|View single post by CanadianHorseman|
|Posted: Thu Jun 11th, 2015 12:03 am||
|This goof from NBC Sports just doesn't get it.
Jason Garrison's playoff beard is apparently a bad thing.
NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus has a suggestion for marketing the NHL and growing the popularity of individual players around the league: Tell them to stop covering their faces with playoff beards.
One of the most easily identifiable aspects of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, right up there with the Stanley Cup itself and the post-series handshake, is apparently a problem when it comes to marketing the players. At least that is what Lazarus basically told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday when he said that he would like to see players stop growing playoff beards in an effort to help improve their marketability.
He also added that he has taken this suggestion to the NHL, the NHLPA and even individual players around the league.
"I know there are some traditions and superstitions that you can't mess with," Lazarus told Ed Sherman of the Tribune. "But this is one tradition I could do without."
More from the Tribune:
"The players won't like this, but I wish they all would stop growing beards in the postseason,” Lazarus said. "Let's get their faces out there. Let's talk about how young and attractive they are. What model citizens they are. (Hockey players) truly are one of a kind among professional athletes.
"I know it's a tradition and superstition, but I think (the beards do) hurt recognition. They have a great opportunity with more endorsements. Or simply more recognition with fans saying, 'That guy looks like the kid next store,' which many of these guys do. I think that would be a nice thing."
He also added that the element of a shaggy beard makes it difficult for fans to identify players.
That, of course, is absurd.
Not only because a large portion of the fanbase enjoys the tradition so much that they themeslves take part by growing their own playoff beards as a way to support their favorite team, but because you can't possibly identify players by their face during gameplay. Plus, every player wears a jersey with two pretty important things that help fans identify each player when they are on the ice: Their name and their number. And unless you're a hardcore fan of a particular team (who wouldn't need the players marketed to them anyway), you probably wouldn't recognize a non-superstar player, beard or no beard, if you saw him out in public or on television.
It's nothing more than out of control brand management. Or attempted brand management. The NFL doesn't seem to have a problem marketing its players whose faces are covered by giant facemasks every time they step on the field.
When it comes to longtime hockey traditions just about the only thing that would have been more outrageous would have been suggesting that the league replace marathon overtime games with a shootout.