Rangers all-world goalie Henrik Lundqvist recently signed a deal with IMG Worldwide, a global media company who employs such athletes as the Manning brothers.
"Henrik is a very special athlete and we are honored that he has selected IMG to manage the business side of his incredibly successful NHL career," said Sandy Montag, Senior Corporate Vice President, Managing Director of Clients at IMG. "His reputation far exceeds the boundaries of hockey and his potential off the ice is as great as his accomplishments on it. He helped Sweden win Olympic Gold in 2006 and has established himself as one of the all time New York Rangers greats. He's a genuinely terrific human being whose interests from rock and roll to fashion and now fatherhood have made him popular in New York and around the world.”
Lundqvist couldn't be happier joining forces with IMG.
Huge H/T to "The Hockey Suit" making light of this story over at Blue Seat Blogs this morning.
"I'm very pleased to be working with IMG," Lundqvist said. "Their reputation of handling the business aspects of the careers of some of the greatest athletes in the world is legendary. Their presence in Sweden and key markets around the globe will present me with opportunities that I might never have otherwise had."
- We've seen Hank on the cover of SI, photo shoots etc., so joining forces with IMG is the next logical step for him. He's already big with the rabid NYR fan base, now its time for Lundqvist to gain some national fame to promote himself and the NHL. It's something Gary Bettman has to encourage more—the players that have the personality have to show it to grow the sport.
Over/under on how many times his name is misspelled "Lundquist" by traditional media outlets over the next 10 months: 541. Place your bets, kids.
Let's be realistic here, casual fans of any sport only recognize the players that are over-exposed or transcend the sport. If you went across the country and asked non football fans to name the 1st player that came to the top of their mind, I pretty much guarantee it would either be Tim Tebow or some retired superstar like Brett Favre or Joe Montana. Baseball would probably be someone like Jeter, Basketball woud be Kobe, LeBron, or Jordan, and hockey would no doubt be Gretzky. As much as Bettman would like to think it, Crosby is NOT the face of the NHL. At this point, I don't even think the NHL has a face for non-NHL fans. The league absolutely needs a charismatic superstar in a major market. Hank fits that to a tee and he also has lesser used consonants like Gretzky did ;-) The league should be marketing the crap out of Lundqvist!
@gravey94 Dan Marino. Jerry Rice.
Hockey should be marketed by team identity, so when a team comes into town you know what the TEAM has to bring, not one player.
Players should be marketed through attitude or on ice
personas — not everyone is a smiling face. Hockey is an aggro sport and should be marketed as such.