The Tampa Bay Lightning has partnered up with celebrity pitchman Anthony Sullivan, to launch a new ticketing plan for the 2013 season. Sullivan, a Tampa Bay resident, is famous for marketing several products nationwide through informercials including OxiClean and the Swivel Sweeper.
Sullivan worked with Lightning players Teddy Purcell, Ryan Malone, and Steven Stamkos to produce a commercial spot for the ticketing plan. In the commercial, Sullivan suited up in full gear and skated for the first time.
The Sully Hat Trick plan gives fans the chance to attend three home games, while getting a fourth game for free. Ticketing plans start at $79.
"We are very excited that Sully elected to work with us on this project," Lynn Wittenburg, Lightning Vice President of Brand Marketing said in a team press release. "Knowing his story as a Brit that fell in love with the game of hockey and his job as a ‘pitch man' that gets people to try new things, we saw the opportunity to expand our brand into homes that might never experience the game we all love. His passion for hockey and the Lightning is contagious and that exhibited in these great new spots."
The spot will begin airing on Saturday March 9, running for 10 days or until the ticketing plan has sold out. Sullivan's commercial has humor in it and seems the polar opposite of most other Lightning commercials for ticketing plans of the recent past.
Fans as well as members of the media have chimed in with their opinion of the new commercial on Twitter.
The web site Mashable also seemed rather fond of the commercial.
While most of the feedback has been positive, some have criticized the Lightning for the spot, saying that the team does not need an infomercial to sell tickets, and of course the usual catcalls of hockey in the south.
Justin Bourne from Backhand Shelf went with the typical stereotype while taking aim at the cheesiness of the bit:
[I] understand that it can be tough to draw a crowd to a hockey game when you're based in Florida. Most fans didn't grow up with the game, it's March and the weather is beautiful...there's just a host of reasons why it's difficult. Because of that, the marketing team faces some unique challenges, and have to get a little creative.
What I didn't see coming, is the Lightning turning to oft-used informercial host Anthony Sullivan in their latest promo. ACT NOW AND I'LL THROW IN ANOTHER TICKET FREE!!!
Tampa Bay has sold out all of its 12 home games so far this season, also announcing today that Saturday's game against the Montreal Canadiens has also sold out. The club ranks seventh in the entire NHL in attendance with an average crowd of 19,204 (the arena capacity).
Who cares if the team wants to be creative and find new initiative to sell tickets? If it it's funny (which it is) and it works, then why not?
To purchase the Sully Hat Trick Pack, call 800-381-1863 or visit tampabaylightning.com/hattrickpack.