View Full Version : The Professional Look of PIHA
12-04-2007, 05:56 PM
Let me start by saying I dont want to start a whole other argument about whether PIHA is actually professional or whatever, but I would just like to make some suggestions about the overall look of PIHA. I will be playing this season for the Chicago Untouchables, and before I have even played one game in PIHA I can tell you that this league is 100% more professionally organized than MLRH in which I played in last year. The things that Garland is doing with the Gateway division, their website, sponsors and video promos are huge steps towards improving the professional apperance that PIHA wants to portray. If you havent had a chance to check out the new website, please do and you will see what I mean.
In the other division, the Philadelphia Growl, in my opinion, have done a great job presenting themselves as the most professional looking squad in PIHA east. Their website is always up to date with pictures and info about past games, player profiles and other things that fans look for when the are interested in a particular team. This brings me to the point of this thread. While the growl are doing a great job with their website and presenting themselves as a professional organization, I think that a teams uniforms are a very very important part of looking professional. While the growl have some of the nicest looking uniforms, I was looking through some game recent game photos, and I think that nothing screams "unprofessional" louder than a team with nice uni's but all sorts of mixed and matched gloves and helmets. I know teams and players dont have a lot of money to spend on equipment and stuff, but I think it should be a league wide rule that every team must have matching helmets and gloves. I know that our team is working something out through tour to get matching gloves and I am hoping we will all at least have matching black helmets. This is getting long and I'll let some others comment on this topic, but I would also like to quickly throw in there that I think full face shields should also be banned from the pro level, as it just decreases the professional look and makes games seem more amateur. Sorry for the long post, but i am interested to hear peoples thoughts. Good Luck to everyone this season.
12-04-2007, 06:12 PM
This is getting long and I'll let some others comment on this topic, but I would also like to quickly throw in there that I think full face shields should also be banned from the pro level, as it just decreases the professional look and makes games seem more amateur.
I was on board until i read this. I don't think that banning full face shields makes sense on any level. Some players may prefer to not expose themselves to facial injuries, possibly to the eyes, for something that they are not being paid for. I personally wouldn't wear a face shield if i played. But i don't think that option should be taken away from other players in the league.
As a whole i agreed with everything that you said.
12-04-2007, 06:32 PM
ABSOLUTELY DEAD-CENTER ACCURATE and RIGHT-ON POINT with what "professional" should at least look like at a bare minimum (that is, if it isn't or can't actually 'be' paid-to-play "professional")...
Shields are a personal, player-by-player issue/decision (and always should be)...
12-04-2007, 06:50 PM
hockey4ba: Great points and thanks for the nice comments. Creating a professional environment (on and off the floor, in person and on the Internet) is of the upmost importance. I agree with you about the helmets, gloves, and jerseys. Our jerseys this year are awesome (I will have photos up soon) and each team is wearing the same pants, gloves, and helmets with no exceptions in St. Louis. We even talked with the refs to make sure they enforce these rules.
In terms of the website, what you are seeing now is the “skeleton”. When the site is fully done (about two weeks or so), it will be spectacular. Some of the features will include:
-Rotating news stories on the front page (like the NHL sites which will feature recaps, previews, promotions, interviews, and a featured sponsor).
-Podcasting (online radio show) and blogs.
-Forums for players to get important information (and other forums)
-Comprehensive information about PIHA, PIHA Gateway, and all of our teams.
-Breakdowns of the six Gateway teams along with photos and other fun features.
-Photos, game updates, links to www.thepiha.com, schedules, promotions.
-Features on community events and our partnership with our children’s charity.
-PIHA Gateway TV: Clips, television interviews (already being uploaded now which were on local TV), promo videos, game recaps, and a news show.
-PIHA Gateway Store (Credit Cards accepted)
-New creative online advertising program.
Furthermore, we are now focusing purely on game promotion here in St. Louis. We have a new comprehensive print program that includes newspaper ads (St. Louis Post Dispatch and Suburban Journals near the rinks), 10,000+ pocket schedules to be distributed all over town, 10,000+ 1/4 flyers to inform people about PIHA Gateway). We have a street team that will be hitting up local malls, movie theaters, random events, outside Blues games, etc.
The key is that we are creating a replicable program. This can be done ANYWHERE in the country, takes more creativity than money, and is something I can help teach. We are learning here and it is fun process to see what works and what doesn’t. Most people fail before they succeed but I am confident that we can help shape the future of this sport.
