This year the NHL playoffs have been much better than the NBA playoffs. The NHL has had an eight seed sweep a one seed in the first round of the playoffs, had a series featuring the best two players in the league right now face off in a seven game knock out series, and even still has a Canadian hockey team still alive in the playoffs. Compare that to the NBA, were everyone is just waiting for the finals between the Warriors and the Cavs. The Warriors and Cavs have yet to lose a single game in either of their series. So why is the NBA whooping the NHL in the television ratings?
The NHL simply does not promote their stars the same way that the NBA does. The NBA has done a great job of marketing their stars to the public. They constantly have ad campaigns featuring one or multiple stars from around their league when they promote their brand. It is hard to walk around any major or rural city and not find someone wear an NBA player’s jersey. This gets awareness out and makes it cool to like the sport.
Compare this to the NHL were aside from maybe Sydney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, no one in the public knows who they are. Some people probably would not know who they were, let alone who they played for and that hurts the product. It is not cool to watch the NHL and so people don't watch it. There is no star power in the league. There is not a single star that could make a casual fan want to watch hockey and that is why the NHL cannot get anyone to watch the games.
If the NHL ever wants to try and beat the NBA for the king of winter sports then they need to promote their stars more effectively. They need to build players up and make them larger than life figures to counter act the stars of the NBA. The NHL needs to make hockey a star driven league to compete with the NBA and then maybe will people see what a wonderful sport it is.
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