October 15, 2013
How Will The NHL Soothe Frustrated Fans?
The best ways the league can reaffirm supporter loyalty after the lockout
The National Hockey League has begun preseason games and fans seem pretty excited. But the league still has to be wondering how loyal fans will be after last year’s shortened lockout season. The league still has to play the games, and it can expect the die-hards to be in the seats…but what about the fringe fans every team needs to balance the books.
Torossian tip #1 – Be generous
Nothing says I love you fans like opening your wallet…or, more to the point, sparing theirs. For many people, going to a professional sports game is expensive. Make it less so and they will be more encouraged to leave the flat screen at home and go to the game.
Torossian tip #2 – Be competitive
Even fair-weather fans love to support a winner. But even if you lose as many as you win, your team can fill the seats if it looks and feel competitive. This has as much to do with public relations as it does with the scoreboard.
Torossian tip #3 – Be fan friendly
This is definitely as much about PR as it is about anything. The approach and the conversation matter. If you can do things and say things in a way that conveys, ‘hey, we appreciate you!’ that will go a long way toward mending hurt feelings. But don’t skimp. Make this a culture, a reality. Some teams do a great job at this. Learn from their examples.
Torossian tip #4 – Make it about them
If the NHL can manage this sort of approach, it will bring the fans back for the long run. There have been far too many lockouts and strikes in pro sports in recent years. The fans are tired of it, and now it’s time for the league to step up and prove how much it values its fans.