Kudos to the Growl and Anthony Flynn for what they do up east. He isn’t the only one by any means, but he knows how to put on a show and make sure the image is correctly branded with the product.
We all gripe, etc. about what should and shouldn’t be done; however, as an realist/optimist I think this sport (at ALL levels and throughout this country) has a bright future ahead of it. Roller hockey (or inline), like Rome, was not (is not) going to be built in a day.
12-04-2007, 06:56 PM
As a player, it's a lot easier to play your best when a lot people are watching. I can easily say that playing at the Growl's home rink was a great experience. It may sound stupid, but if attendance grows, I think the level of play will, as well.
12-04-2007, 07:48 PM
i dont know if you guys were instructed otherwise out in the midwest, but it is a rule for PIHA to have matching gloves and helmets. color at least, not necessarily the same make (as is the same in NHL). as for full face shields/cages. i personally wear a visor. i didnt until i was hit in the eye w/ a stick in the MLRH a few years back (of course, wait until after the fact eh?) but i have guys on my team, and that i've played against, that need to wear a full face cage/shield because they've had their eye or teeth damn near knocked out of their head. one of our guys was cross checked in the mouth. whether it was done on purpose...you can judge it yourself. but a stick can get up under a visor pretty easily also. so i understand and can comiserate w/ anyone wearing a full cage/shield. i just personally dont like full face cage because i feel it restricts breathing a little bit.
12-04-2007, 07:51 PM
Justin, i agree with you, our games saturday were VERY intense, and lots of crowd noise helped this along. You guys had a nice amount of fans come there along with the support of your minor league team it made for a very nice atmosphere to play in!! I think you will agree that an instant, intense rivalry was born saturday night haha
Hockey4ba, Lots of good points here, i agree 100% about the helmets and gloves. I think that the teams should have to have the same color helmets and gloves or they should not be allowed to play. I understand that teams are not rich and it costs money to do this, but most hockey players have black helmets and getting a cheap pair of black gloves is not hard. The facemask issue is one that we were actually just talking about this past weekend at our games. While it should be up to each person, especially since there is no compensation, i think it does take a little of the Professional look away from the game. But, i do not think there should be a rule, just yet, about this issue.
Garland, you really need to get a social life :) j/k buddy everything is looking good so far with you guys, once again. I wish our division could get everything together like that.
I am also glad to hear that the rest of the league is starting to notice our website and stuff.... I know there was a ton of work done in the off season to try and make ourselves one of the most professionally run teams in the league. I think it is only going to get better. If any of you guys are in or around the Philly/South Jersey area, i highly urge you to come out and see a game. Anythony Flynn has set up one of the nicer pregame introductions in the league. It's nice to be a part of and im sure it fires up the other team a little.
12-06-2007, 02:38 AM
Our pre-game is pretty sweet. haha. I will release our intro video later in the season, otherwise you have to come to a game to see it.
12-06-2007, 07:39 AM
As a European the internet is the only way to follow the PIHA. What I'm concerned about is why the Gateway division is doing so much 'on their own'. Don't get me wrong it all looks good, but why do they need a separate website, separate sponsors, etc.? Gives me the impression that the league as a whole is nothing more than a name. Are there are special reasons to do this? Personally I'm also always trying to make our team and our league look more professional. Take a look at http://www.eindhovenrhinos.nl/index2.htm - matching gloves and helmets on our elite team ;) We've also started to broadcast game videos. Remarks are always welcome.
12-06-2007, 10:30 AM
This message is for nummer55; i was wondering why your goals look so small. they look as if they where 3 feet tall and 5 feet wide. I also was wondering why you don't play with the US regulation size goals?
12-06-2007, 11:47 AM
Nummer55: It is like a student doing extra credit work. We have some different resources here, a full business model, etc. Nothing more, nothing less.
12-06-2007, 11:51 AM
Hey Dave, whats the url for the gateway division?
12-06-2007, 04:46 PM
Honestly (and this is not a knock in any way), I think that a truly "professional" league should be about much more than just a dedicated few (like Dave and "Growl") doing "extra credit work" ("on their own") at their very local levels...
A real "professional" league would 'look' it and 'feel' it across the entire league and spectrum of its teams and marketing strategies, in its on-court presentation and game-product, as well as in its off-court sponsor/media programs and community impressions/involvements (and FULLY-matching uni's are a basic just to start!) -- presently, this is absolutely not the case ("across-the-boards") here in the USA...
