What Happened: Monday night, the ECHL announced the “Nickelodeon Takeover Experience” outside of Nickelodeon Universe, located at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. If you missed the announcement, here it is, courtesy of the ECHL:
Each team will wear jerseys from one of Nickelodeon’s four properties: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spongebob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, or NickSplat beginning October 27 and continuing throughout the season. Additionally, teams can build in-game promos around the shows and their characters.
What This Means: On its face, the move helps the ECHL continue to appeal to families and kids of all ages at a broad level. Last year, the league launched a first-of-its-kind partnership with Marvel Comics and hearing from around the league, the jersey theme nights were a success.
Additionally, it is nice to see the ECHL continue to “think outside the box” with business partnerships. The GEICO partnership — once you took away the shock of the blue posts — has been fruitful for both sides; GEICO is now the “official auto insurance provider of the ECHL,” while the league gives GEICO exposure through in-game ads and 4.5 million people in its arenas over a six-month period. Having partnerships like with GEICO, Marvel Comics and Nickelodeon can only enhance the league’s footprint among businesses moving forward.
We are already starting to see teams develop partnerships with national companies. Recently, the Florida Everblades announced a multi-layer, multi-year deal with Hertz Rental Cars.
News Value: On a scale of 1-10 (one being not news-worthy, ten being major breaking news,) this is a two. Monday’s announcement confirms what we’ve seen in team’s promo calendar announcements for some time now, that the league does, in fact, have a deal with Nickelodeon.
Some Questions: If the league really wanted to give this the exposure it deserves, couldn’t they have mandated each team have one Education day game and wear them at that time, as opposed to weekend nights?
If the Marvel Comics and Nickelodeon partnerships are successful, what appetite is there among the teams and fans for extending the partnerships and doing more jersey/theme nights?
Are fans being “jersey auctioned” to death? They happen all the time at the team level and are becoming more frequent at the league level. How much is too much?