Monday, December 20, 2010

How to promote a Winter Classic

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of The Price Is Right. (I'm not even kidding, I make fun of the people who don't understand the games, and I freak out when someone wins a car.) I'm just not sure that a dull, pretaped segment on a daytime game show is the best way to get people to watch the Winter Classic if they aren't already hockey fans.

Last year, watching Marc Savard and Scott Hartnell was somewhat painful, so my expectations were pretty low for this year. I was right. Jeremy Roenick injected a bit of life into the showcase presentation due to the fact that he isn't as dull as the average hockey player. (And some people complain about players with too mcuh personality. Go figure.) Alexander Ovechkin looked a little bored reading off the cue cards, and Sidney Crosby looked more uncomfortable than Brian Gionta did that time he had to speak French. Maybe, if we're trying to bring in a new audience for NHL hockey, we shouldn't be exposing the fact that the league's biggest star isn't good at talking on camera. (You know who is, though? Jonathan Toews. I'm just saying.)

They don't seem to have that problem on HBO's 24/7, which I'm enjoying very much. So I'm not going to complain about the way this game is promoted on cable. Network TV, however, is a whole other story.

First of all, if you want to promote The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, January 1st on NBC!!! why are you on CBS? Why aren't you taking advantage of the fact that NBC viewers already know what Heinz Field looks like?
Maybe you've heard of it... highest-rated show for the 15th consecutive Sunday
(despite the worst opening theme ever)
I know NBC wouldn't go the whole nine and make Ovechkin guest-star as a Russian henchman on Chuck, and that both teams couldn't team up with The Lonely Island for a video called "I'm On A Boat (Going To Heinz Field)", but a really short spot (or a series of commercials) on Sunday Night Football would do the trick. Look, I even wrote a poorly formatted script and everything!

BEN ROETHLISBERGER and a few of his PITTSBURGH STEELERS teammates are on the sidelines during practice, drinking from their water bottles or tossing balls around between drills.

Who are those guys? Hockey players?

The entire WASHINGTON CAPITALS team, wearing their jerseys, walk on to the field in slow motion.

Hey, guys.

We're going to be playing here in a few weeks.
Can you show us around?

Sure. Hey, aren't you Brooks Laich?

Yeah. Nice to meet you.

I heard you helped out some lady fans 
who had car trouble last spring.

Yeah, it was dark out and these two women 
wearing Caps jerseys had a flat tire. 
I changed it for them.

...and then what did you do?

I drove away.

That's it?


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