Crosby.

Correspondent Allan Kreda contributed to this report.

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