I don't know exactly when, and I can't find a news story on it, but the New Jersey Devils Promotional Schedule is up. It really doesn't matter when - just the fact that for the second year in a row, it has come up late compared to previous seasons. Last season's was released right around the start of the season. This year's wasn't up until the season actually started. In fact, the Devils have had promotions for the majority of home game this season already. I have to say I'm not too happy about this. Why can't the schedule come up before the season starts? Wouldn't fans want to know exactly when to go to certain games to receive these items, donate items, and see certain events? Items that the Devils have been giving out for a long long time.
After the jump is the schedule, the link, and some more thoughts on what they are doing this year.
|2011-12 New Jersey Devils Promotional And Theme Night Schedule
|Sat.||November 5, 2011||Team Calendar Giveaway
Sponsored by Bergen Record
|Tues.||November 8, 2011||Food Drive|
|Sat.||November 26, 2011||Coat Drive|
|Fri.||December 16, 2011||Niedermayer's Jersey Retirement|
|Fri.||Friday, January 6, 2012||Ski Cap Giveaway
Sponsored by St. Joseph's
|Fri.||February 24, 2012||Doc Emrick Night|
|Sat.||March 17, 2012||Hat Giveaway
Sponsored by Pfister Energy
|Sat.||April 7, 2012||Fan Appreciation Day
Sponsored by Prudential Center
More will be added as the season goes along. The promotions the Devils have had already include t-shirts (the White Out), rally towels, Hockey Fights Cancer - signed pucks for donations, and magnet calenders. If you didn't know about it - it's probably becuase the schedule wasn't even out yet or they failed to promote or market the promotion.
The one big one this year is Scott Niedermayer's retirement ceremony. #27 will be added next to #3 and #4 that night. I'd be surprised if tickets are still available. Other than that, nothing really stands out if you ask me. Though traditional, the Devils are going basic this season. I would expect a Toys for Tots to be added around the Holidays. The ice scraper giveaway last season was coincidentally during a snow storm - but it's still a great idea for a promotion. Last season had trading cards, Devils Army pucks, a Zach Parise poster. If the Devils want kids and fans to go to games - get these going again and add them immediately. Then market the hell out of them.
Last season was remarkable - though added through the season as well- the Devils managed to have 21 promotional nights (giveaways, donations, special guests, supporters section), and I'm not including $1 Hot Dog Nights, College Nights, and Guys Night Out. I thought they did a great job trying to get fans to go to games where the product on the ice was frankly horrible. This year the product is better (at the 9 game mark) - yet the Devils still need to find better ways to get people to the Rock. Promotions attract on average around 500 more people on weekdays and only about 100 on weekends. I'm even more surprised to see only one promotion on a weekday.
This year, I'm not convinced they are trying as hard, but there are some reasons why this may be: If the team is on a budget, the organization is most likely on one too (a tighter one at least - all companies have budgets). The economy isn't great right now either, thus companies aren't willing to give up the dough to get their logo on a puck, or a shirt, or a calendar at a hockey game.
So I guess to finish my mini-rant - I would like to have these out earlier than the past two seasons. Maybe the end of September? I don't think that's too much to ask since they have done it before. I'm not around 24/7 on social media but use they should use the Devils twitter and facebook feeds to market the upcoming promotions. Mention any ticket deals associated with these certain games to get fans to the arena. Maybe have a promotional ticket package?
So I ask you In Lou WeTrusters/Devils Army - what type of promotions do you want to see this season? What caught your eye last season at a game you were at or heard about that you would like to see back? What do you think about this year's tentative schedule? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading.