This week, Sprint confirmed that it has become the exclusive telecom provider for the NFL delivering live radio and television broadcasts of games and access to a variety of other content such as gameday previews, team reports, tailored scoring and stats, fantasy football access, and much more. This move by Sprint has great potential to attract avid football and fantasy football fans who need their stats and love their team, but also boosting sales and data usage for Sprint.
Here is the full article: Sprint Scores Exclusive Mobile Deal With NFL.
After reading this article, I think that it is a great example for the NHL to follow. I am pretty sure that the NFL did not reach out to Sprint with this opportunity simply because it does not need to. The NFL is the most profitable sports league in America. But for the NHL, which is trying to increase its popularity and sales after taking a huge hit from the 2004-2005 Lockout season, I think that they need to be proactive about getting a deal with some of the cell phone service providers. We now have more service providers than can be counted on two hands (Alltel, AT&T, Nextel, Sprint, SunCom, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon, Helio, Qwest, Boost Mobile, Cricket, Virgin Mobile, Metro PCS, etc.), so the NHL has a great opportunity to promote the league even more next season by following the lead of the NFL.
The league can provide content similar to the NFL such as live radio and television broadcasts, season previews, pre and post game interviews, player stats, fantasy hockey access and much more, in order to allow fans to enjoy hockey anywhere at any time. Not will NHL fans have more access to the league and its content, but the service provider will attract a segment of the market that it may have not appealed to previously. This mutually beneficial relationship is very necessary for hockey.