Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from RichmondHillOntario. Show RichmondHillOntario's posts

    Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    Blacks have been in the league since, what, '58?  When compared to some other races, not that many have been NHLers.  As a black kid up here in Toronto, I have clear memories of being asked if our ankles were too weak to skate on.  Seriously!

    With each passing day in this insane world of ours, it seems to be increasingly
    evident that anything can happen but I'd like to think Evander Kane, Dustin Byfuglien, ex-Panther Anthony Stewart and the others are on the Thrashers due to their talent, not their pigmentation as a tool to appeal to a specific portion of the Atlanta population.  Just a thought, folks.  http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Thrashers-not-trying-to-exploit-black-players-?urn=nhl-280435

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Fletcher1. Show Fletcher1's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    Not sure I understand all of your post, but I don't think anyone is suggesting that these players don't belong or that they couldn't otherwise make the team because they are black.  Anyone who has watched them play knows this is clearly not the case.  Each guy can justify his contract with his talent in this case. 

    I think the article suggests that Atlanta possibly seeks out black players as a bit of a higher priority because they may be more appealing to the fanbase there.  To that I say, so what if they do??  Every team probably wants to find players that really resonate with the fans for many reasons and race could be one of them.  Fans like players they can relate to.  No coincidence that Terry O'Reilly was once the most popular player among a largely Irish, blue collar fan base.  If Atlanta thinks that Byfuglien and Kane might be more appealing as role models to kids in Atlanta, I don't see anything wrong with that.

    As a man of Irish-decent from Massachusetts, I would love nothing more than to have the Bruins sign a local kid from Boston with an Irish last name.  I would probably pull for him more than a foreigner or a Canadian with the same talent and I don't think that makes me racist.  I suspect fans in Atlanta might have an easier time getting behind a black star, than say one from Finland.  Just an opinion and I know it may be a sensitive topic, so I hope not to offend anyone...
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from RichmondHillOntario. Show RichmondHillOntario's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    In Response to Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.:
    [QUOTE]Not sure I understand all of your post, but I don't think anyone is suggesting that these players don't belong or that they couldn't otherwise make the team because they are black.  Anyone who has watched them play knows this is clearly not the case.  Each guy can justify his contract with his talent in this case.  I think the article suggests that Atlanta possibly seeks out black players as a bit of a higher priority because they may be more appealing to the fanbase there.  To that I say, so what if they do??  Every team probably wants to find players that really resonate with the fans for many reasons and race could be one of them.  Fans like players they can relate to.  No coincidence that Terry O'Reilly was once the most popular player among a largely Irish, blue collar fan base.  If Atlanta thinks that Byfuglien and Kane might be more appealing as role models to kids in Atlanta, I don't see anything wrong with that. As a man of Irish-decent from Massachusetts, I would love nothing more than to have the Bruins sign a local kid from Boston with an Irish last name.  I would probably pull for him more than a foreigner or a Canadian with the same talent and I don't think that makes me racist.  I suspect fans in Atlanta might have an easier time getting behind a black star, than say one from Finland.  Just an opinion and I know it may be a sensitive topic, so I hope not to offend anyone...
    Posted by Fletcher1[/QUOTE]

    No offence taken at all, Fletcher 1.  I get the idea of a non-traditional market attempting to lure fans with someone a certain segment of the population can identify with.  I was stating my preference for the Thrashers to hopefully employ the black players they do because of their skills rather than their colour. 

    I agree with your point of not questioning their merit as Kane was a top 10 pick potting 14 goals in his rookie year while Byfuglien was an integral part of the Hawks' championship.  Again, I'd rather them be NHLers because they're good regardless of their race.  Cheers!
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from duinne. Show duinne's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    In Response to Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing. : No offence taken at all, Fletcher 1.  I get the idea of a non-traditional market attempting to lure fans with someone a certain segment of the population can identify with.  I was stating my preference for the Thrashers to hopefully employ the black players they do because of their skills rather than their colour.  I agree with your point of not questioning their merit as Kane was a top 10 pick potting 14 goals in his rookie year while Byfuglien was an integral part of the Hawks' championship.  Again, I'd rather them be NHLers because they're good regardless of their race.  Cheers!
    Posted by RichmondHillOntario[/QUOTE]

    I agree with Fletcher - no sports team is going to pursue a certain player simply because of their race or ethnicity; guys like Kane and Byfuglien happening to be black is simply a bonus for a team that would like to make inroads into a significant part of what could be a strong fan base in its area.

    Every kid who's "different" - be that difference a kid who's undersized, or black, or Jewish, or whatever, likes to see someone playing pro sports he/she can identify with. A black kid can emulate Evander Kane, a short kid Dustin Pedroia, a Jewish kid Kevin Youkilis. The list is endless. Diversity doesn't just mean skin color. The more differences we have, the better, IMHO.
      
