Changing the Game

In times of recession, businesses and brands either panic or reinvent themselves for the better. They change their business model and give their consumers something different – a new product or service, a new way to engage or ask them for their opinion or, simply, a message that surprises them and forces them to think differently about what they previously thought about your brand.

Take the Florida Panthers. For years, they’ve been a team in the NHL that has been on the wrong side of winning. Losing records and a market more interested in the NBA lead to low ticket sales. Florida isn’t Toronto and they need to do whatever they can to get people into the games. And by people I don’t mean crazed Hockey fans, but casual viewers as well.

That’s why I love Randy Miller so much. Miler has been the announcer for the Panthers for the past few seasons and is also the host of a popular radio show. One day on his show, he asked his listeners to send in recommendations on pop cultural references from Hollywood movies and Randy guaranteed that he would try to insert them into his actual NHL broadcast after the Panthers scored a goal. Sounds fun doesn’t it?

Within a few weeks, he had hundreds of submissions and the broadcasts started to slightly change. Here’s a clip of some of the latest:

Game changing. I love it and wish that I could watch every game with Randy announcing it. Imagine the possibilities and the added excitement around a goal being scored. It’s sweet, fun and different – three key things to think about when you’re trying to change a product that’s been the same for the last 100 some-odd years. It also asks people to be involved in something that’s been closed to the public forever. With Randy, I now have a vested interest in the game (and the goals) with the hopes that he will read my suggestion.

Sure – there are people that don’t like this. It hurts the game, takes the focus away from it. Whatever. As a casual fan, this is sweet. Next time in Florida, I’ll swing by a game just to hear Randy scream out the calls.

Thanks to Dave for the heads up!

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