In my opinion, I've seen a lot more evidenced "professionalism" (in every way) in more of the European teams and leagues than those here stateside. Again, this is not a knock against anyone's efforts or passion, just an experienced player, fan and traveller's frank opinion based upon evidenced experiences...
Frankly, I think that whatever leagues that are presently out there should "professionally" create and "professionally" fund a full-time ("paid-to-create") marketing/media position and hire someone (say a "Dave Garland"?) to create and implement a truly "professional" and "league-wide" sponsorship/advertising/marketing/media program -- effecting an "on-point", "one-voice" message of league continuity, opportunity and "POP" reward for everyone concerned. Have this ("Director of Marketing/Media"?) position be funded by a specific dollar-amount that would (and should?) be included in any league "franchise fees" (with PIHA for instance, rostering 42 "pro" teams alone this should be very easily financially do-able if there were a $1,000 - $1,500 USD per-team marketing fee). If anyone 'at' the league HQ thinks this unreasonable, not feasible or too expensive, then (in my opinion) they're not really serious or capable of 'growing' the league and game the way it could and should be "grown", as paying $42K - $63K (plus incentives?) to get an effective, creative and passionate marketing/sponsorship/advertising/media guy (like "Dave") to do what they "do" best is EXTREMELY cheap by industry standards, especially when someone like that properly "turned-loose" might bring in million$ of league-wide sponsorship/media support...
But then again, what "do" I know, eh...?!?
12-06-2007, 05:24 PM
Like I said, the "full" site will be out in a couple of weeks but enjoy the few features up now.
ACCCT: Right on with your comments. I agree 100% with everything said.
12-06-2007, 05:33 PM
If I make a team out in the Gateway Division, can I have free Pepsi? I really like Pepsi.
12-06-2007, 06:01 PM
Finally something I fully agree 100 percent with that ACCT posted! (and hes getting better with a semi-readable post that doesnt require three tablets of excedrin)
'With a portion of team fees each year for each team.... Even a $1000 or $1500 portion,...and even if we have to fundraise the money as a team to accomodate it, with 42 teams and probably a handful more next year, this could be the best possible use of money spent by the league in the last few years. I would feel great knowing that money is being put to a solid marketing campaign that promoted the league nationwide, and evenly across all divisions and support that purpose. Combined this is steal of a deal and again ACCT is on the money stating we get off cheap.
12-06-2007, 06:38 PM
From my own perspective, I like some things about the league's main website and some things about the Gateway Division's website. Is it possible in the future to mix and match components from each to create a really engaging website?
- I like the cleanliness a lot. It's pretty easy to read and the organization is simple.
- The drop down menus off of the links at the top are very nice. I use them the most as they make navigation very easy.
- The main story should be a link with a little tagline or whatever it's called, not half or most of the full thing. It would allow for other info to be placed on the website.
- The team logos in the matchup section aren't links. It's a small thing, but it'd be a lot easier to just click on a team rather than go into the preview and then click on a team.
- I hate the url. It's just a personal preference thing, but I don't like it for the AHL, either.
- It's very stylized but still clean, which is cool. The layout throws me off a little bit with the upcoming schedule being embedded in the lower middle right of my screen.
- Maybe make the text on the header more prominent? "Professional Inline Hockey Association; Gateway Division" takes an extra second or two to find.
Outside of the small nitpicky crap I've put up, I think the big thing would be getting those vid clips and pictures up asap. Once there's a decent library of content, then maybe some space can be cleared for a highlight reel (similar to what you see on the right side of the NFL's website)? I'm not saying to copy other leagues, but that idea's pretty generic and I think would add a lot.
In my mind, a great website with a lot of solid content would be a great way to introduce people to the sport. It may sound stupid, but even an introductory video about roller hockey? I'm guessing if you're going to the site, you know about the sport, but more interactive explanations and guides could be helpful for the uninitiated.
I'm just trying to throw my ideas out there, as I know a lot of people put a lot more time and effort into making this work than I do. I'm not trying to attack anyone's work, so please don't take it the wrong way. Also, can www.thepiha.com never look like the NHL or AHL's websites? I can barely navigate them.
12-06-2007, 06:41 PM
You can have all the free Pepsi you want if you come down here, haha.
Our site is only 10% done. The "real" version will be out within two to three weeks.
12-06-2007, 06:43 PM
You can have all the free Pepsi you want if you come down here, haha.
Our site is only 10% done. The "real" version will be out within two to three weeks.
