Guaranteed Victory Nights have always been a little baffling. Minor League Baseball teams with names like the Blowfish have been doing this stunt for years, where fans are given a free ticket to a future game if the home team fails to win that evening. So you can see them, what, lose again? This is a bit like finding a dead rat on your hamburger, asking to speak to the manager, and then getting a second burger as compensation. Yummy.
Kudos to the New York Islanders for putting a more proactive twist on this promotion with The Victory Plan.
Encourage fans to cheer for a win. What a concept.
It's a four-game ticket plan that might turn into an eight-game, buy-one-get-one plan if the Islanders sweep their opponents. The example provided by the team: "If the Isles defeat the Sidney Crosby-led Pittsburgh Penguins on November 26, you get to return to the Nassau Coliseum on December 16 to see Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals for FREE." Got it?
Here's the plan; the game fans pay for is listed first, followed by the freebie they earn with a win in italics:
Wednesday, November 26 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Tuesday, December 16 vs. Washington Capitals
Nemmy from The 2 Man Advantage may hate this description, but this is a minor league promotion for a what amounts to a minor league team this season. But you know what? That's OK. You'd rather see a team acknowledging the reality of its surroundings with a substantial offer for regular season hockey (albeit one that's also a fun little gamble for fans); instead of seeing a delusional franchise that thinks giving away an exhibition game while continuing to charge a second-mortgage for bad hockey in the regular season is being "fan-friendly."
Besides, it's a shrewd businesses move, at least when it comes to the marquee game: The Penguins were 5-3 against a better Islanders team last season. There's a better chance Ted Nolan attends the company Christmas party than fans getting to see that Ovechkin game for free in December.