Sunday, October 9, 2011

Numbers on the Helmet...Changing Tradition to the way of European Style Marketing

Head Equipment Manager Tony Da Costa for the Minnesota Wild tweeted these images of these helmet, adding that it's "no joke" and that players will have numbers on the front and back of their lids beginning on opening night.
 Schuyler Beehman of the NHL with the specifics on the numbers:
Player numbers will be added to the front forehead (centered) location of all player helmets at the start of this season. Front numbers are not required to be placed on goaltenders headgear. Numbers on the front and back of helmets will measure no less than 1.25" and no more than 2" in height. The new number placement is designed to aid on-ice officials, broadcasters, et al. by providing an additional point of player identification

As my wife and I sat down to watch the opening game of another NHL season. I couldn't help but noticed the changes to the helmets.
" I said well what's next a chunk of hockey tape across the helmet with the players name? "
 The numbers are there to help out the on /off ice officials, broadcasters that are perched up high in the rafters, and who ever else needs help.... REALLY? They're only an 1 inch by 2 inches big for god sakes! How is that going to help?
 It seems to me that the NHL is really looking at another way to market this game. They are just easing us into what's to come in the future. This numbering system is opening the way to European style advertising. Where they plaster advertising all over the players sweater, helmet, pants, gloves, and gontch ( underwear ). I'm sure they put advertising on the teams toilet paper too!
I hope it doesn't come to that!. I understand that every league needs different and creative ways to generate revenue for their franchise. But leave the uniform alone.  Let the number on the front of the helmet the last thing...That's good enough!....and....Stop there please!
Tradition has it that the equipment manufactures have every right to advertise on their own equipment due to the fact that they make it..The teams put their logo, player name, the number on the back / sides and now on the front of the helmet because they own the player....
Since the mandatory rule to wear a helmet was introduced way back when, the logo and the number on the back have been a part of that tradition.
......A North American Tradition! Comprendes amigos?
So to the NHL marketing department and Mr. Bettman, keep searching for different ways to market this wonderful game. You are doing great! Believe me!  Advertise within all communication whether electronic or print media, in arena boards, bleacher seats, glass, ice surface, bathroom stalls, concourse rafters, on the cement floors, children toys, what ever it takes... Hell even have a remote control blimp flying around the inside to the rink ( during intermission of course ) and dropping off advertising material to the waiting fans in their seats. By the way a Medicine Hat Tigers tradition that has a little bit of a hiccup at the moment but hopefully be up and flying again...
But please, please, and PLEASE! Do us all hockey fans a huge favor,  by not ruining our North American Tradition and slapping European style advertising all over the players...We wont be able to see the players for the advertising...

" I hope you enjoyed the article and I look forward to reading your comments! "
Joe Versikaitis 

This article is copyrighted to Versikaitis - The Art of Sport. Any reproduction without written consent is strictly prohibited.

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