We need to get moving. That’s how I feel in relation to the last couple of weeks since the announcement that the league’s 31st franchise will call Las Vegas home.
I understand that it takes time to build the intricacies of an organization, but a sales team and social media presence has to be relentless. From day one, not day 31. I’m not sure what exactly I expected, but I can assure you that something resembling a “street team” should have busted through the Encore doors leaving Gary Bettman in his dust ready to find the people in the Las Vegas Valley who dared not buy season tickets.
Instead, they left town to start a process that should have been started months ago, at least when it comes sales strategies. I don’t think the NHL would have cared if a sales team was hired just in case. Even if it were done with tentative agreements. Believe me, I know plenty of people who would have signed up for a job that only existed if the team did indeed come to fruition.
Social media should be on fire with updates on how league moves relate to our fate. How each and every little moving piece can (and will) effect the future of our brand new baby. The new Twitter went from 0-20,000 followers in less than a day. The Instagram and Facebook blew up as well. But since the announcement, they’ve sent out 84 tweets, 24 Facebook posts, and 12 Instagrams (is that the term?).
It’s is too easy to neglect, and I understand it when you consider the fact that the team doesn’t yet have a name, a logo, a GM, scouts, trainers, a sales staff, a marketing staff, a PR staff, and the list goes on an on.
On June 22nd the team hired Dan Marrazza to head social media and the VegasIsHockey website. Dan is a spectacular writer and has been pumping out gems like this, and this, and this since the day he came on board. But he’s only one guy and he needs a team who’s only focus is followers and content. When SinBin.vegas is fielding public relations calls/emails (and believe me, we have) for the newest organization in the NHL, something is clearly missing.
I picked a random organization in the NHL through a Google search, and realized the Philadelphia Flyers have 147 people currently on their “Front Office Staff.” On the 15th day of existence, Las Vegas has five, with about two or three others who are, and have been, “helping out.” (EDIT: We’ve been informed there are currently nine full time staff members)
For months I would have put the chances of success at 100%, so is it wrong to have expected a bigger production from day one. With a convoy of Oakland Raiders trucks ready to invade do we really have time to waste. If the Las Vegas NHL entry wants to compete when and if the Raiders or any other franchise comes, they must not waste a day.
It’s what the team does now that will keep the seats filled on a Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. And I’m sad to say, two weeks in, they simply haven’t done enough.
**Ken Boehlke also contributed to this article**