Requirements for the Development and Popularization of Ice Hockey


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  Let's consider these photos that appear before us. What is the difference in the photos? From top to bottom, the photos show Halla vs Freeblades, Hi-Won vs Halla, and a 2008 regular season game. There is no major difference in the players or the rink, however the number of spectators in the seats which appear in the photos is completely different.

  First, let's consider the game from last October 23rd. October 23rd was a Sunday. Normally Sunday is the day for people to take a break from work. Despite this fact, the rink is practically empty. A portion of the spectators is probably made up of family members of the players in the game. The second photo has quite a few spectators. This is from last season's final game on February 20th. When we consider that some of the spectators are Halla staff members gathering for the season's final game, then the second photo is not so different from the top photo. However, when we look at the photo of a regular season game between Koryo University and Yonsei University, we can see that there is something meaningful about the game by the number of spectators. This shows that it is possible for ice hockey in Korea to draw a large number of spectators.

  At the time when High1 first entered the Asian league, their home rink was Chunchon's Euiam Ice Rink. Later, games were held alternating between Chunchon and Mokdong, and starting three seasons ago, games were held in Chunchon and Goyang instead of Mokdong. While Chunchon is the home rink, the reason for holding games in Mokdong or Goyang is simply to secure more fans. Korea's population is largely massed along a diagonal line between Seoul and Busan, with about half of the nation's population living around Seoul, so the spectators attending games in Kangwon province would amount to a few ardent fans and the family members of the players. In order to overcome this problem and to attract new fans in addition to the few ardent fans, it would be better to hold games in Seoul or surrounding Gyeonggi province, where there is a high population density.


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  However, even after the games were moved to a better location, the situation didn't really improve. The spectators still consisted mainly of family members and acquaintances of the players and there were only a few pure fans. What could the problem be? In Goyang particularly, there are apartments all around the rink and there are really good subway or bus transportation connections in the neighborhood. Compared with Halla's rink in Anyang, the conditions in Goyang couldn't really be any better.

  The problem is very simple. Clearly there is a serious lack of promotion. Even when the conditions are really good, if the club doesn't actively promote games, then people have no way of naturally knowing that there is a game taking place, nor will they just show up to fill the seats. This is especially true of ice hockey as a sport which needs to expand its fan base.


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  This problem isn't just a problem for Hi-Won. It is a task facing the whole Asian league. League management and the teams must collaborate to actively discuss ways to attract fans to the games. There is a need for various forms of promotion in local transportation networks and selected sites, following the lead of other sports, such as pro baseball, soccer, volleyball, and basketball, which have already attained a certain level of popularity.


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  Ice hockey is a very fast game. It's extremely dynamic with a palpable power within these fast movements. The rules might be a bit difficult but because there are numerous attractive elements, with a little effort, it would not be too difficult to draw more fans to attend games. With the exception of combat sports, ice hockey has no lack of energy compared to other sports, so a halo effect is clearly apparent in hockey. Ice hockey is a very active sport which even includes substitutions on the fly which allow the action to continue. When the seasons end for sports such as baseball and soccer, then indoor sports like volleyball and basketball begin. Most sports facilities are multi-purpose facilities. So, the facilities for various sports are located in the same vicinity.  Schedules can be made so that the various sporting events don't overlap with each other and game tickets can be sold in packages to allow spectators to move easily from one event to another. This method could allow the number of spectators to increase.

  Actually Halla tried this kind of strategy in the past. Halla is very close to the Anyang Insam pro basketball team. They had a plan to start ice hockey games within 30 minutes to an hour after the basketball game ended. There was also a discount offered to the basketball fans. However this plan didn't achieve much success.

  Even so, it's hard to say that adopting this kind of method would have no usefulness. It's important to consider several issues, such as that it's not reasonable to judge the idea after just one year of implementation, it's not a completely sufficient way to promote ice hockey, and there was also a lack of additional promotions or events when trying to attract spectators. As a result, it's time for a multi-directional approach to promotions and events. Even if somehow fans were enticed to attend games at the rink, then there would be no interest for fans watching ice hockey for the first time if there were no extra events in addition to simply watching the game. There must be diverse events to grab fans' attention before games, after games, and during stoppages in play. There is a need, not for superficial decorations or events centered around the home team's perspective, but rather there is a need for events designed for the fans and to show consideration for the fans..



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  Meanwhile, in Halla's case, the fans are participating in events such as races, cake presentations, and couple events, and although they are relatively active events, they are not comparable to events we could see at baseball stadiums or basketball games. Of course, compared to Hi-Won, Halla is achieving quite a high level. High1's events consist only of draw prizes and autograph sessions. The fans don't all start cheering just because the cheerleaders lead a few energetic cheers.


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  Promotion through broadcast channels liaisons is also very important. Currently SBS broadcasts live ice hockey. That means that ice hockey is available for live viewing. But just as we discussed earlier, a single live event is not enough. Even though the schedule is adjusted to avoid overlap in the broadcast schedule, some really big games are not covered properly. It's important to thin out boring games and cover the exciting games so that clubs are inspired to strive for exciting games, but unfortunately this does not happen. It seems that the person in charge of the ice hockey broadcast schedule is unfamiliar with the sport and it is a problem that the schedule follows a strict format instead of allowing for adjustment. It's important to put some thought into which games should be selected for broadcast. Also, the NHL is on the SBS ESPN homepage menu, but the Asian league is nowhere to be found on the menu. There were articles in several media stating that Halla and Hi-Won had agreed to a live broadcast contract until the year 2014. I'm not sure about the details of the contract, but it's unfortunate that there is no mention of it on the broadcast company's homepage and there is no way to view games on demand. Fans who don't attend games should be encouraged to tune in and watch games on an established TV channel. 

  This is getting long. Let's deal with the photo issues in the next section.



                                                                            Translation : Peter




아이스하키 발전과 대중화를 위한 필수과제 - 홈페이지 관리, 마케팅 활성화의 필수 요건 1편
Requirements for the Development and Popularization of Ice Hockey:
Part 1: Homepage Management, Necessary Requirements for Marketing Vitality

아이스하키 발전과 대중화를 위한 필수과제 - 현장 이벤트, 현장 마케팅의 핵심 2편
Requirements for the Development and Popularization of Ice Hockey:
Part 2: On-Site Events, The Core of On-Site Marketing

아이스하키 발전과 대중화를 위한 필수과제 - 잘 찍은 사진 한 컷이 수십 억 마케팅을 대신한다 3편
Requirements for the Development and Popularization of Ice Hockey:
Part 3: One Great Photo is Worth Millions in Marketing

아이스하키 발전과 대중화를 위한 필수과제 - 떠오르는 미디어, 모바일을 선점하라 4편
Requirements for the Development and Popularization of Ice Hockey:
Part 4: Rising Media, Embrace Mobile Devices

아이스하키 발전과 대중화를 위한 필수과제 - 마케팅의 핵심, 스폰서를 감동시켜라 5편
Requirements for the Development and Popularization of Ice Hockey:
Part 5: The Core of Marketing, Attracting Sponsors

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01 13, 2012 11:27 01 13, 2012 11:27
Posted by MyDrama

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한곳에 빠져있다는것 어쩌면 행복한 일이다. 하지만 한곳만 바라보다 다른 시선을 놓쳐 버리고후회 할때도 있다.. 그러나 지금은 한곳만을 응시하고 싶다 그것이 그릇된 선택이라도 말이다. by MyDrama

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