GLENDALE, Ariz. – The general manager, coach and goalie are re-signed. The Glendale city council has approved an arena management deal, the sale of the team has closed, training camp is about to start, and Mike Ribeiro will soon be dropping dimes.
With all of the hockey pieces in place (yes, we’re conveniently omitting Mikkel Boedker), the Coyotes are finally enjoying the fruits of stability, and that goes for the marketing of the team as well.
“Over the past four seasons, it’s been tough for us, based on all the uncertainties surrounding the team,” said Ted Santiago, the team’s vice president of marketing. “We’ve never, with 100 percent certainty, known that there was going to be another season.”
After years of operating on shoestring budgets with skeleton crews, the franchise is finally ramping up its marketing campaign — one it hopes will help it stay true to its recent motto: Here to stay.
On Wednesday, Santiago gave a few media members a sneak peek at what’s to come at the team’s offices in Westgate, beginning with the team’s first new slogan: Hungrier than ever.
The team will launch a multimedia marketing campaign with a 60-second TV commercial during the Arizona Cardinals’ season opener on Sunday in St. Louis on FOX. The radio, newspapers, online and social media rollout will begin one day later.
The team, with ad firm Cramer-Krasselt in tow, hopes to utilize but update the lunch-pail, underdog tones of the previous “Join the hunt” and “Hockey the hard way” campaigns that play off all the team’s struggles, yet belief that hockey can succeed in the desert.
To nobody’s surprise, captain Shane Doan will be the face of the launch, but other players will eventually utilized. The team’s anti-diva coach, Dave Tippett, has apparently resisted all overtures to be part of the campaign, preferring to keep the message about the players.
One Doan spot that will be familiar to anybody who has ever set foot in the locker room, shows a pensive Doan in his stall, still dressed in his uniform and deep in thought. It could be a pre-game shot, but every media member who has covered the team also knows that is what you’ll find long after games with a player who, when he enters the arena, is consumed by the game.
Hungrier than ever isn’t the only slogan the Coyotes will roll out. Santiago showed media members slides that included these messages as well: “We check our egos at the blue line” and “Blood, sweat and teeth.”
Santiago confirmed that the team is spending more on advertising and marketing than it has in previous seasons, but he declined to name a figure. He also noted that new principal owners George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc were involved in every step of the process. Both have marketing backgrounds, and Santiago said that was a major help.