Could you go a month without beer? A week without coffee? A day with out using your credit card? Well I can’t go one more hour with out NHL hockey and the unfortunate things is fans like you and I have no way of fighting back, or do we?
What if there was a way to make the NHL and the NHLPA take notice that the fans won’t always just be there to throw our hard-earned money into their pockets? That’s a lot of questions for the first two paragraphs of a story but this lock out has left me questioning many things.
The biggest question since this all started was how can I make a difference and help encourage both sides to make a deal? It’s been obvious from the start that the NHL was set to follow the blue print that lost the 2004-05 season but won them the negotiations. The players seem hard pressed to win the popularity contest while not caving to the bullying tactics of the owners this time around. There is a likelihood that another season or more could be lost.
That’s when I started to really think, how could we put pressure on both sides while there is a lockout? We can’t boycott games when there are none and neither side would believe that the majority of us would stay away long enough when they come back to make them worry about it now.
Then it hit me like a Scott Stevens body check (that’s right I’m going old school). There is a way to make the NHL and the NHLPA sweat. We as fans, angry fans have to stage our own lockout. Not of the NHL but of the major sponsors of the NHL. We can make them put the pressure on the league and players by pulling their sponsorship if the lockout isn’t ended.
What we are asking you as fellow fans to do is follow our lead. October 11 was to be the start of the NHL season so we see it as a fitting deadline to use. Until October 11 your job is simple, spread the word to your friends and family. Use Twitter and Facebook to warn the sponsors that if the NHL and NHLPA has not reached an agreement by October 11 you will not purchase their products until they have. We are willing to bet that while the NHL and NHLPA are willing to lose the money from a lost season the companies that sponsor the league are not willing to lose your business.
Now our intent and hope is that the threat of a boycott will be enough of a scare to the sponsors that they will threaten to pull their sponsorship from the league if an agreement is not made. That the NHL and NHLPA will not want to lose that guaranteed string of revenue when play does return and both sides will be more flexible and get a deal done. If that doesn’t happen by October 11 we have to be ready and willing to follow through. Some of these products will be difficult to give up, but is it more difficult than seeing a game we love lose another season?
The first part is easy so please pick a few companies listed below and use the easy links (click on the image of Twitter or Facebook of a company) to tweet your intent or post it on Facebook. But you must be willing to boycott that company until a deal is made or their sponsorship of the league is withdrawn. It’s time the fans had a voice in this fight and its fitting that hockey fans would be the first to fight back during a labour stoppage, we have seen too many to begin with.
The NHL and NHLPA are fighting over revenues that they expect to continue growing. Lets send a strong message to them through our campaign to lockout the sponsors that we as fans are united and don’t care which side is right we just want NHL hockey back and we’ll do whatever we have to do to make it happen, even if it means canceling our Visa or Discover cards and getting a MasterCard or American Express instead.
This is our chance as fans to be heard, this is our time to make a stand and give the NHL and the NHLPA the motivation it needs to work out a deal and get back on the ice. This is your chance to make a stand and force an end to the lockout, join us and fight back.
Lockout the sponsors!
The official hashtag for this campaign is #LockoutSponsors
The official Facebook page for the campaign is https://www.facebook.com/LockoutSponsors please take time to like this page if you plan to support the cause.