Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

The Importance of the Experience – NHL v. NBA

In Insight on June 10, 2009 at 9:37 am

So often we (marketing bloggers) write about the theoretical or our own experiences, which are influenced by the SocMed Marketing echo chamber we inhabit, that it’s nice to see a fresh perspective on things. Can’t get more fresh that seeing it through the eyes of a 10-year old.

My son and I can't wait till Friday! Go Wings!

My son and I can't wait till Friday! Go Wings!

Last night was a big one for sports fans, especially in the New York area. Mets v. Phillies and Yanks v. Red Sox would normally get top billing, but with the NBA Finals and NHL Stanley Cup finals in full swing, regular season baseball takes a seat in the back. So, I asked my son, “NBA Finals or Stanley Cup?” No hesitation – playoff hockey was his choice.

So, what factors led to this decision? Yes, I’m a Red Wings fan, but my son hasn’t seemed to pick that up as he has for the Steelers, a team we both root for. On the other side, he’s certainly gotten in to Dwight Howard of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, often asking if Superman (Howard’s nickname) was playing tonight. My son has played on basketball teams for a couple of years, but has never played hockey. On the surface it would seem to be a wash, with basketball maybe even having an edge. So, why the interest in hockey?

Back in February  my son and I went with some friends to a mid-season New Jersey Nets game against the San Antonio Spurs.  Spurs won easy against a Nets team that put little to no effort into the game, in front of a crowd that was listless at best – thus creating a symbiotic death-spiral of intertia.

Then in April my son had the opportunity to go to a New Jersey Devils game. An NHL  playoff game. An NHL Game 7 playoff game! The one where the Devils gave up to goals in the last 72 seconds to end their season. Probably the most dramatic sporting event, outside of a FIFA World Cup final, you can attend.

So, now my son has a school project – he decides to create a New Jersey Devils t-shirt. He has a choice of what to watch, he chooses NHL hockey. During the game he says he’s interested in maybe playing hockey too.

You simply can’t underestimate the power of a truly compelling live experience. Whether it’s an event or just the engagement a consumer has at your store, what are you doing to make it memorable?

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