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Kurako. Show Kurako's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    Without a doubt Kane is on that team due to talent. We all remember *that* punch on Cooke but there's so much more to his game. He's got speed, skill, strength and a great eye for goal.

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlp=8475169
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from red75. Show red75's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    I don`t see how this is any different than Calgary favouring drafting Alberta boys, Montreal in past years favouring Francophone players, or Toronto historically pulling in players from Ontario. You want the best player available, but if that player is also someone your fanbase can identify with, all the better. In fact in recent weeks there has been the exact opposite criticism of the Habs, with a member of Parliament actually stating that the Habs organization appears to be racist against Quebecois because they have so few French players on the current club (vs. historical levels). Damned if you do, damned if you don`t.

    If the Canucks could find a player of equal talent and contract to say Jason Raymond or Kevin Bieksa who happened to be Chinese or Sihk, I'm sure they'd consider getting that player at least partly for their fan base. Heck I bet if there was an openly gay player that was on par on all levels to Joe Thornton, the Sharks would look at bringing him in too. Nothing wrong with appealing to your fan base if it doesn't sacrafice on ice performance.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from bluefox70. Show bluefox70's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.



    This is an absurd post! Those guys are good players...end of story.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Fletcher1. Show Fletcher1's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    In Response to Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.:
    [QUOTE]This is an absurd post! Those guys are good players...end of story.
    Posted by bluefox70[/QUOTE]

    Nobody was suggesting they weren't blue fox.  It just seems like it could be more than complete happenstance that the team with the biggest black population also has by far the most black players (5).  They're all good players in my opinion, but it is interesting to look at the situation.  A rare interesting and unique thread within the all of the reguritated crap on these boards.  Kudos to Richmond.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from duinne. Show duinne's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    In Response to Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.:
    [QUOTE]I don`t see how this is any different than Calgary favouring drafting Alberta boys, Montreal in past years favouring Francophone players, or Toronto historically pulling in players from Ontario. You want the best player available, but if that player is also someone your fanbase can identify with, all the better. In fact in recent weeks there has been the exact opposite criticism of the Habs, with a member of Parliament actually stating that the Habs organization appears to be racist against Quebecois because they have so few French players on the current club (vs. historical levels). Damned if you do, damned if you don`t. If the Canucks could find a player of equal talent and contract to say Jason Raymond or Kevin Bieksa who happened to be Chinese or Sihk, I'm sure they'd consider getting that player at least partly for their fan base. Heck I bet if there was an openly gay player that was on par on all levels to Joe Thornton, the Sharks would look at bringing him in too. Nothing wrong with appealing to your fan base if it doesn't sacrafice on ice performance.
    Posted by red75[/QUOTE]

    If a member of Parliament is actually saying that, looks like the U.S. isn't the only country with dumb politicians. 
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Homebrew76. Show Homebrew76's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    Those are good NHL quality players and to suggest otherwise because they are in Atlanta, a city with a high black population would be absurd.   The suggestion that Altanta may hold these players in high regard in their marketing dept may have some merit, but it shouldn't take away from their abilities.  

    Now if you want to look at Montreal and their affinity for French players, that would be a discussion with a lot more material to draw upon.

    Or Toronto and their fondness for players that somehow can never again reach the playoffs.... lol

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from OlsonicCreations. Show OlsonicCreations's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    Atlanta would be stupid not to look for black players, they'll never admit it, but anyone who knows anything about marketing knows that would be a reasonable strategy.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from bigvig. Show bigvig's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    Ive had this thought many times.  Im not white, so things like this run through my mind.  I actually like what Fletcher wrote about himself being Irish and from Mass and cheering for a guy of the same background more than a Canadian with the same talent.  Its NOT racist to identify with people, so in that sense I totally disagree with duinne when he says "no sports team is going to pursue a certain player simply because of their race or ethnicity".  To a point thats correct, but if you can get a guy with talent that will help your team and ALSO help bring in fans BECAUSE of his race, then its a no-brainer move and its why the Canadiens took so many players from their province for so long.  If youre the GM in Atlanta and have the chance to pick up some great black players, youre going to, its a smart move.  Just like if PC had the chance to pick up some great Irish players from the Boston area.  Fans are going to identify with that player and in all likelyhood be more supportive of that player and therefore the team too.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from michaelf101. Show michaelf101's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    How about some white guys in nba , is it because they can't jump? You sound stupid or are you going to start the poor me next.Take your racist comments some where else.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    In Response to Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.:[QUOTE]Atlanta would be stupid not to look for black players, they'll never admit it, but anyone who knows anything about marketing knows that would be a reasonable strategy.Posted by OlsonicCreations[/QUOTE]

    ^This

    "
    I think the article suggests that Atlanta possibly seeks out black players as a bit of a higher priority because they may be more appealing to the fanbase there.  To that I say, so what if they do??  Every team probably wants to find players that really resonate with the fans for many reasons and race could be one of them."

