In the sports edition of Yahoo Canada, Greg Wyshynski touches upon the effects of the NHL Lockout on European hockey. Referring to an agent (Gareth Chalmers) in Europe, Wyshynski listed the following citation:
“In the short term having NHL players in Europe has been massive for a lot of teams in terms of revenue and exposure. One team I visited in Europe during November, said they’d generated enough revenue to pay his insurance three times over! They also said they’d had more exposure from one NHL player than they’d had for the team during the previous 10 years.”
With this in mind, my thoughts go to the Danish league ‘AL-Bank Ligaen‘, which has seen positive effects based on the inclusion of NHL players. Living in Aalborg, I have witnessed how the local team Aalborg Pirates has benefited from Colin Greening, who came to Aalborg from Ottawa Senators. His influence on the team has been massive in terms of team exposure in the media. Greening has also affected fan discussions, fandom effects (including fan interest for the games) and from an athletic standpoint the professionalism of NHL players on and off the field has also been a learning experience for everyone engaged in hockey in Denmark. Finally, this sort of interest holds the potential of increasing a team’s revenue streams, which is vital in securing financial sustainability through the display on improved commercial opportunities.
The local rivals of Aalborg Pirates, Frederikshavn White Hawks took advantage of the NHL Lockout by welcoming Greening’s teammate from Ottawa Senators Zack Smith. His performances on the ice have played a key role in the success of the White Hawks this season – the team is no. 1 in the league at the moment.
Now that Greening and Smith have left Denmark to return to Canada, time will show how this affects the Pirates and the White Hawks, respective no. 2 and no. 1 in the league, and their pursuits to win the title.
For more inspiration, check out this article from local news station TV2/Nord. The article describes how the arrival of Colin Greening may have affected attendance for home games.
AND THINK ABOUT THE EFFECT ON THE DANISH FOOTBALL LEAGUE if the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga, the Spanish La Liga, and the Italian Serie A sent high quality players to Denmark for a few months. Dealing with sport economy and sport marketing, there is correlation between star players, media exposure and fan interest. And there is also a trade-off between this and the revenue streams (and the cost structures) of the clubs involved.