There are still nine sweaters we haven't seen yet
The question I'm asked most these days is the title of this post. Where are all the NHL Stadium Series jerseys? Why haven't any of them been unveiled — or leaked — yet?
Now that all of this year's new third jerseys are out, I thought I'd address it. The short answer is, I don't know. But I'm happy to engage in a little educated speculation if it gives us something to talk about.
To begin, really the only concrete thing we've heard on this subject was back in June when Islanders GM Garth Snow mentioned it briefly. He said his team had something special in development and that every Stadium Series participant does as well.
With seven clubs taking part in the series, it's a great opportunity for the NHL to add a whole mess of new merchandise to the mix. But when do they make the designs public? As someone who makes a living in marketing, that's probably the best way for me to approach this. Hence the educated speculation.
Make the new stuff available by Black Friday
Depending upon how long the new designs have been in the works, the smartest option — in my opinion — would be to get everything on store shelves by the biggest shopping day of the year — Black Friday. (This year, that's Nov. 29.) These jerseys would probably make great Christmas gifts. And the timing would be great since the first Stadium Series game takes place exactly a month after Christmas.
But that begs the question, when do you reveal the designs to fans? The week of Thanksgiving (only talking U.S. since Canada's not involved in the Stadium Series) is tricky because people are out of their normal routines and may miss the announcement. Not ideal for maximizing exposure.
The week before might be good, though. So should the teams hold individual unveilings or should the NHL knock out all seven in one fell swoop? (I'm assuming the Rangers get only one jersey despite playing in two separate stadium games.) All at once would be more efficient but you're probably only buying the jersey if you're a fan of the team. So maybe it's better left to the individual clubs.
But there's a problem. If you introduce a sweater in November and tell people it won't be used for two months or more, it's possible they could simply lose interest. So what's another option?
Hold off on any unveilings until Winter Classic
Another plan could be to wait and get the new sweaters in front of more eyeballs across the U.S. and Canada. Forget about Christmas. Wait a week and unveil them all in Ann Arbor during one of the intermissions of the 2014 Winter Classic. Put them in stores the next day.
There's still plenty of time until the first of the four games, which takes place in L.A. on Jan. 25. And let's not forget about the Heritage Classic. There's two more jerseys right there — but they're Canadian so NBC won't care about that. Still, with the Leafs in the Winter Classic, Canadians will surely be watching.
This idea may be kind of a bummer for jersey geeks like us because it means waiting longer, but it has a lot of merit from a marketing standpoint. It could certainly play into the excitement of the first outdoor game of the season.
What's your theory?
Those are my two theories and, of course, they could both be completely wrong. What's your take?
By the way, my Flames third jersey review is still to come. Just wanted to get this out of the way first.