    Right you are Ken! ~ Vic Ramano Wink
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from WalkTheLine. Show WalkTheLine's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    If I'm Atlanta I absolutely would consider race when acquiring players. But I would consider it a bonus if the player I covet is also black and it wouldn't be a primary reason to go after that player. I gauaranty that any black player in Atlanta is there first and foremost because they are talented hockey players.
    Winning games will put more people in the seats than fans being able to identify with a player(s) race.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from WalkTheLine. Show WalkTheLine's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    BTW - I suggest the Bs send Willie O'Ree to talk to Evander Kane the second he becomes a free agent. I love this kid's game!
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from perrysound. Show perrysound's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    Duinne, like RMiller, we learn to ignore Quebec Politicos. Sensationalism is all it is.

    It would be naive to think that a team in big trouble, attendance-wise, wouldn't try bringing in players that appeal to the local fan base. This is business not sport, don't ever forget that. Lord knows we've had 30+ years of it with JJ to get familiar with how it works.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from BuzzardBoots. Show BuzzardBoots's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    I believe Dudley when he says he doesn't take race into consideration when picking players.  It turns out to be a happy coincidence that some of the better young players in the league are black and they've landed in Atlanta.

    As a Bruins fan, I can say with certainty that I'd rather have Johnny-O manning the blue line than Matt Hunwick - and Evander Kane flying around the rink than Blake Wheeler.  These guys are solid players.

    The fact that most of the digital billboards "focus more on Evander Kane, Dustin Byfuglien and Johnny Oduya" is no surprise - they're the nucleus of a re-building Thrashers team in the wake of trading the expensive Kovalchuk.  A nucleus that's strong on talent, regardless of race.

    Would the Minnesota Wild be considered exploitative for going after players such as Niclas Bergfors, Tobias Enstrom, or - heck - even Johnny Oduya (says he's from Stockholm, Sweden?  born there, raised in Canada?  I honestly don't know)... because they're Swedish and Minnesota has the highest percentage of people with Swedish heritage in the U.S.?

    (from Wikipedia, so it may not be true but it states : "Minnesota remains by a wide margin the state with the most inhabitants of Swedish descent—9.6% of the population as of 2005.")

    I doubt it.  Not based on the merits of those young players.  Ironically, the Wild currently don't have any players of Swedish decent on their roster right now.  But if they did, who would notice?

    If the players are truly worthy of a roster spot on an NHL team, race really doesn't matter.  However, it can definitely be a boon to marketing and advertising if those top level players share some heritage with large populations of people in the area.

    As an outside example, think of the success some Asian baseball players have had on the west coast - Ichiro Suzuki in Seattle, Hideo Nomo and Chan Ho Park in L.A.  There is a huge Asian population on the west coast.  Is that exploitation?  Or simply good baseball and business sense, since that's region in the U.S. that is closest to Asia and development is much easier for those teams?

    All in all, an interesting debate RHO...


     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from skater68. Show skater68's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    Makes sense if you're looking for talent and the talent available includes players that would have extra appeal to your fan base as well as tallent to consider them a high priority.

    Imagine the first female goalie with a 1.5 GA average.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Fletcher1. Show Fletcher1's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    In Response to Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.:
    [QUOTE]How about some white guys in nba , is it because they can't jump? You sound stupid or are you going to start the poor me next.Take your racist comments some where else.
    Posted by michaelf101[/QUOTE]

    Wha??  Why are there always a couple of these on every thread.  Is it too much to ask to try to articulate a point that makes some sense?  I have absolutely no idea what point you are trying to make except to haphazardly call somebody here racist (who?).  Try to grow up, gather your thoughts, and write something that can be read and comprehended by fellow posters.  This post should be written on a Taco Bell napkin with a crayon...
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from BuzzardBoots. Show BuzzardBoots's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    In Response to Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing. : Wha??  Why are there always a couple of these on every thread.  Is it too much to ask to try to articulate a point that makes some sense?  I have absolutely no idea what point you are trying to make except to haphazardly call somebody here racist (who?).  Try to grow up, gather your thoughts, and write something that can be read and comprehended by fellow posters.  This post should be written on a Taco Bell napkin with a crayon...
    Posted by Fletcher1[/QUOTE]

    Agreed!!  Excellent point, Fletch..  Totally misinterpreted the original post and then makes no sense in falsely accusing RHO as being racist.  C'mon... get a clue.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from BadHabitude. Show BadHabitude's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.


