There’s a playoff battle going on right now for the attention of sports fans in Canada and the United States. In one corner, the NBA playoffs, with popular commentators like Charles Barkley, known stars like Carmelo Anthony and major surprises like the savvy Stephen Curry. And in the other, the NHL’s chase for the Stanley Cup–started two weeks late due to a labor lockout and suddenly coming up square against a higher-rated sport.

In hockey loving, playoff crazed cities like Minnesota‘s Twin Cities and Toronto, that’s the big show. But as the NHL looks to energize a surprisingly large pool of viewers who fall in the middle of the spectrum between diehard and ice-hater, hockey is doubling down on its Cup’s brand equity in an attempt to delocalize its storylines and viewer base.


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