NHL using Superheroes to Attract Younger Fans

Comic Book legend Stan Lee to create 'Guardian' characters for each NHL Team Photo Courtesy: Damian Dovarganes/AP

In an attempt to revitalize their younger fan base, the NHL has turned to comic book legend Stan Lee. Lee, the creator of Iron Man, The Hulk, Spiderman and countless other Superheroes will launch the ‘Guardian Project’ to create 30 new characters, one to represent each team.

Ever since the 2004-05 NHL season was lost to a season long lockout, the NHL has been struggling to regain it’s place as one of the top 4 sports in the U.S.. The league went form a lucrative rights deal with ESPN to a smaller broadcast contract with Versus, a channel less synonymus with Sports TV.

It’s become a league of have’s and have-nots.

A recent article in the Business Insider claims that 9 teams have had attendance decreases since the lockout, including a drop of 23% for both the Phoenix Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche. While 10 teams have had attendance increases – including the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, up 61% since the lockout.

The idea behind the ‘Guardian Project’ is to stake claim to a new generation of NHL fans.

“I’ve always believed that every great plan starts with a great story,” Lee said in a statement Thursday. “In the creation of Guardian Media Entertainment and its unique and unprecedented relationship with the NHL, I truly believe we have the perfect combination from which to launch 30 new superheroes and excite young fans around the globe.”
A comic book could come by February followed by a line of merchandise and video games.

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