    If they are trying to attract a black audience - I have to wonder about that.  You have a sport in a place where it is not popular.  You look at the audience for the other sports in the area, the Braves and Falcons.  Look at the racial makeup of the audience for those teams - predmoninantly white.  And if I'm Atlanta how many tix would I expect to sell if I have a few black players in the lineup? again - in a place where hockey isn't popular?  It isn't as if some large percentage of the lineup is black.

    IF they are trying to target blacks, how many of those are going to go just for the curiousity factor?  And then, how may will like/understand what they see enough to buy more tickets or become season ticket holders?

    If you are ALREADY a fan, a player you can relate to because of their ethnic background MAY interest you, but the majority probably not.

    Look at all you Canadian fans on here, Bruins aren't even located in your own country.

    Look at all you locals here, how many current Bruins are from MA? None.

    You MA people, would you buy a ticket if they bought a local product like Bill Guerein?

    My family and our 'best friend' families are Polish - all hockey fans.  When Czerkawski played for the Bruins, or other players with Polish sounding last names, they found it amusing in a kind of 'how about that' kind of way.  No one bought any tickets (or didn't buy tickets) for the ethnic curiousity.

    The Habs targetting French Canadian players is a whole different ball of wax, it's an ethnic community that likes and identifies with hockey, a community in significant numbers, it had the makings of something that smelled like a regional or national team that represented that community.

    That's probably the only way this ethnic strategy would work.  You might sell more Bruins tickets if 90% of the players were from MA, but short of that, I don't think it would sell much.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from drewstacy12. Show drewstacy12's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    I live 30 minutes west of Atlanta and most hockey fans are basically made up of northeast families that relocated to the south to avoid winters. Hockey is on the rise in Atlanta but it still can not touch the success it has in many other parts of the country. For example, trying get skating time in Atlanta is impossible as they rent every possible minute to groups, leagues, and any one else willing to pay top dollar for the rink. Youngsters are beginning to slowly pick up the game but rinks are few and far between. I have to travel and hour to get to the nearest rink and this is why its so hard to gain ice time. As far as the thrashers trying to gain ethnicity on the roster to boost ticket sales is preposterous. Hockey fans in the south are few and far between and they have these players on the roster because the only way to boost ticket sales will be to win. 
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Teddytheo. Show Teddytheo's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    I don't believe that Atlanta got Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien because they were black. Atlanta sure improved themselves a lot by taking those players.

    Atlanta had the 4th pick in the 2009 draft, and with Tavares, Hedman and Matt Duchene already chosen, Evander Kane was the logical choice to pick with the 4th overall pick of that draft.

    As for Byfuglien, they didn't give up much for him. That was more a case of Chicago needing to clear cap space last summer, due to their salary cap pickle they were in. And Byfuglien's looking pretty good as a defenseman with Atlanta (3 goals and 4 assists in 9 games). We all know he can play the forward position quite well also.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: Thrashers 'not trying to exploit' black players in marketing.

    Seems like most everyone's on the same page here - no question that the three guys mentioned by name are NHL talents.  I think this sort of confuses two things because targetting players by their origin is usually something you do when taking a flyer: grabbing the local kid with a sixth rounder because if he makes it, it's a huge story, and if he doesn't, well...so?

    You can't compare the Montreal media's obsession with francophone players to any other regional or ethnic bias on this one.  Montreal's past successes came when their lineups were stacked with the best talent Quebec (in particular) could produce thanks to regional protection pre-draft era.  They parlayed all of the excess talent they'd stockpiled into a considerable advantage during the early years of the draft, too.  Between 1963 and 1980, they had the first overall pick 5 times, picked first and second twice, and picked three players before anyone else had a pick once.  No surprise that there is a mythology in Mtl that the Shabs won because they had French Canadian players.  The only comparable I can think of is the support for southern NASCAR drivers.

    The hope of creating an audience in the black community in Atlanta or anywhere in the South probably isn't hurt by the number of black players in the NHL at the moment.  I think you have to look at this is creating the conditions whereby the game is not a novelty to communities that don't traditionally follow hockey, and a big step there would be for people in those communities to see their ethnicity reflected in the population of NHL players.  You only have to watch one or two in-the-stands interviews with Samuel Jackson or Snoop Dogg or the 'Sheed (who I will never forgive for wearing orange and black to game seven) to see how ingrained the idea that hockey doesn't appeal to black people is.  As RHO points out, there's absolutely no reason for this.  From the NHL's perspective, you have to think their marketing people look at American demographics and know that you will never build a bigger fanbase if you can't get kids in black, latin, and asian communities into the game.
     

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