*** Update ***
As of [at least] November 2013, shop.nhl.com no longer offers the ability to ‘customize’ anything except Jerseys. Custom Tee Shirts, Long Sleeve Tees, Sweats & Hoodies are no longer available with custom lettering & numbers. One has to wonder if their marketing campaign “every team, every player all on custom apparel” was ineffective given that the site WOULD NOT allow custom apparel to be printed with names / numbers of players actually ON the current roster OR names of players who retired with that team.
I can’t imagine how shop.nhl.com ‘s custom product could possibly have been so unsuccessful that it had to be discontinued.
*** Original Article ***
Last hockey season, my family went to Tampa for Phillies Spring Training. I informed my family that since we’d be sitting outside watching boring baseball games all day [there’s no hitting in baseball] we were going to a hockey game at night. I found it interesting the Tampa Bay Lightning wasn’t doing more to capitalize on the several thousand sports fans from a city with a strong hockey fan base & obvious disposable income visiting their city [where let’s just say there isn’t much going on in the way of nightlife]. None of the several thousand Philadelphia sports fanatics visiting the city of Tampa must have known they have a hockey team because I’d been able to purchase ice level seats behind the player’s benches for $100/each. [I’m not entirely sure, but this sounds like how much we spend just to park at a Flyers game]. I’ll write another post later about the entire experience, let’s just say the ‘fan experience’ was very different from the one in Philadelphia.
I tried to buy a girlie tee-shirt with one of the Lightning’s goaltender’s [last] names on the back, but it turns out none of the stores in the Tampa Bay Time Forum only sell non-jersey apparel with the last names of three of their players. I’m a girl and I like goalies and I didn’t want a Stamkos, Lecavalier, or St Louis girlie tee, I wanted a Rollie or Garon Tee. As it turns out, I was informed that the company that sells NHL licensed tee-shirts to the store inside of the NHL arena requires a very high minimum order from the NHL arena store for any player-apparel and they figured that no one would want to wear their teams’ goalies names on a tee-shirt, so they don’t have any. I’d have to keep my money. [I’m not an expert in the licensing and merchandising, but I would think if the NHL makes the determination about what companies it allowed to purchase an NHL apparel LICENSE, they could ensure those companies WON’T require high minimum purchases to the point where stores located INSIDE NHL ARENAS can sell merchandise for more than just 3 players on their team?]
I then decided that I WANTED a girlie Tee with a Tampa goalie’s [last] name on the back so I went to the shop.nhl.com site. They also only had [non-jersey] player apparel for the same 3 Tampa Bay Lightning players. So I tried to get one via the shop.nhl.com’s custom Tee-Shirt offering. As it turns out, you can have just about ANY 10 alphabetic characters [including spaces, no numbers or symbols] you’d like put onto the back of any team’s tee-shirt provided it is NOT the last name of an active player or player that retired from that team. In other words, I can get tee shirts from any teams with anything I want written on the back EXCEPT for the last name of their goalies. [the only thing I wanted written on it]. They sell some player apparel but not in women’s t-shirts or not for the goalies I like. I was unable to give the NHL my money. I sometimes wonder if they HAD taken my money [and the money from other women wanting their favorite goalie’s [last] names on the back of their t’s] if we could have prevented the whole lockout thing.
Once the lock-out ended, I figured the new CBA would have worked out the kinks regarding custom player apparel and I’d be able to finally either buy women’s t-shirts with my favorite goalie’s [last] names on the back or have a custom girlie tee made for my fave goalies. This was also not the case. The NHL STILL was refusing sell girlie tees with goalies [last] names on the back. [They’ve also yet to make deals like the NFL & MLB have with Victoria Secret for PINK branded apparel. Women love to spend money on VS Pink brand clothes. I have dozens of Pink MLB & NFL clothes which always surprises me given I don’t even have the slightest interest in Baseball or Football. The clothes just look so pretty and have my hometown team, & there’s always something new that I HAVE to HAVE].
Back to the Custom Tee Shirts. I needed new NHL clothes to wear to all of the games this season. I was hesitant to buy Flyers Tees being that DirecTV’s “local sports” were still showing me the Rangers, Islanders & Devils [see my interesting considerations on becoming a Rangers fan] Our season ticket seats for 2012-13 were on the side of the arena where the visiting goalie plays twice, so I wanted to get cute tees of the other teams. And if anyone had a problem with it, I wanted to explain exactly WHY I was wearing the other team’s Tee shirts to Flyers games. I discovered there is a quite a lot of things that CAN be printed on the shop.nhl.com custom tee-shirts which are just as good [if not better] than the last name of my favorite goaltender for a team. I even found some cool not-goalies tee-shirts I could buy.
My fave Western Conference goalies didn’t visit this season, so I didn’t need tees for:
I just had to pick out which Eastern Conference Goalies I liked best…..
My dad found it somewhat amusing that I’d found new & creative ways to utilize the custom tee-shirts for my goalies [without using their last names] I considered getting custom Flyers goalie tees made
I was able to order the Big Ben 30 Senators Custom Tee [which I now need to buy in a Tampa Tee] and decided to “not-the-last-name” of a skater on the back of another custom tee:
After placing my order for the custom Pittsburgh Tee, I was sort of waiting for a call back explaining why they weren’t able to create such a custom tee-shirt. [It says ” language deemed inappropriate, derogatory, or profane will not be accepted].
