Requirements for the Development and Popularization of Ice Hockey

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  Ice hockey is a very popular sport in North America and Europe. In Canada for instance, Canadian students enjoy ice hockey as a basic exercise and there are ice rinks all over the country for their use. That is, ice hockey occupies a position as a sport of the masses similar to early morning soccer in Korea.

  Of course every country has its own characteristics. Countries which enjoy ice hockey have in common that they are cold weather countries. They are countries where ice sports can develop naturally. In contrast, Korea is not such a country. As there is a high cost to maintain an ice rink, there would be inevitable limitations in the popularization of ice hockey.

  Even with consideration of these characteristics, the current state of ice hockey in Korea is quite poor. Until the end of the 1990's, there were 3 or 4 pro teams but starting from the IMF period, they all folded with the exception of the Halla team. Still there was the threat of dissolving the Halla team because of the extreme situation caused by the dissolution of the business group which sold off Mando to another company during the IMF period, however the Halla team survived due to the support of the club president. The situation was similar in the neighbouring country of Japan. As several clubs were dissolved, the league was unable to operate properly. This was a time when it was difficult to sustain ice hockey in both Korea and Japan. 

  Since 2003, there has been a movement to revive the state of ice hockey which had fallen into such a period of stagnancy. Led by the yet surviving Halla, the Korea-Japan joint ice hockey league was formed. Founded on this league, in 2004 the league expanded to China and formed the current Asian League. Up to the 2011-2012 season, there were eight seasons and already 1/3 of the games have been played (as of Jan. 2012).    

  But has the foundation of Asian ice hockey really been established with this Asian League? Although eight seasons have been completed, I still think that the foundation of ice hockey has not been fully established. Merely two pro teams are in operation in Korea but this problem is not limited to Korea. There are many core fans in Japan, where the Asian league executive is located, but the influx of new fans is minimal.

  What could the problem be? I would like to identify the problems of the present ice hockey business environment, and suggest the tasks which should be undertaken in order to establish a foundation for ice hockey and to popularize the sport.

Homepage Management, Necessary Requirements for Marketing Vitality

  Modern marketing is very diverse. In the past, advertising was limited to promotions through mass media, such as TV advertising, broadcasts, or newspaper articles and advertisements. However, with the development of the internet, the meteoric rise of social media has resulted in promotion through diverse media and the need for mutual communication in a variety of environments. It's complicated, isn't it? However, this is merely a future task for the ice hockey business community, since the present ice hockey business community has not even reached the basic level of modern communication, which is internet promotion through a homepage.

Unpolished Asian League Homepage

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  The Asian league homepage is The ice hockey league that garners the most popular attention is the NHL. Their homepage is It might seem irrational to compare the recently-formed Asian league to the hugely popular NHL, but if the Asian league truly wants to establish a strong foundation, then surely it can aim for at least 10% of what the NHL is doing, or at least make an effort to do so. If such an effort is made, then couldn't things change in a big way from the present situation?

  First, let's examine the NHL's website. From the first image, diverse visual items stimulate the eyes. Extensive visual items such as news, photos, and videos are offered which can entice people to browse the website for extended time periods. The photos and videos, as the main visual items, are attractive even for people without ability in English. 

  Then what's the situation with the Asian league website? To speak straightforwardly, it's really poor. It consists of team introductions, a game schedule, some news, and that's it. The first screen has photos which could have been taken by any fan, not a professional photographer. There is no feeling of interest from looking at a sloppy homepage that looks like an individual's personal blog or website. There is no interest or emotion whatsoever.

  Although Korea also participates in the Asian league, it is highly dubious that there is not even a homepage in Korean. The Asian league website is only available in English and Japanese. The league was formed initially in Korea and Japan, later teams from China and Russia also started participating in the league, yet oddly the website operates only in English or Japanese. Not only is Korean unavailable, but Chinese is unavailable, too. In addition, the most recent updates are concentrated exclusively on the Japanese website, while the English website updates consist only of standings and league schedule.

Present Homepage Websites for Domestic Clubs

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  Let's now examine the situation with domestic clubs. Halla and Hi-Won are the two domestic teams which participate in the Asian league. Halla operates under the wholehearted support of Halla group president/club owner Jeong Mong-Won, and they play out of their home rink in Anyang. In the Asian league, they were champions in 2009-2010, they were co-champions with the Freeblades in 2010-2011, and in 2011-20112 they seem headed toward another championship.

