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How Much Damage is this Lockout Doing to the NHL's Brand?

Roy MacGregor at the Globe and Mail has a must read article today on the long-term effects of the NHL lockout. MacGregor examines the findings of a new survey by Level5 Strategy that shows just how damaging the NHL lockout is to the brand. From MacGregor:

According to Level5 chief executive officer David Kincaid, the survey was conducted not for the benefit of the league but as a tool that might be sold to the multiple corporate sponsors of professional hockey, in order to show what they need to tap into with hockey fans if they hope to regain their former good standing.

It will not be easy.

“We found damage at levels we have not seen,” Kincaid says. “It’s quite alarming, really.

“If anyone thinks that the lockout can end and everyone will come back to Happy Valley, it ain’t going to happen.”

You can read the rest of the article here. If the ethics of locking out a public that has invested billions in public subsidies aren’t enough to force NHL owners to end the lockout, perhaps the threat of doing serious, long-term damage to the brand will. As Bob Dylan wrote, “You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way.”

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