PHILADELPHIA, PA – Since the dawn of time, fans have chosen the NBA over the NHL. It’s easier to watch, easier to understand, you can actually see the ball on TV, and Gary Bettman is sick of it. Marketing campaigns, fan engagement, international outreach has yielded poor results for years and it’s clear that the NFL is now trying their hand at direct marketing. Very direct marketing. “If fans aren’t going to come to us, we’re going to come to them,” said Bettman.
As fans entered the Xfinity Center for Game 2 between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat on Tuesday, some immediately regretted the decision to wear their Joel Embiid jersey with no undershirt. They arrived to their seats and looked out to, not a basketball court, but a sheet of ice. Understandably, shooting percentage during warmups were the lowest they’ve been since the NBA/ABA merger, per KenPom. “I tried to get a VR headset sponsorship, but our ad revenue couldn’t cover that. So I just paid the arena staff to take the night off,” said the NHL commissioner. The hope is through immersing ticket holders in the NHL experience, they will see the fun they’ve been missing all along.
However, by game’s end, there were two reported cases of gangrene from those sitting court side and 4 members of the Heat left with what looked to be leg injuries. Due to the surface the injuries occurred on, they are listed as lower body injuries. A few members of the clean up crew also become hooked up to oxygen masks after being forced to clean up hats thrown onto the ice by confused fans after every 3-pointer. Despite the utter failure of this marketing attempt, Bettman is optimistic they will work out the kinks for when they try this again in Toronto on Friday.