Maybe the NHL was listening to me after all. The better money is on the fact that the league was already aware that they could leverage their growing impact on the celebrity community to draw some attention to the sport.
The 2012 NHL Awards show will be rife with celebrity presenters this year and hopefully getting more A (and B) list celebrities will prevent things like this from happening. The announcement came out on June 5 and includes an impressive list of presenters.
Notice how the NHL describes Andrews as a sports broadcaster? Apparently the league doesn’t have much respect for ESPN either. Bristol can go shove it.
Aside from maybe Vartan, each of these guys are pretty well known actors. Andrews has been loving all over the playoffs on Twitter and I wait for the day that she leaves ESPN to take over between the glass on NBC’s hockey coverage. Connolly is a well documented Islanders fan, Perry and Monteith have been seen at many a game this spring and Vince Vaughn is a Blackhawks super fan.
The NHL also said that Will Arnett, Tracy Morgan and Kevin Smith will be making appearances during the night. I’m assuming that Smith will probably drop a few [Gretzky’s] and that the inclusion of Arnett and Morgan has to do with their day jobs on NBC shows. Perhaps Arnett can explain why his show appeared on network TV over game four.
Your run-of-the-mill presenters will include PJ stock, Barry Melrose, Andi Petrillo, Pierre McGuire and Eddie Olczyk. Let’s just assume that Olczyk will telestrate his presentation while McGuire will tell us all about the junior and high school career of the award winner.
The good news is that Kathryn Tappen will be appearing as well in what one can only hope will be a joint hottie broadcaster presentation with Erin Andrews. Maybe the NHL could find a brunette to toss in as well to create a Golden Oreo of hotness.
Of course, the NHL couldn’t just hit a homerun with this year’s award show and Nickelback will indeed be performing live at the show. Why they decided to go with them is anyone’s guess. I suppose Justin Beiber and Bryan Adams were each booked. Look at the bright side; you will have at least three extra minutes to get to the bathroom while those guys are playing.
Something else cool about this year’s awards is that the NHL 13 cover athlete will be unveiled live at the award show. So that is something cool that hasn’t been done before.
For me, these off-ice events are all about ground breaking ideas. The awards show used to be stuffy and boring. Now the show is in Vegas, there are hot girls presenting and the party atmosphere is very much alive. Getting these types of personalities in for NHL events is the exact type of cross-marketing I am hoping to see. Now it is time to take it a step further. For example: Erin Andrews endorses Reebok. Reebok is all over the NHL. Put Erin Andrews in a hockey rink, with a star and let the magic happen.
The NHL is taking steps in the right direction, that is for sure. While the awards will never be a must-watch event, this action creates all kinds of positive momentum.