Sunday, May 27, 2007

Minority Report

So far the NHL has done little to market minority players to fans who would have a natural interest in them, BUT that could be changing soon.
There's a simple theory in sports fandom: That having the chance to watch African-American athletes compete is an exceptional entry point to a particular sport for African-American fans.

It worked so well for professional golf during the last decade that NASCAR began searching for "the Tiger Woods of racing." It's been cited as a primary reason why black fans have stopped following Major League Baseball , as the number of African-American big leaguers has declined.

But the NHL has yet to use its growing number of minority players to aggressively market hockey to previously uncharted fan bases like the hip-hop generation. (And no, having Lil Jon pose with the Stanley Cup doesn't count.)

That course might be changing, according to Ken Martin, senior director of community relations and diversity programs for the NHL. I spoke with Ken last week about Emery, minorities in hockey and the NHL's future marketing plans when it comes to minority sports fans.
Read the complete interview with Ken Martin >>> here.

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