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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

One Piece Of Advice That Should Not Be Read

NHL.com’s Q&A Tuesday recently say down with former Nashville Predators, and current Minnesota Wild owner, Craig Leipold. The former expansion team owner had loads of advice for the league’s newest member including marketing strategies, relationship building, and non-traditional markets. But there was one piece that must be ignored.

Every night, after every game you have, the next morning you’re going to read the newspaper and it’s going to tell you exactly how you’re doing. That’s another thing, you’re not used to being criticized every single day [in other businesses]. Just don’t read it. Don’t read the blogs. Sure, you’ve got to read the newspapers, but stay away from all the message boards. There is nothing good that you’re going to learn about your team or how it should be managed. -Leipold

Read the newspapers, but not the blogs and message boards? So hear what the softest style of media has to say about you, but stay away from the places that will actually offer up the hard truth?

This mantra is the exact cause of one of the biggest criticisms of The Creator thus far. Many believe he doesn’t listen to the fans. He selected the name he liked, and went with the branding on the city name he thought would sell gear rather than the one locals prefer. 

Now I’m not suggesting there’s a VegasCreator handle floating around Reddit, HFBoards, and the SinBin.vegas comments section, but the idea of tuning out the feelings of the fan base is foolish.

Las Vegas locals are about as non-traditional a people as the market is for hockey. They are incredibly passionate about being heard, because for decades they haven’t been. Ignoring the blogs, message boards, and comments from the fans will only lead to further mishaps in the eyes of the people who matter most.

That was problem with the team name. The name itself is no different than any other in sports. The color scheme is fine. The logos are both spectacular. But the fan base didn’t feel as though they were a part of the process.

Not reading comes across as not caring. Understand that in the technology era we live in, interacting with your fan base has never been easier than it is now. Just have a thick skin. Like much thicker than our friend, Mr. Leipold. The better advice. Read, then make decisions, but most importantly, prove you are listening. Cause a voice is all fans really have, and that voice is something they actually believe should be…Golden.

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18 Comments

  1. Cappy

    “The Creator” is the one putting the millions into the team, ergo, no matter how much fans, possible fans, someday fans, sports journalists, and pseudo sports journalists whine about things, what they want is moot.

    As soon as the fans and everyone else sinks as much money into the team, and getting it off the ground, as has “The Creator,” then they will deserve a say in the name, colors, whatever.

    Until they can do as much for hockey in Vegas, as has “The Creator,” everyone else should stop the complaining, and be grateful they’re getting an NHL team.

    • Michael

      He is trying to run a business, not a charity. Alienating customers is foolish no matter how much money you spend setting up a business.

    • RJ

      If he doesn’t care whether or not we buy merchandise or go to games or pay attention to his team you are correct. If this team is just his toy you are correct. If this team is a product he wants to sell to us then you are dead wrong. I was happy to have a team until he revealed that this team is not for Las Vegas Locals. If he wants my money sell me a product I want to buy.

  2. Garry

    Don’t listen to the reviews lol Great advice but Foley has made it clear he took that stance coming in.

  3. Ron Murphy

    It’s Foley’s dime so he can call the team what he wants…Fan input?..we’re so married to technology that we think everybody needs to hear and respond when we say something…would Vince Lombardi welcome your thoughts on the Packers…or Jerry Jones on the Cowboys? Their only responsibility is to have the best product available…as season ticket holders, we have uniquely paid for a product that doesn’t exist yet…still that doesn’t give us any say in the team the first year except where we sit…if I had hundreds or thousands trying to get my attention, I rip out my phone and computer…let Foley and Co. assemble the product and we can answer with our wallets in 2018 if we’re not satisfied…but suggestions and opinions for Foley?..let the pros handle their expertise

  4. PhiSig150

    Sports is still at the end of the day a business first and foremost. I don’t think any business including sports is above being receptive to customer feedback. That’s not to say to that we as fans get to dictate or have some say in each and every move made by the organization. That’s ridiculous and I don’t think anyone is arguing for that but I do think some opportunity was lost to build good will in the community and help grow the fanbase. I’m having trouble understanding the sentiment that since Foley brought a new business to a market place that never had that product before that he’s somehow immune to any type of consumer feedback be it good or bad. We should just drop to the ground and worship at the feet of the Creator (really need to put that nickname to rest) and praise every move he makes. So let me get this straight we don’t have the expertise to weigh in on a name, logo, and color scheme for a hockey team but we all are highly qualified enough to criticize schools, police, the people that run the country, etc. ?

    • Ron Murphy

      If you have the background and the information to make an informed opinion, then yes, give that feedback if asked. I’m sure the people at Adidas have the expertise and knowledge about color schemes, what the NHL will accept, etc. that we are not privy to. This isn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision..it has been thought out and kicked around , whether it’s the logo, the name, the uniform…leaving decisions to the public/internet brings about Boaty McBoatface as the name chosen for a new British polar research ship (grown-ups took over and settled on the Sir David Attenborough) ..so opinions are fine…the back-and-forth on websites and blogs is amusing…but decisions are rarely based on majority opinion

      • Ron, you are right that in the end fan opinion really doesn’t have a place in major decisions. The experts at Adidas did a fantastic job with the color scheme and the logos, and I haven’t seen many argue that point. The problem, which I’ve recently come to understand after talking to hundreds of people about it, is that the name was selected in a way that essentially spurned the fans. I suggested a poll created by the team to ask for results. No matter the outcome of the poll, Foley could still go with what he wanted. But the poll would have shown that he was listening. I’m not telling him to make decisions based on popular opinion or even truly consider what the fans want, but he needs to do a better job of putting up the mirage that he does care. The backlash isn’t really over the name, the colors, the logos, or the missing Las, it’s over being ignored, something Vegas locals have grown to hate more than anything else. They thought they were going to be considered, partially because early on Foley said they would (remember the name the team contest that was promised during the ticket drive?), and when they weren’t, or at least felt they weren’t, they’ve rebelled. It’s simply a misstep and not one that will kill this organization, probably won’t even harm it in the least, which I’m sure the experts made clear to Foley easing his mind to go with what he wanted, but it’s one he needs to learn from. Act like you care… even if you don’t.

