Since around Christmas, I've been looking around at NHL and Lightning branded products on the World Wide Web and watched as their numbers dwindled.
Not that they offered much as was.
As of late I've been doing the same thing over again - browsing around various sports-apparel web sites that sell NHL branded merchandise, and what have I found? Not a lot.
This goes without saying that some of the merchandise offered by companies selling NHL branded products is poorly geared regionally. I mean, you can find the normal t-shirt and ball cap stuff branded with the Tampa Bay Lightning logo... But with such a warm climate for the majority of the year -- why are there skully and wool caps offered and not sun visors? Why are there a plethora of jackets and sweats and not many tank tops or even flip-flops with the team crest on it? Oh sure, there are women's tank tops, but what about the men?
Jersey's remain overpriced (replicas and authentics)... You want people wearing their team's sweaters - not wishing that they were more affordable. I'm wondering if the Reebok deal with the NHL will bring jersey prices down? Everything I have seen offered on the web was from CCM which formerly supplied jerseys to the NHL
I know the hockey base is in the north, I know that the majority of the hockey season is in the cool to cold time of year.... But the NHL is missing out by only marketing to that time of the year.
I'm certain that Montreal Canadien fans wouldn't be proud to wear their colors during the summer, nor do I think Flames fans, or Bruin fans or fans of other northern teams stop being fans during Spring and Summer.
Merchandising for only part of the year -- and poor offerings for the southern teams -- is basically giving up without a fight when it comes to marketing the sport to the masses.
By the way -- I'm also looking to affiliate with a company (hopefully local) that sells Lightning merchandise). If anyone can point me in the right direction, or if an interested party happens upon this...?