C'mon, you know you watched that outdoor hockey game on New Years' Day!
Ok, maybe you didn't but I did and it was indeed very cool. I love me some Ted Leonsis and he's doing all the right things for his NHL franchise, the Washington Capitals. He inked superstar Alex Ovechkin to a long-term contract and we're starting to see Alex O' get marketed in some pretty cool ways.
First, the local Comcast Sportsnet in DC are AND I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP, offering special broadcasts to accompany regular game coverage that feature a dedictated view of Caps left-winger Ovechkin. They're calling it OVECHKAM. Very cool!
Now the NHL Network is hopping on board, too. I know, I know, duh - but doing the obvious isn't always as easy as it seems. I applaud them for doing it. NHL Network issued the following press release today:
NHL NETWORK PRESENTS ‘AN OVECHKIN OVATION'
SUNDAY, MARCH 9TH AT 4:30 P.M. ET
-- Special Programming Block Celebrates Capitals Superstar Alex Ovechkin's Signature 5-Point Games From The 2007-08 NHL Season On His Way To Scoring 50 Goals And Beyond --
New York, NY (March 7, 2008) - This past Monday, March 3rd, Washington Capitals scoring sensation Alexander Ovechkin's hat trick resulted in his 50th, 51st and 52nd goals of the season. To commemorate this achievement, NHL Network presents "An Ovechkin Ovation," a collection of Alex's three 5-point performances from the 2007-08 season. This special programming begins at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 9th following the NBC Sunday Game of the Week, which features Ovechkin and the Capitals against Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins at 12:30 p.m. ET.
The "Ovation" begins with a look back to Ovechkin's rookie season in the 30-minute program "Top 10 Alexander Ovechkin Goals of 2005-06." Included in that list is his incredible sprawling-on-the-ice, no-look, backhand goal against the Coyotes that is still a favorite moment among fans.
Of the many memorable performances by the 22-year-old Russian scorer this season, NHL Network presents the three games where Ovechkin's dynamic skills are on full display as he tallies 5-points in each game. First, at 5:00 p.m. ET, is the December 29th tilt in Ottawa against the Senators where Ovechkin had 4 goals and an assist in an 8-6 Capitals win. At 7:00 p.m. ET, see Alex score four more goals - including the overtime game winner - and an assist after sustaining a broken nose in the January 31st victory against the Montreal Canadiens. At 9:00 p.m. ET, re-live Washington's scoring outburst from this past Monday as his first-period hat trick and 2 assists helped the Capitals defeat the Boston Bruins 10-2.
Five points is a good week for most players. For Alexander Ovechkin, it is just another day at the office.
Marketing your superstars? Brilliant! And here's a real kick. In a parochial cow-town of a sports town (hey, I lived in Washington, DC for 30 years - it's ALL about the Redskins there) the NHL Washington Capitals have MORE seasons ticket holders than the NBA Washington Wizards. I guess from the season tickets perspective, when it comes to Alex Ovechkin vs. Gilbert Arenas? Sorry double zero, you're just NOT the man in Washington, DC. This actually should humble Arenas, but it doesn't. I love Gilbert anyway, but I think Baron Davis of the Warriors is more clutch.
Gilbert doesn't care what I think. But what I think is this: it's absolutely amazing that in the Nation's Capital, there are more season ticket holders for the NHL franchise than the NBA franchise.
Kudos to Ted.