Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz plans to build on this season's momentum. Photo credit: Daniel Clark/LVSportsBiz.com

Golden Knights President: No Honeymoon Effect As Hockey Club Seeks National Brand Advertisers

By ALAN SNEL

LVSportsBiz.com

 

Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz says a lot of people tell him the Cinderella story Golden Knights will enjoy a “honeymoon effect” during the expansion franchise’s inaugural season.

 

But Bubolz told LVSportsBiz.com he won’t accept any honeymoon effect and the team president has mapped a business game plan to recruit national advertisers and brands to sponsor Golden Knights hockey and generate more revenues after this season.

 

“We want to create more visibility nationally,” Bubolz said. “We’re thinking beyond just Las Vegas and our TV territory.”

Kerry Bubolz wants to draw more national advertisers next season. Photo credit: Daniel Clark/LVSportsBiz.com

 

Las Vegas has local and regional sponsorship deals with companies like The D Las Vegas casino hotel, City National Bank, Ed Bernstein, Credit One Bank (opened a new Las Vegas corporate headquarters) and Cosmopolitan.

 

But with the Golden Knights’ unexpected first-year success in the NHL standings and its inspiring story of rallying a community emotionally hurt by a madman’s shooting massacre at a Strip music festival Oct. 1, the franchise has garnered national, if not international, appeal.

 

Golden Knights’ games are often one of the few highlighted hockey games during ESPN’s SportsCenter nightly shows, while Golden Knights licensed merchandise sales rank in the NHL’s top five.

 

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The Golden Knights brand has value after 49 games and 70 points — good for a 10-point lead over the second place San Jose Sharks in the NHL’s Pacific Division.

 

No wonder Bubolz wants to build on the improbable momentum the rookie team has generated this season.

 

Another area that Bubolz wants to build on is the Golden Knights’ commitment to getting more young kids on skates and more young skaters holding hockey sticks.

Another Bubolz goal is to increase youths’ hockey participation. Photo credit: Daniel Clark/LVSportsBiz.com

 

About 500 kids are involved in the Golden Knights’ learn to skate program and the team wants more youths in the learn to play and Little Knights programs, Bubolz said.

 

The Golden Knights will also soon have a new neighbor — the Triple A baseball Las Vegas 51, which plan to build a $150 million, 10,000-seat ballpark next door to the hockey team’s training center and headquarters on South Pavilion Center Drive in Summerlin.

 

Bubolz said he’s excited about the prospect of having the 51s next door in 2019 because the VGK president recalls working for the minor league baseball’s Tulsa Drillers in Oklahoma and the Quad City River Bandits in Iowa.

Bubolz has minor league baseball roots.

 

He said the 51s new ballpark will bring new fans to the site, which, in turn, will allow for the Golden Knights to increase their visibility. Bubolz noted he has not spoken with 51s President/Chief Operating Officer Don Logan about potential cross-promotional opportunities.

 

Logan said a groundbreaking and site construction is to be announced.

The 51s ballpark site next to City National Arena. Photo credit: Daniel Clark/LVSportsBiz.com

 

Check out LVSportsBiz.com’s Top 10 questions with Bubolz from an October 2017 interview.

 

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Follow LVSportsBiz.com on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com

Alan Snel

Alan Snel brings decades of sports-business reporting experience to LVSportsBiz.com. Snel covered the business side of sports for the South Florida (Fort Lauderdale) Sun-Sentinel, the Tampa Tribune and Las Vegas Review-Journal. As a city hall beat reporter, Snel also covered stadium deals in Denver and Seattle. In 2000, Snel launched a sport-business website for FoxSports.com called FoxSportsBiz.com. After reporting sports-business for the RJ, Snel wrote hard-hitting stories on the Raiders stadium for the Desert Companion magazine in Las Vegas and The Nevada Independent. Snel is also one of the top bicycle advocates in the country.

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