NHL lockout: it's all about timing
Friday, February 18, 2005
I have never understood the fixation of professional sports. I follow no teams, I have no sport heroes to worship, I have no interest to know why the NHL is on strike.
In fact, sports are not about sports, they are about entertainment and they are about money.
We all know that is not about the fans, as players claim. Being a role model must be tiring and probably impossible, by today's standards.
Professional sports are about hard core entertainment - In the times of antiquity, professional sportmen were called gladiators - Minus the forced fighting, plus the millions of dollars, of course.
Also, professional TV transmitted events are less bloody than they probably were two thousand years ago - But, we are not too far off: anyone recall "The Ultimate Fighting Championships"? BTW, I could have taken Gracie
Anyway, just because I don't like to watch professional players playing, it doesn't mean that they are not important to the economy.
Professional sport leagues are big business. So, having a cancelled NHL season is no laughing matter. Take aside the under paid players (yes, they deserved all the inflated salaries they receive), and the under earning owners (they also deserve all the revenues from their investments), the real victim is the invisible economy.
We have thousands of unemployed "hockey" workers: hockey commentators, hotdog vendors, big foam finger makers, bar owners, beer makers. I mean, I know a few people that really like that hockey stuff (or basketball, or football).
It's not all sadness, though.
I'm an optimist, almost to a fault. Instead of thinking how much money is being lost because of a hockey lockout, we should be concentrating on all those people that have nothing to watch, or do, or sell.
It's reinvention time. If I were part of the other professional sport leagues (which I'm not), I'd be pressuring my boss (if I had one) to do something about all those empty minds having no where to turn, no steroid pumped humanoid specimens to worship, no beer to drink, no stats to follow.
It's strategy time: how can all the other professional leagues/corporations steal away all those fans from the NHL? How can all those hockey centered companies reinvent themselves to serve another sport in two weeks notice.
It's guerrilla marketing/management/economics. In a changing world, we must be agile and lean to succeed; the execution must be flawless; and the sense of urgency must be cherished by all. They must act as if this fiscal year is the last one. Sun-Tzu wrote:
"On death ground,
Of the situation"
It doesn't require a big stretch of the imagination to see how this applies to the idle NHL dependent industry.
So, the NHL lockout is a good thing. The possibilities are endless, and the timing for competition and reinvention is perfect - It's a win/win for all - Except for the players, and yet, it seems that as a matter of principle, they rather not earn a living exploiting what they do best: entertain the masses.