        • PhiSig 150

          Perfectly stated Ken. I wonder if the reason that there’s so much merchandise out their without the name it that it’s kind of a compromise. I probably won’t buy anything with the name Golden Knight on it but I did/will be buying merch with primary and secondary logos which I love. I get why it had to be Knights (not in my top 25 but I don’t have a Billion dollars either) but why Golden?? He had to know how poorly that was polling. Can you find out if he ever contacted that junior hockey team in Canada about coming to an agreement over the name. I cant imagine it would have been prohibitively expensive to reach some kind of arrangement. Probably around the money it’ll cost to make the Albany situation go away quickly.

          • Tom

            I agree the “Creator” nickname needs to go lol. I love reading these articles but I always cringe when I read “Creator.” Sorry Ken, it’s unnecessary schmoozing.

          • Not. Gonna. Happen.

        • Ron Murphy

          My confusion also comes from everyone agreeing how friendly and accessible Mr.Foley has been…even at least 3 “hangarounds” with the fans…now that the team is official, I can understand his time and attention being more “build this business ” orientated…I would think billionaires can be a little reclusive, goal orientative and precisely structured on how things will be done….we may think about these “slights ” a ton more than Foley does, not because he doesn’t care but it’s our 1 thing where he has hundreds of things in his mind

          • Tom

            I kinda feel like he’s got an X amount of bullshit to him. By that I mean I automatically assumed since he was an army guy that he was honest to a fault, but then he promised to involve the fans, then changed his mind on that. Then he tried to say that “Golden” was to honor our mining, which we all know is bullshit. I don’t know, it just kinda feels like he’s a little less than “stand-up.” He says he listens to the fans, then he picks the name that the fans hated the most lol. Disingenuous is a word that comes to mind.

    • The Creator will always be The Creator because without The Creator there would be no hockey in the first place. Sometimes I say God damnit though, so, no one is immune.

      • PhiSig150

        I’m not religious whatsoever so I’m not offended by your unintended(?) blasphemy at all. I just think it’s way over the top (hopefully tongue firmly planted in cheek) and could potentially cloud your judgement when covering the team in the future. He’s a smart businessman that made a smart (hopefully) business decision. He wanted a pro sports team so he bought into the most affordable league and targeted a city with an arena that was going to be built regardless, coupled with no competition (for the time being at least) and a very welcoming political climate (see Raiders debacle). Also he benefitted from being the right man at the right time. Gambling is more common place across the US than it ever has been. The NFL once one of the leagues most off put by the idea of (Las) Vegas expansion has drastically changed its tune thanks to the huge success of Draft Kings and Fan Duel. If not Foley someone else eventually would have taken his place. Although he undoubtedly sped up the process likely by a decade if not more.

        He’ll also always have my undying respect for his position on public financing and willingness to put his money where his mouth his. But let’s not make him out to be some kind of trailblazing maverick who had an idea no one ever thought of before and certainly not a deity. He had a unique opportunity to make the community feel truly apart of the Knights which could have gone a long way to (Las) Vegas embracing the team and long term sustainability. There’s other factors to a teams success than simply filling an arena. Involving the community more from the onset is something if you miss you don’t get a second chance at. I’ll be interested to see how he makes up for that. He had a brilliant marketing campaign that made me realize that I wanted something I didn’t even know I wanted in the first place. Now his challenge is to keep making me want hockey and get as much of my( the non season ticket holder) money as he can.

  5. Michael

    Another thing – if this whole NHL in Vegas thing does not work out, and the team gets moved someday, guess who gets blamed? Yup, the fans. So let me get this straight – Foley can do what he wants, but the blame will rest on us if it does not work out?

    • JMO

      Very good point but after the months and months of backlash and failures there is no way anyone forgets that failure is solely on Foley if the fan base is not interested, good hockey or not. I mean has anyone looked at the teams facebook page lately is literally a train wreck. It is the most hated team by its fan base and has not even lost a game. It seems to squarely fall on the fact Foley just does not care what anyone thinks.

      Was he good at title insurance, yes, winery, restaurants etc, not as much, hockey, thus far horrible. Usually in life we get real good at one thing. People who think their opinion or decisions are the best in multiple fields usually have a wake up call.

      Best thing for his ego is losing hundreds of millions, great legacy and hard lesson. There is no way if this team is not great within X years and we get NFL, teams worth $200M+/-, he should have stuck to golf.

  6. cody

    The idea being that, a.)you’re going to read the papers anyway, just don’t seek out every anonymous jibe aimed your way, and b.)the implication that newsmen have some fairness and experience vs. A fan who probably isn’t taking time to craft the perfect statement.

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