ILWT Audition: How the Devils Market Themselves

One way to market is to reach out to the community. User Writer B jweinstein116 has some more thoughts about the Devils' marketing. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images for the New Jersey Devils)

Over a week ago, I put out the call looking for new writers for In Lou We Trust to write about the New Jersey Devils. I've opened up the audition to the community at large in order to get a new perspectives and additional voices on the front page with regularity.  Since then, I've received seven entries and I thank each one of them - you know who you are - for stepping up and making an entry.

Throughout this week, I will post each one under an anonymous name so you can discuss and critique the post without regard to who actually wrote it.  I can ensure you that I did not change any of the content outside of formatting it in to the SBN platform and fixing spelling errors.  To that end, please note that I don't necessarily agree with what the posts actually say.  I'm just letting them stand on their own.  Please be constructive in any criticism and do offer your thoughts about whether you liked the post in addition to discussing it's content.

The second entrant comes from Writer B user jweinstein116, who has an opinion piece about the marketing of the New Jersey Devils. It's definitely a familiar problem with the team, and one that will take time to fully address.  We may not like it, but the reality is that professional hockey is a business and marketing is crucial in getting people to at least look at the on-ice product before "buying-in" as fans. Writer B's User jweinstein116's piece follows after the jump.

In any sports franchise, there is a need to market themselves to appeal to diehards and regular people alike. I have been a Devils fan since about 1999, and I have noticed the way they try to advertise themselves. Not very well. But I won't dwell on the past, but rather the present and the future. Simply put, the Devils need to find a way to market themselves to other people besides their usual fan base (like ILWT readers). First, let's take a trip to their website:

www.newjerseydevils.com: the Devils' website has changed a lot since Twitter and Facebook have come about.  One of the ways I have noticed is connecting with their fans. This is something every team needs to do, obviously. But the Devils have never really done a good job with it. About two years ago, they came out with "Devils Legion": basically a place for fans to post picture and what-not on the website. I have noticed they have ditched this for another moniker: Jersey's team. This was great and better than Devils Legion as it brands the team as Jersey's own (and showing there is more than the Nets and Snooki). This also connects people who live in New Jersey to the team. It is a great way for a team to brand themselves.

While this is all great, there is something they are not doing well and that is working with social networking. The Devils were one of the last to get an official Facebook page and a Twitter account. But now that they have this, they don't do a good job of advertising it. The best team that does this is the Coyotes. On their website, they have a big sign to the left showing their twitter account and become a friend on Facebook. On the Devils' site however, it is tucked away at the bottom under Fan Zone with it saying "social networks". Now, if I were some person trying to find my team on Twitter, this would be the last place I would look. The website is one of the weakest points for the Devils marketing, but most of the problems can be fixed easily and simply.

The Devils do an okay job at marketing themselves, but one of the problems I see is not with the Devils, but with the NHL.  Just on Friday, the Winter Classic was announced to be in Pittsburgh against the Capitals. Okay, we all saw this coming, now they can get it over with. But, then Bettman said it would be in Washington in two or three years?!? That is crazy. Now, obviously every team would like to be in the Winter Classic as it is a huge draw for fans and for the team. But truly? I thought this was the Devils' year. With the New Meadowlands Stadium, I thought we were a shoo-in, but apparently not. I do think it will happen in the next few years, but this was disappointing for me. I also think that if the Devils do get a Winter Classic, the fans will come. It is great for the fans, the city it is in, and most importantly, the teams (Super Bowl 2014?).

Anyway, thanks for reading my crazy thoughts.

Editor's Note:  The above was written by Writer B jweinstein116. What do you think of the post? Do you agree with what was stated about the Devils marketing? If not, what don't you agree with?   What would have made this a better post, such as more examples or more details? Did you notice anything that wasn't quite right? Please leave your thoughts in the comments and remember - be constructive, not destructive.

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