NHL AND NHLPA ANNOUNCE "MEMO OF UNDERSTANDING"; GAME ON!
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob
Goodenow jointly announced Friday that the players had ratified
the labor agreement by a majority vote and that the season would
begin January 20. Bettman noted that the signed agreement is
"more of a memorandum of understanding." A number of issues have
to be worked out before a formal CBA is signed, but as Bettman
noted, the deal "will keep the game going" (Len Hochberg,
WASHINGTON POST, 1/14). Although a formal tally of the NHLPA
vote was not released, Goodenow said an estimated 85% voted in
favor of ratification (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 1/14).
Goodenow "rejected the notion that the union" lost: "Players are
happy with the results in the context of the whole agreement.
Sure, we made some concessions, but that's part of any
negotiating process" (Helene Elliott, L.A.TIMES, 1/14).
"GAME ON": At the CBA announcement, both Bettman and
Goodenow donned black hats with the league's "Game On" logo (Jim
Smith, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 1/14). NHL COO Stephen Solomon on the
slogan, taken from "Wayne's World," which will be used in TV,
print and radio ads: "We think this sets the right tone for
fans." Starter will begin sellling NHL/"Game On" apparel. Among
other promotions, Anheuser-Busch is reprinting nearly one million
NHL team schedules -- stamped with "Game On" -- to promote Ice
Draft. Nike does not plan any hockey advertising until the
playoffs (Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY, 1/16). AD AGE reports that
"talks are under way" with Michael Myers of Wayne's World about
an "expanded role" in NHL marketing (Jeff Jensen, AD AGE, 1/16
issue). Despite word that Fox was "not optimistic" it would
promo the NHL during the Cowboys-49ers NFC Championship game on
Sunday, Fox managed to get an "Fox NHL Sunday" spot in between
the end of the game and the start of "The Simpsons" (THE DAILY).
JOB WELL DONE? While players will receive only 59% of their
salaries for '94-95, NHLPA President Mike Gartner said Goodenow
will get a raise (Lance Hornby, TORONTO SUN, 1/15).