Dubbed "The NHL: Hey, We're a Sport That's Still Around," the slogan is designed to inform sports fans that, hey, the NHL is a sport that's still around.
"I had the news on and they said something about the NFL and NBA being locked out," said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. "So I called up my old college roommate Doug. He took a marketing class and I have him do stuff for the league sometimes. Anyway, I told him maybe the NHL should capitalize on these lockouts and remind people that, hey, we're a sport that's still around. I think what he came up with really captured what I was going for."
Bettman has ordered the slogan printed on drink coasters and note pads, which will be left on the counters at cafes and coffee shops in hopes customers will spot them and become aware of the league's continued operation. The commissioner has also spent heavily on awareness advertising in Canada.
"I didn't want to spend the money on a U.S. campaign," he said. "But we'll make sure those Canadians don't forget about hockey when the NFL and NBA are gone."
Sports business analysts says the NHL has a very real opportunity to expand its market share and popularity this season if the NFL and NBA both lose regular season games as long as Bettman doesn't bungle it.
"So I'm thinking this year that instead of ice hockey, we play ice footsketball a sort of football/basketball combo sport that I just made up in my head," said Bettman. "Then we would get all the fans from those sports. It's a flawless idea."