May 20, 2008
Earlier this week, we discovered that the NHL is selling a purse made of two recycled aluminum license plates with tear-shaped, nickel-plated steel end caps and hundreds of Swarovski crystals for about $325. With the current state of the economy -- the price of stamps does indeed grow forever higher -- consumers may be wary about dropping that kind of coin on an NHL luxury item. If they're looking for that perfect extravagant hockey keepsake, they may search for a cheaper alternative.
Like, for example, a 2-foot tall replica Stanley Cup that comes with a crate, a table cover, white gloves and a "New Keeper of the Cup" Certificate. For only $249.99.
Darren Rovell of CNBC reports that these mini-Cups are actually flying out of the NHL's online store:
I love the fact that the top selling item on NHL.com throughout the playoffs has been a replica Stanley Cup . As you can see this isn't just some trinket. It's two feet tall and it's $250. Year over year sales for this replica cup are up 34 percent during the playoff period and 45 percent over the regular season.
Along with the Baby Stanley talk, Rovell's blog has coverage of the NHL's television ratings, and whether the Penguins/Wings glamour matchup will produce a surge in casual viewership. There's also video from a six-minute interview with Commissioner Gary Bettman that aired on CNBC on Monday. Yes, there are old classics like "cost certainty" and "percentage of revenue." But it's a clip worth watching for a showdown between Rovell, formerly ESPN's sports business reporter, and Bettman about how the NHL "took the money" and opted to go with Versus rather than the WWL after the lockout.
"It's kind of still by itself on an island," said Rovell of Versus, stating that the network had failed to attract any other significant sports coverage.
Bettman shot back, claiming that Versus had added track and field, tennis and college football; and that, "We've had games this year that beat our ratings on ESPN prior to the work stoppage." Burn!
Makes you wonder if the NHL really needs ESPN, which claims in the Arizona Republic that it is not currently having any talks with the League about a entering into its television partnerships.