For the first time ever, GoPro announced in January that it would officially be partnering with a national sports league: The NHL. And while past efforts to enhance the watchability of hockey have fallen flat (we all remember the FOX glowing puck disaster of ’98) this partnership promises to be a benefit for hockey lovers and players alike. The best part? The way GoPro promises the capture the grit, sportsmanship and yes, the brawls, in professional hockey is more connected to eLearning that you realized.
The NHL by the Numbers
To put it simply, the NHL is currently suffering from a viewer crisis. Here’s how the stats break down: 35 percent of hockey-watchers are in the 35 to 54 age group, 92 percent are white, and 33 percent make over $100K per year. In short, people who watch NHL are old, rich, and Caucasian. In contrast, the NBA has a much more evenly distributed demographic, with a 45 to 40 percent black to white ratio, and a fairly evenly disbursed age range of viewers. As for income, 32 percent of NBA watchers fall in the $40K to $75K zone: The middle class, and prime marketing real estate for advertisers.
It’s a major problem for NHL advertising revenue, since (obviously) older, rich, white Americans are only a small subset of where brands are spending their advertising bucks. In order to increase advertisement revenue, the NHL needs to attract younger viewers and a more diverse audience overall.
How GoPro can Help
That’s why the partnership with GoPro is a top shelf deal all-around. Armed with GoPro cameras, the NHL can give viewers a new perspective on what happens on the ice, hopefully garnering a younger demographic who are excited by the prospect of seeing up-close extreme sports. At the same time, GoPro solidifies its position as tech giant in play as an official sponsor for a national sports league: They’ll receive hefty branding opportunities to increase tech market share in an extremely competitive industry. The win-win scenario doesn’t just stop at the NHL and GoPro.
Believe it or not, the partnership doesn’t only benefit viewers, GoPro, and the NHL, but also the players themselves. Think about it: If GoPro gives viewers a bird’s eye view of what’s happening on the ice, it can give the same benefit to players before a game. More than ever, pro sports teams need to score every advantage possible to remain viable contenders, so getting to watch opponents before a game could make the difference in the final score.
Consider it a type of custom eLearning: As teams face off against each other, the footage captured by GoPro could be used during training and practice, especially for championship games. Hey, watching game 5 before heading in game 6 could be enough to identify weak spots in strategy, identify the other teams’ play calls, and prep offense accordingly.
So, while the partnership with GoPro might be the NHL’s way to break up their long-stagnant demographic woes, allowing teams to watch the footage could become a one-two punch: A different way to watch the game, and more exciting match-ups to boot.