Monday, August 10, 2009

Knock You Down

This is why the NHL will never become a major sports market again. This is why the NHL will never reach a new audience. This is why the NHL will continue to not cross people's minds...

The Carolina Hurricanes have sued Tyrone Banks, a Raleigh-based hip hop artist, for producing and promoting a song called, well, the "Carolina Hurricanes," and referring to it as the "official song of the Carolina Hurricanes." Banks has also produced an online video where he wears the Hurricane's team jersey.

Apparently though, this song seems to be too offensive for the Hurricanes because he's not part of the team or the staff, and according to the Associated Press report, the Hurricanes can't stand the fact that "Banks is still seen wearing a Hurricanes jersey in promotional material and said the franchise has been damaged by the unauthorized use of trademarks."

This frustrates the hell out of me! You canNOT tell me that promoting your team is a bad thing. I believe that if Banks had actually tried to talk with the team before he came out promoting and stuff, maybe the team would have been more likely to enjoy his production discussing their franchise. Either way though, I don't think suing the man really does the team any good.

You see, hip hop is this huge thing in America, and I don't know if the NHL has heard of this. But all kinds of people listen to hip hop, not just black people, but oh boy do white people listen to hip hop as well. I'm telling you, had the NHL taken the step a long time ago in using popular rap/hip hop artists to be at games, promote the team, show up at the All-Star game and all of that (pre-lockout), I have a feeling there would be more people who would at least give a little more about the NHL.

In markets like Carolina, and especially the ATL, the NHL should try to market differently. Instead of using people like Garth Brooks and unknown/slacking celebrities to promote events and games and such, why not more popular people. At the time of the NHL All-Star game in Atlanta, they used Ne-yo as the intermission performer. Then, Ne-yo wasn't near where he is today with his fan base though. What would have been mad nice, would have been Usher, and Lil Jon, who actually has a son that plays hockey in Atlanta.

Herein lies another example of how the NHL pushes away a good idea and continues to make itself look like a boring sport for white people. Just as the NHL continues to market with charisma-less, cry-baby Sidney Crosby instead of using a more fun, exciting, explosive player like, say, Alex Ovechkin, the NHL will also push away any good idea to get their teams and markets out there to a different audience in a different way.

I feel like I will dig into this issue further come February 2010 with a more broad view of how I feel about this topic. I will warn all now, I will be very blunt in that post. But for now, take what you can get here and insinuate.
*there is a rock song out there about the Hurricanes

Sidenote: BTW, I just want to make a special shout to the Fort Dupont fellows. Great hockey program, and I hope to be somewhat involved in putting it even more out there in the future.


  1. Angieee, It's Mike Dissinger. I dunno if the whole NHL is responsible for that, so much as a few dumb owners are. This just seems to be a case of bad marketing by the Hurricanes. The Sharks had a similar incident with a local artist, except they ate it up. The guy got air time on pre game shows and everything. And it worked. Around the bay it's getting more common to see guys wearing Sharks fitteds.

  2. I dig, I see that, and I know it's not the NHL as a whole, but the point goes to show that the NHL as a whole could have taken that step as well before and they have also pushed it away. It doesn't work when a Stanley Cup winning team pushes away a hip hop artist - it doesn't help the image, I guess that should be clarified, but tru statement there

  3. it totally depends on the lyrics.... if it's like "The Canes are gonna win the Cup, Cam Ward's gonna hold it up"... then it shouldn't be a big deal
    But if its "Gary Bettman, he's a prick, Atlanta thrashers, suck my dick" I could see why he Canes might want to distance themselves from it