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.