The trailer above was brought to our attention by Cult of Hockey’s David Staples. David (rightly) points out that, though Alba’s acting prowess isn’t at the same level as, say, Emilio Esteves’ performance in the Mighty Ducks, certainly her sex appeal and the fact that she’s playing the owner of the Leafs will hold a certain appeal with hockey fans (or Leafs and Mike Myers fans at the very least).
And while, according to David’s post “The National Hockey League (NHL) and Paramount Pictures have entered into a strategic marketing alliance supporting the new Mike Myers comedy film ‘The Love Guru,'” this is still a half-assed attempt by the NHL to engage its fans more interactively. In fact, as I type interactively, I laugh at myself. Because that’s not what this is at all.
The NHL’s missing the boat in myriad ways. They simply are not engaging the fans in the way other professional sports leagues are. The fact that the Oilogosphere rose up from the dearth of critical and hilarious coverage of the Oilers (and other blogs have done similar things for other teams) is indicative of a League out of touch with its fans. A League that charges people to be on a seasons tickets waiting list.
The League and the teams themselves must do more to engage their fans. We’re their bread and butter. Without us, there is no hockey. Just a bunch of guys with sticks wondering why the paycheques have stopped rolling in. The landscape of engagement with fans is changing. There are fans-cum-citizen journalists out there, among pros, breaking stories themselves. Access is important, yes. But if that same access isn’t granted to new media, if the level of engagement stays the same, then the NHL is missing out on a huge opportunity.
Co-promoting a film is a step in the right direction. So is granting bloggers access to teams and players. But the NHL—and all of us—still have a ways to go.