Puck Daddy - NHL

Lately, we've been asked a lot about how NHL teams struggling to fill seats are marketing their product to fans. Some of these conversations originated from the Columbus Blue Jackets' problematic voodoo jersey/phallic mascot conundrum. But the general question is: Have desperate times called for unusually creative measures?

If you're the New York Islanders ... not so much. Unless you consider this cheesecake edgy:

This was one jaunty musical number away from being a Benny Hill sketch. And that tanline in the front is just ... distracting. 

So the Islanders are selling ticket packages with sex and comedy that's about as edgy as 55-year-old cocktail waitress at the Chuckle Hut. Comparing their campaign to that of the Atlanta Thrashers is like comparing the viral campaign for "Cloverfield" to a "Little Fockers" commercial.

Via Subtle Like Seabrook, check out this amusing "news bulletin" about a mascot, a stolen Zamboni and sneaky ads for the team's ticket site placed throughout:

Thus began a viral campaign on the Thrashers' website and on their Facebook page, with fans urged to rally to "Free Thrash." It's no Bruins Bear Rules, but it's a noble effort for a team known for fumbling the puck on marketing in the past. (Like calling the arena "Blueland" and then wearing red third jerseys. D'oh!)

Will it sell a ticket? Who knows. But it makes fans feel like they're in on the joke and part of something communal, rather than being targeted by an ad firm. Which is the difference between the Thrashers' approach and the Islanders' this week -- one builds goodwill, and the other leaves fans cold ... even at the beach.

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