Flyers Pay For All-Star Votes!

November 28, 2007 by Tyler  
Filed under NHL Business

I recently mentioned how creative fans have used the power of the internet to garner All Star Game votes for their favorite players.

However, the buzz created by the recent fan web page votemikerichards.com has roused the marketing staff of the Philadelphia Flyers. It appears that the Flyers are offering up game tickets and autographed merchandise to fans who vote for Flyers players to go to the All-Star Game.

Flyers Buy ALL Star Votes

In my opinion, this is the political equivalent of paying for votes!

If a fan feels that a player deserves to be in the All-Star Game, the fans should vote accordingly. Fans should not be influenced by the lure of autographed merchandise, tickets and/or other prizes.

It is one thing for creative fans to try to hustle votes, but an entirely different thing for an organization to attempt to essentially buy votes for its players.

What do you think?

Update: 12/01/2007 

The Flyers have contacted NHL Digest and have offered this explanation.  Please take the time to read it and contact them with any questions:

The NHL is offering fans prizes for voting on the national level and we wanted more of our local fans to have a chance to win. Every fan has an equal chance to win and the names are drawn randomly from the registered users of the fan balloting site. Every user has an equal chance of winning, no matter who they select on the All-Star ballot. We are supporting the league initiative and doing our best to earn support in our market.

If you have further questions about the contest, you may contact us at flyerswebsite@comcast-spectacor.com.

Comments

10 Comments on "Flyers Pay For All-Star Votes!"

  1. Tim on Wed, 28th Nov 2007 11:03 pm 

    Now that is just bush league. Excellent point about this situation Tyler. Like you said, supporting your teams players is one thing, but bribing fans to do so is another. I hope this situation leads to the whole “fan vote” being abolished. Let the players/coaches decide who goes. That way the players that deserve to go will go, not the ones who play for the teams who ante up the most to get the votes.

  2. The FlyerFly on Wed, 28th Nov 2007 11:53 pm 

    while there are plenty of reasons to think that this isnt appropriate, it is pretty clever. but why the Flyers would even be singled out for this is something im not even sure of.

    the fact is that the entire All-Star balloting process is wrapped around an XM Radio & 2KSports sponsored contest that encourages fans to vote, and vote repeatedly for their favorite All-Star choices. prizes include memoribilia, as well as paid trips to the All-Star game in Atlanta.

    http://fanballoting.nhl.com/

    if you think about it, if a Flyers fan were to have only seen the NHL contest advertisements, who do you think they would repeatedly vote for to try to improve their chances for winning? Gagne, Briere, Biron, Richards, Timonen…who would a Lightning fan vote for? Lecavalier, Richards, St.Louis… Sens fans? Alfredsson, Gerber, Heatley…

    the fact that the Flyers marketing department has been a bit more pro-active about getting their fans involved in the process isnt a bad thing…its a credit to them and part of the reason why Philadelphia is the most hard-core hockey town in the U.S.

    that being said, i dont particularly like the fact that fans turn the All-Star balloting into a popularity contest, rather than a true reflection of the best NHL talent from that season. but it would be a mistake at this point of the NHL’s PR crisis to remove the fans from the process.

  3. Tyler on Thu, 29th Nov 2007 10:06 am 

    FlyerFly,

    It is one thing for the entire league to encourage fan balloting because there is no incentive to vote for a certain player or certain group of players.

    The Flyers website indicated that they are offering “additional” prizes and incentives above those offered by the general league-wide contest. Such additional incentives definitely encourages votes for the Flyers’ players.

    Marketing genius aside, it still muddies the already dirty water of the fan balloting system.

  4. Shane on Thu, 29th Nov 2007 3:56 pm 

    I’ve got issues with the whole fan voting thing in general. Combined with this, it makes the “All-Star” game a bit of a farce.

  5. Bob on Thu, 29th Nov 2007 6:03 pm 

    Now,now dont want to upset the Flyers fans.They will start whining that their beloved Flyers are being picked on again.So how about that great “clean” hit by Hartnell the other night?

  6. Bob on Thu, 29th Nov 2007 11:33 pm 

    I agree it’s a farce. This reinforces my beliefs.

  7. The Man on Fri, 30th Nov 2007 3:23 pm 

    What’s the problem? Their not asking fans to vote for Flyers to be entered, just to vote.

  8. Aaron on Fri, 30th Nov 2007 3:30 pm 

    On that link you can actually vote for anyone…The incentives hold for anyone you vote for.

  9. IkkiTousen on Fri, 30th Nov 2007 7:06 pm 

    “Now,now dont want to upset the Flyers fans.They will start whining that their beloved Flyers are being picked on again.So how about that great “clean” hit by Hartnell the other night?”

    Nice to see a valid point that is totally relevant to the article.

    Every team is campaigning for its players to be voted into the ASG. But the Flyers are going an extra step and offering more incentives. From a personal standpoint, it doesn’t sway me either way. In fact, I disregard the XM Radio junk when I vote on NHL.com. I just vote for the players who I feel should make it in and leave it at that.

    I think the possibility of winning stuff (through the Flyers or the NHL) may make it more appealing for those who consider voting, but to be honest I don’t think it makes much of a difference. Either way, fans are going to vote for who they want, and I think that is first and foremost in their minds, not the possibility of entering some contest.

  10. Bob D on Wed, 5th Dec 2007 9:36 am 

    Hey Ikki its called sarcasm.If you read some of the other articles about the Flyers cheap shots the first thing they say is they are being picked on.Thats what I was getting at.I did like the rest of your post though.I couldnt agree more.I vote for the guys doing the job not because they are on the team I like

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