Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Worst NHL giveaway ideas ever

The plastic rat idea in Florida was a bad idea.  But you'd be surprised how many other promotions have gone wrong...


Every now and then, you'll see a bizarre promotion to sell a particular sporting event.  Some famous examples of this include Disco Night in Chicago for the White Sox, Reggie Bars Day at Yankee Stadium and the plastic rat giveaway for the Panthers.  But there are some even weirder promotional ideas that never actually make it out of the meeting rooms.  Luckily, I've been able to get a pretty decent list of some promotional ideas from the NHL.  Take a look.

Winnipeg Jets - The Jets had to scrap two ideas already this year.

  • Similar to a campaign run by the New Jersey Devils this season, the Winnipeg Jets talked about a ticket offer in which a fan could buy a regulaly-priced ticket to a Jets home game and receive a $10 food card as a bonus.  Unfortunately, Kyle Wellwood found out about this and tried to buy 15,000 tickets to Opening Night.
  • The Jets then turned to their Plan B: Any fan to purchase a box for a single game would be eligible for free boating lessons.  This also created a problem, because Dustin Byfuglien wiped out all of the tickets before the public could access them.

Boston Bruins

  • The Bruins talked about giving all children in attendance to their Opening Night game against the Flyers a replica Stanley Cup ring, but then considered that there might be some Flyers fans at the game.  For the safety of the young Flyers fans, who would be very confused by the sight of a championship ring, the Bruins cancelled the promotion.
  • Since fan ring night didn't work, the Bruins talked about Tomas Kaberle Bobblehead Night.  Then they remembered he doesn't play for them anymore.  They hardly noticed.

New York Rangers

  • Last season, Glen Sather and Rangers management ran a test of their Fan King Henrik Crown that they planned to give to fans this season.  Strangely, as soon as the playoffs began, the crowns began to fall apart and break.  This caused the giveaway to be ruined.  It turned out to be a huge waste of money...

Edmonton Oilers

  • The Oilers were planning to release a huge promotion about the Big Three: Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov all being drafted first overall by the Oilers in consecutive seasons.  Then they remembered that Columbus, Ottawa and Winnipeg were in the NHL this season.
  • The Oilers bounced back from their failed poster giveaway by planning Ferrari Die-Cast car night, as all kids in attendance to Oilers home games would receive a die-cast Ferrari with a player's number on it.  In a strange series of events, all of the Nikolai Khabibulin cars seemed to speed out of control every time someone opened one from its packaging.

Dallas Stars

  • After plans to have giveaways involving Mike Modano and Brad Richards, the Stars' marketing department decided to create a better fan experience.  They attempted to accomplish this by building a fan's lounge so that fans could escape the Dallas heat by spending time at a comfortable lounge before Stars home games.  The problem occured when the marketing department found Sheldon Souray sound asleep in the lounge during practice.

Calgary Flames

  • The Flames decided to start a program to help kids manage their money better, so they scheduled piggy bank giveaway night.  The idea was great, but every time someone dropped a coin into the piggy bank, it got stuck and the piggy bank started to overflow quickly.  This confused Darryl Sutter.

Vancouver Canucks

  • Out of nowhere, the Canucks planned Green Spandex Suit giveaway night, in which every single fan in attendance would get a suit just like the Green Men.  This created two problems: it angered the Green Men and caused city police a great deal of havoc trying to identify people during the post-game riots.

Montreal Canadiens

  • In a very generous gesture, Habs players donated a bunch of their actual game-worn jerseys to the Bell Centre to use as fan raffle items.  The problem with this is that none of the jerseys fit the fans that won them.  The arena measured the fans who complained, and found out that the average height of a Habs fan is taller than 5'7".

New Jersey Devils

  • The Devils actually had a fireworks display following the home game on New Year's Eve.  This sounded like a good idea, but they forgot to inform Newark Police about the promotion as the city's first responders searched in fear of a frantic shooter.

Chicago Blackhawks

  • In an attempt to re-live their Stanley Cup Championship, the Hawks gave all of their fans a customized video game where the player had to win 16 games to win the Stanley Cup as many seasons in a row as possible.  Unfortunately, due to a strange game glitch, nobody could ever win more than one in a row, because after the first Cup was won, the simulator traded the entire team away to save salary cap space.

New York Islanders

  • Hoping that their team would still be playing in the hot months, such as June, the Islanders gave all fans to select home games a hand-held fan to keep themselves cool.  The fault in this promotion was whenever someone pointed the fan in the direction of the rink, Rick DiPietro would immediately fall over in pain.

Nashville Predators

  • In anticipation of another playoff run this season, Nashville management tried to put together a motivational DVD to excite fans about another trip to the playoffs.  This promotion failed when they realized they didn't actually have any footage of the Predators' playoff games because the cameramen kept focusing on Carrie Underwood the whole time.

Detroit Red Wings

  • The Red Wings were planning Chris Osgood Night in Detroit, and as a bonus, all fans in attendance were going to get an interactive Osgood figurine featuring a mini-puck and stick to shoot at Osgood.  Then the Wings' staff soon noticed that the mini-Osgood was unable to stop virtually any puck thrown at it.  That would have been too authentic.

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Following a long playoff run last spring, the Lightning wanted to assure fans that they weren't a one year wonder.  They set up a promotion that the fewer goals the Lightning allowed in a game, the bigger of a discount fans could get to an upcoming game.  This plan was scrapped because management didn't want fans paying ten times the actual value of the ticket.