On Sunday, our friend Dirk Hoag at On The Forecheck proposed this question: Are the Tennessee Titans’ troubles good for the Nashville Predators? Nashville’s sports station, 104.5 The Zone, discussed the marketing side of this topic during last night's 5 o’clock hour. It’s a very interesting question… and one that’s easy to answer. Yes. The Predators organization certainly isn’t cheering against the hometown Titans. I’m sure the Preds players like to see the city’s NFL team win, and vice versa. But somewhere inside the Sommet Center, the Preds’ staff is quietly smiling.
The Titans are the heartbeat of Nashville sports… always will be. No Stanley Cup can change that – it’s just the cold hard truth. Fans are so disgusted with their performance, though, that they’ve essentially given up on the 2009 campaign. The team has gone from Super Bowl contender to being a lock for staying home in January in a matter of a month. To make matters worse, local college football teams (Tennessee, Vanderbilt, etc.) aren’t living up to expectations. This is where the Predators come in.
Think about this… the Titans are 0-4 before the Preds have played their first home game of the season. With football fans around Middle Tennessee throwing in the towel for the rest of the fall, a golden opportunity is on the table for the Preds to gain exposure in the football-heavy market. Non-season ticket holders for both franchises may turn to supporting the town’s hockey team this winter instead of spending money to see a struggling Titans team. Barry Trotz’s crew is coming off a big shootout win in Dallas over the weekend, and will play three very winnable home games over the next week. A great start to the season will make it easier for the Preds’ staff to market the team in the area.
Will the Preds benefit from the Titans’ troubles?? It’s up to Steve Sullivan and the rest of the team. If they can have a very good October & November, they should. In the 2005-06 hockey season, Nashville flew out of the gates with an 8-0 start. That came at the same time that the Titans went through their worst season (4-12) since coming to the Music City. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the Preds started filling the arena earlier than usual with their great beginning to the season. They ultimately finished 4th in the West that year.
I’m not saying that the Preds are playoff bound since the Titans are in the dumps. But it gives the Preds an opportunity to steal some headlines in the paper, and fill some seats that would usually be vacant in the fall.
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.