I've quoted the message only because I may end up in that area, and I want my Pepsi :D
I never actually said this, but the site looks really good overall, Dave. Can't wait to see the finished product!
12-06-2007, 06:52 PM
You let me know when you come in and I will have a free coupon for ya! Thanks man it is really coming along.
12-08-2007, 06:42 AM
is there any way to get a hold of some full game videos?
I also was wondering why you don't play with the US regulation size goals?
Maybe the old FIRS spec goals possibly(like the old USARS spec goals)....more likely in Europe...they were 68" wide by 42" tall I believe. We switched over here to accomodate ice rinks who hosted inline in the summers, so they didn't have to buy new goals..for a long time the goal size was optional..whichever size your rink had.
12-11-2007, 11:09 AM
I think there's a lot of good points made here. My two cents are that gloves and helmets should be matching without question. PIHA is intended as a springboard to bigger and better things for pro roller hockey and has to have fundamental things like this resolved. As for the shields/cages, etc many of the minor league pro ice organizations are requiring half shields be worn. Only the NHL has been exempt from this. All of those athletes are compensated to play hockey, not play at a high level and keep a full time job as well.
The websites are good, but lack some of the oomph bigger leagues already have going for them. It's a growing pain, and will sort itself out in the long run as long as people want it to improve. I personally would like to see the main PIHA site be the central hub, with everything linked off of it cleanly and easy to navigate. Each division should have a site linking off the main, with each being a bit more stylized for regional flavor. Just as every rink, arena, hall etc has their unique quirks so should the sites as it filters down to division and team. Again a growing pain, but funneling some money from each team to cover costs would go a long way in getting the sites all squared away, and I'm sure most of the people on here knows someone who does web design. As in all professions, it's all about the networking and getting the right people to the right jobs.
I also personally would love to see videos, even just game highlights. There was a good selection a couple yrs back from the now defunct Elite League that we some of the cleanest videos I'd ever seen for roller hockey. Something of that caliber would go a loooong way. There are enough users on this board and Mod Squad's board that real clean vids would be viewed a ton and add to the high caliber play reputation PIHA is trying to build.
Again, just my two cents
12-19-2007, 01:18 PM
Now now Dave, its not proper to agree with the guy suggesting you get 42-63k a year...
Just a general question I don't know if anyone has asked, but Acct2 have you ever been to a PIHA game?
Some very nice Professional & Professional amateur photos are being gathered and shown at www.flickr.com/groups/piha (http://www.flickr.com/groups/piha) Check'em out and add on if you have any.
12-19-2007, 06:10 PM
Actually, for what the position would obviously entail, 42K-63K a year is what I'd call an absolutely minimal starting point from what I know to be even a remotely passable "professional" (and "livable") wage in this particular field. Whoever would have this position would be in charge of (a) outlining, testing & producing a truly "professional" (and league-wide) marketing program that would include (b) an advertising/sponsorship/media package, and (c) "cold-calling" literally hundreds of potential clients and media partners to hopefully win them over and secure the million$ in "ad-dough" that would make the league a truly "professional" entity, and (d) bringing in "big-time" media partners through successful (and year-round) follow-ups once the league sponsor/advertisers were on board. And this is just to start...
If PIHA, or anyone in the sport for that matter, has any real commitment to making the sport an even marginally "big-time" (and truly "professional") league, then let the league office(s) prove it by showing their franchise owners just exactly what their franchise fees and PIHA particpation actually affords and offers them for their hard-earned cash. Personally (in my own experienced opinion), I find it more than a little telling that there's been virtually no centralized, even remotely "professional" evidenced marketing/media effort (outside of Dave's with "Gateway") at making an all-important "demo-impression" of just what exactly the sport, league and/or local team is, and what exactly their demographics potentially represent to anyone involved, team and/or potential sponsor-wise...
It's "professional" folly at the very least to assume that a full-time, truly "professional" league could operate without a dedicated (and "professional") marketing/sponsorship/media person involved on a "full-time" basis, as the packaging, "program-&-partner-building" and "cold-calling" would surely be going on "full-time" throughtout the year (as any "big-time" advertiser/sponsor/media partner would expect it to). In reality, I think that the 42K-63K figure should be considered a base "draw" (just to start) and also include a percentage (15-20%) commission on all ad, sponsor and media dollars brought in through the marketing office. But, from what I can see, this would seem to be way too much for the lightweights presently in the sport to seriously (and "professionally"?) commit themselves to...
And YES, I have seen a PIHA game...
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