NHLPA Launches Hobby Promotion Contest

One innovative hobby store will earn an all-expenses-paid player signing courtesy of the NHL Players Association through the NHLPA’s new Hobby Store Promotion Contest.

NHLPAAdam Larry, NHLPA licensing director, said the contest – as well as the NHLPA’s plans to form a Hobby Retail Committee – was inspired by retailer interaction at the recent Industry Summit in Las Vegas.

“Being at the Summit reinforced in me the notion that new ideas and communication between all interested parties needs to be at the forefront of our collective consciousness year round in order to grow the industry,’’ Larry said. “My hope with launching the Promotion Contest is to help achieve that continued spirit of inspiration and communication.’’

To participate in the NHLPA Store Promotion contest, retailers will:

** Develop and propose an innovative in-store hockey-card promotion, focused on driving customers to their store.  If possible, create a promotion that could be replicated in all hobby shops that carry new-issue hockey cards.

** Email the promotion details to [email protected] on or before June 1, 2010.

** The winning store will be selected on or before June 15.

Larry encouraged participating retailers to be creative and innovative, but also be financially and operationally realistic in their promotional proposal.

“It would be a really cool promotion (and would probably drive tons of people to your store) to have the Canadian Gold Medal Men’s hockey team do an autograph signing for four days while The Tragically Hip entertained customers,’’ Larry said.  “But obviously, that would be virtually impossible to execute (for one store, much less for all stores) and not financially viable even if you could.  We’re looking for an innovative, exciting new promotion that stores can deliver to their hockey-card customers.’’

The winning store will receive, courtesy of the NHLPA, an all expenses paid player signing (the actual player and timing will be determined between the winning store and the NHLPA based on availability, time of the year, etc.) which will include the player signing autographs in the store for 1 hour, and refreshments at the store (pizza, pop, etc.) for the signing.

For more information or to submit your promotion, shop owners can email: [email protected]

The NHLPA is also hoping to reach out to hobby shops through its new NHLPA Retail Committee.  Participating retailers will be asked to express their views, and those of retailers in their geographic area, during a quarterly conference call with the NHLPA and select hockey-card distributors.  Committee members, called “ambassadors”, will be encouraged to solicit input from other retailers prior to each quarterly call.

“This way, the NHLPA will be able to communicate regularly with numerous retailers, and have information flowing between all interested parties within the industry,’’ Larry said.

Interested retailers should send an email to [email protected] with the subject line RETAIL COMMITTEE.  In the email, provide your store name and location, and express why you will be an effective ambassador to the NHLPA Retail Committee.

Initial committee members will be announced on or before June 15, with an initial teleconference scheduled in the near term.

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