Hockey Headlines

Friday, 9 November 2012

Tears For Beers

I'll admit that I'm Canadian, and that I appreciate a good brew as a responsible adult. I understand that breweries make a ton of money off the sports industry while paying for their commercials to be aired and, in some cases, sponsoring the broadcast of sports on television. They make their money by selling their brews to adults at the games and through stores across Canada and the US. The one thing that I don't understand, though, is why breweries seem to think that crying poor because of the lockout is acceptable when there are many people in the hockey industry right now feeling the pinch from the lockout. Seeing the profits of a beer company shrink slightly amounts to a lot spilled milk when other people working for NHL teams aren't being paid a dime right now.

Montreal and Denver-based Molson Coors brewery can't actually put a number on the amount of sales lost due to the hockey lockout, but they apparently are seeing a loss in sales on both sides of the border thanks to the NHL's extended break. Why this is getting major news coverage is beyond me when we're talking about a multinational corporation that is the world's seventh largest brewer by volume. Those crocodile tears in the eyes of Molson executives just aren't resonating with me.

Especially when you factor in that Molson Coors' revenues increased to $1.2 billion USD from $954 million USD a year ago. Are they really crying poor?

Better Made Potato Chips and Snack Foods has a deal with the Detroit Red Wings to sell their potato chips at Joe Louis Arena when the Wings are playing. President Mark Winkelman told mlive.com's David Muller, "This time last year we had sold about $3,800 of potato chips to the Joe Louis. This year we've sold about $600. So were down $3,200."

That, readers, may seem like a major loss for a company like Better Made, but Mr. Winkelman is keeping things in perspective very well. "It's safe to say about $1,500 a month is what we're losing," he stated. Better Made's annual sales total is actually about $64 million, so is $3200 that big of a deal? "It's not a big deal" Mr. Winkelman added. "We're not going to stay up at night worrying about that."

The fact that Molson Coors CEO Peter Swinburn went on record saying that Molson Coors will seek financial compensation from the league once the lockout ends over the negative impact that a lack of games has had on the hockey league sponsor is nothing more than laughable. If the NHL lockout was billionaires and millionaires arguing over money, having a sponsor picking a fight with the NHL is downright idiotic.

Just remember that the NHL walked away from ESPN, the largest sports television network in North America, and has not looked back. If you think that a threat of pulling Molson Canadian or Coors Light advertisements and commercials is something that the NHL is going to seriously worry about, Mr. Swinburn might want to re-think his strategy. It's not like Anheuser-Busch can't get more spots for Budweiser and Bud Light or Labatt's can't afford to pick up a few spots for Labatt's Blue.

Biting the hand that feeds you never works. In this case, Molson Coors would be better off just saying that they aren't happy with the NHL lockout and be done with their statement. Issuing threats after posting increased revenue last year just makes them look petty. And after all, no one likes sour beer.

MO' BRO: The Mo' Bro All-Stars thus far include Mike Gartner, Wendel Clark, Dirk Graham, Grant Fuhr, Dennis Maruk, Larry Robinson, Mike Ramsey, and Derek Sanderson. Today, however, we bring aboard the captain of the squad as we welcome perhaps the most famous hockey moustache of all.

Adding a distinguished moustache such as Lanny McDonald's is quite an achievement. He still holds the Flames' franchise record for goals in a season with 66. He won a Masterton Trophy in 1983, and was the inaugural winner of the King Clancy Trophy in 1988 thanks to his long-running support of the Special Olympics. He helped Canada win a Canada Cup in 1976, and he captained the Flames to the Stanley Cup in 1988-89. He is still one of the most beloved Calgary Flames, and his moustache certainly has endured some career moves from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Colorado Rockies before landing in Calgary. And the best part is that the Hall-of-Famer still proudly sports a moustache today!

That moustache, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly the kind of moustache to lead the Mo' Bro All-Stars to the promised land. Lanny McDonald is literally a Movember legend with that glorious 'stache! If you want to get in on the action, head over to the Movember page and get registered so your 'stache can stand amongst these great 'staches!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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