  Will this follow from the group president's strong support? The homepage operated by the Halla club reflects several aspects of activity. In the space for communication with fans, they share diverse news, such as games and players, by applying social media including Facebook and Twitter. During home games, they share game news through Twitter.

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  High1 is quite different. High1 operates various sports clubs, and the ice hockey club is just one of those. Established in 2004, they joined the league in the 2005-2006 season and are currently in their sixth season.

  The High1 homepage is included in the sports club sports page. ( Three years ago, the homepage was renewed, and updates of things such as game schedule or photos are done occasionally. However, the High1 homepage can be considered as virtually abandoned. There is no recent information to be found and the only photos are from a long time ago. By looking at the current state of the homepage, it is even difficult to determine if the ice hockey club is still in operation or not.

The Need for Homepage Activity and Improvement

  The problem is as follows. Also, the solution can be found inside the problem. The solution to what? The solution for developing and popularising ice hockey. This might be my own personal opinion, but creating a general feeling of connection for people is the key, which is quite an obvious solution. 

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  First, let's consider the Asian league homepage. The homepage is a cornerstone to develop popularity. It must be easy to connect with and interesting for anyone who visits. For this, the most important task is to solve the problem of the language barrier. Simply put, there needs to be a homepage in each local language. From the point-of-view of Korea and China, there needs to be a homepage in Korean and Chinese respectively.

  To be honest, this is a really simple thing to do. All that is required is to take the main elements of the homepage and translate them from Japanese or English into Korean or Chinese. This task could be completed in one sitting. It's simple, isn't it? For that reason, it's even more frustrating.

  Another issue is related to website updates. Now even the English website is not updated properly. It would suffice if all of the information updated on the Japanese website was simultaneouly updated on the English website, but even this doesn't happen. Quick updates reflect the vibrancy of the league. Robust activity could stimulate fan interest. This is the way to start. If there were photos and videos for each team available on the homepage and clearly updated and if searches could be performed easily, then the website could have something new each day. (Please refer to: ) This is valuable information for people who are interested in ice hockey. When people look for information, they could visit the Asian league homepage instead of each club homepage, and even if half of those people maintained their interest, then the league could greatly increase the number of fans.

  What is the situation with the club homepages? First, let's compare the Halla and Hi-Won clubs to address the problems.

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  Because the High1 homepage is organised into categories, it has a high level of completeness. There is solid information for fans such as player introductions with an arrangement of individual photos. However, this homepage has been abandoned. The only updates are for the player rosters and the coaching staff. Besides that, essential contents including photos and videos, which should be updated on the homepage, are only updated on the fan cafe or in the manager's individual blog. The public homepage is dying a slow death while the fan cafe and individual blogs do all the talking for the club, which is a rather unfortunate state. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter seem to have open accounts but are inactive.

  Although it is not so effective, the management model of Halla's homepage stands out. Updates are done quite actively and there is also communication through Twitter or Facebook. The fact that teams in Japan follow Halla's homepage model attests that the management of Halla's homepage is quite robust. However, there are also several visual components which are lacking. The information is updated quite quickly but the quality of the information is the problem. Announcements are a mixed up collection of various items which require reorganization. Also the open message board and the fan column message board are separated which is ambiguous, so these two message boards should be combined into a single message board.

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  The photo wall images, which might be described as the face of the homepage, are unattractive and haven't been updated since July, 2010. If they are not even worth the effort of updating, then probably it's better just to remove them completely. Thus, the Halla homepage is managed quite well, but the fact that they are merely “managed” is precisely the problem.

  One of the people running the High1 club needs to take an interest in the homepage. The manager of the current homepage needs to study more or consult a professional in order to create a quality homepage. The continued existence of a professional sports team relies on promoting a proper company image by capturing people's interest, and for this goal, current homepage updates must be done actively.

  Halla needs to upgrade the current homepage. There is a need to focus on updating information so that visitors can enjoy the homepage. When people's eyes are engaged, then there is no feeling of boredom. The quality of the homepage needs to raised by employing a specialist who is capable of managing the homepage. We will deal with the issue of information quality in the next section.

The next section will focus on fan events and photos.

                                                                           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

01 11, 2012 14:03 01 11, 2012 14:03
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. 이 사이트의 모든 사진과 정보는 저작권법에 의해 보호가 되며, 저작권자와 협의되지 않은 무단 사용은 불이익을 당할 수 있습니다. by MyDrama


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