The NHL Markets to Toys ‘R’ Us Kids at Christmastime

The NHL has notched two new holes in it’s “Good Ideas” belt just this morning.  First came that ridiculously awesome Winter Classic promo.  Now, we have the news that the league is getting some prime real estate to market it’s products during the holiday season.  In this story from Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Journal (reg. may be required), it looks like hockey will invade the Toys ‘R’ Us in Times Square:

The 800-square-foot NHL Feature Shop, as the league is calling the display, will feature NHL licensed merchandise such as hockey equipment from Franklin, pucks and pennants from WinCraft, trading cards from Upper Deck and headwear from Twins.

Other leagues such as Major League Baseball and the NFL have installed similar displays at the start of their respective seasons, but the NHL is the first to put one up during the holidays.

“We’re excited about it because it’s prime real estate in New York during the holiday season,” said Brian Jennings, NHL executive vice president of marketing. “We’re certainly cognizant of the crosscurrents of the retail climate out there, but our business right now continues to trend upwards in the video game space and trading card space, so we’re encouraged and feel it’s our time to grab more market share.”

The league will use the space as a way to drive traffic to the NHL Store on 47th and 6th, using some kind of collector pin set.  We’re not sure how that’s going to go, but we like everything else about this.  It’s not quite FAO Schwartz big, but it’s a real great place to advertise the game to a new generation of fans.  Though we felt, in the end, “I don’t wanna grow up, I just wanna be Patrick Kane” would’ve been a better brand name.


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