Apparently it was not inappropriate at all as a few weeks later I received the following :
I can’t understand how the NHL is OK with officially licensing tee shirts which say number 87 on the Pittsburgh Penguins is a CRYBABY, yet they’re not able to officially license a women’s tee-shirt for the montreal canadiens with the number 31 saying PRICE on the back of it. I’m assuming it’s because the latter case would require paying number 31 on the montreal canadiens seventy-five cents. The former wouldn’t require the NHL to pay anyone except in the unlikely event that a certain number 87 on the Pittsburgh Penguins admit he IS a CRYBABY. Then Crybaby would have to prove that the combination of team, jersey number and use of ‘crybaby’ do indeed represent his likeness before the NHL would have to give his seventy-five cents.
From what I can understand regarding the entire rights over the custom apparel, he NHL would rather NOT make money selling a product if they players would also profit from the sale. It seems like the NHL would rather NOT sell me something before they’d sell me a tee-shirt that required them to give some of the money to the players. The NHL would rather lose a sale to the MLB or NFL than share their profits with the players. Did you know from 1960 – 1965 NHL games weren’t aired on broadcast television because [at the time] the NHL would rather NOT have the games televised than share income from the television rights with players? [Turning down their own potential profits for the sake of NOT benefiting players]. Who would have thought some 50 years later, women still wouldn’t be able to be a tee-shirt with their favorite goalie’s name on it for the very same reason?
So Philadelphia aquires a new [really cute] goalie at the trade deadline. And I decided that I WOULD go ahead and buy a Flyers Tee, because I wanted one […. the new goalie’s name on the back]. There are two stores at the Wells Fargo Center. One of them sells tee shirts with just about every player’s name AND they have the equipment to do the lettering for Jerseys. So I figure after the new goalie has been around for a week, when the first home game gets here I should be able to buy a girlie Flyers Tee with #35 Mason on the back at the ARENA store. [The same arena store that sell Ruslan Fedetenko & Bruno Gervais Tee shirts. And if you just said “Who…” then you’ve gotten my point]. The Flyers were playing the Senators and I’d even decided NOT to wear my Senators Tee [cute Robin Lehner was playing] so I could buy a Mason Tee at the arena & wear it for the new goalie [who was sitting on the bench for the game]. The game day email even had a 30% off coupon for merchandise at the team store that day, Well as you can imagine, I’d have been better off wearing my Senators Tee because every other member of the Flyers had tee’s for sale except the new goalie. And they wouldn’t put lettering on custom tee’s, just jerseys.
[FYI: I’m not averse to getting a custom jersey made in lieu of a tee-shirt because they’re more expensive. I’m adverse to buying a custom jersey because [even the women’s jerseys] have a large, annoying, unflexible, not-stretchy patch that doesn’t fit over [as Fergie says] ‘my humps’. They’re annoying & uncomfortable to wear and don’t lay right across ‘my humps’. Women’s Tees [different from men’s tees] are usually made with fabric that fitted so it stretches nicely over ‘my humps’ without a draping effect the way men’s tee shirts do when I try to wear them.]
As disappointing as it was once to have the Flyers and NHL refuse to accept money from me for something that isn’t too difficult to provide, I finished watching the ugly russian goalie lose to cute robin lehner & the rest of the Binghamton senators. Figuring they were doing the every-other-day-goalie-tandem-thing [a few weeks too late] or they were worried about what would happen in they let the new goalie play in front of the home crowd, I assumed he’d be playing in the next game.
I’m watching out new goalie play at the Buffalo Sabres [I know your thinking “what I thought they didn’t let you watch away game” — there isn’t any legitimate means for non-Comcast subscribers to watch Flyers games, for arguments sake & legal purposes – I’ll say I was at a friend’s house — in Canada — or wherever the Flyers aren’t blacked out]. Since ‘my Canadian friend’ is receiving the game via gamecenterlive, we can’t watch the actual commercials, instead are provided with a commercial for shop.nhl.com. Just one commercial. Over and over and over again. The same 15 second commercial during every TV timeout & at the beginning and end of intermission. Even if
I my friend hits fast forward, we’d have to watch the SAME shop.nhl.com commerical before the game will play again. I don’t care if I’m forced to watch commercials, I normally wouldn’t bother writing an entire post just because I was forced to watch the same commercial 25 times during each of the three games I saw yesterday. My problem is that the commercial was advertising something that THEY DON’T SELL on shop.nhl.com
The commercial goes like this “all 30 teams — every player — on fully customizable apparel” those are the words they repeated over and over and over. EVERY PLAYER ON FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE APPAREL. I double checked and shop.nhl.com STILL doesn’t sell ANY player ON ANY of their [non-jersey] custom apparel. At least not their last names anyway. Yet over and over again is a this commercial advertising the availability of every player on all of their fully customizable apparel. I even sent an email to the shop.nhl.com where they confirmed they do not have a deal in place that allows them to use any player [last] names on any of the custom apparel except jerseys. He said he would look into the commercial that was being aired. It’s like they know I want one, and they won’t sell me one, but they’re going to tease me anyway by saying I can have one.
So… I need help figuring out what I can put in 10 alphabetic characters including spaces on the back of a Flyers 35 custom tee for the new goalie. ‘STEVE’ is the same name as my dad, so that’s a little weird. He writes MASE on the chin part of his masks, but I’m not sure I understand the necessity of a 4 letter nickname when there’s only 5 letters in your last name to begin with. Although I guess since it is only 5 letters and there’s only 5 letters in his first name I could just put his whole name on the back of the custom tee-shirt. [that’s totally OK, you just can’t use their last name]. He’s really cute so I don’t want to say something mean & hurt his feelings [like I did for #30 – REDLIGHT ]
I don’t know why but for some reason that looks a lot better, Now my only issue is.. shouldn’t there be a bunch of these on sale somewhere?
Should I forget Philly & go with
That’s a nickname custom tee I’d buy. [If I knew for sure he was playing there next season]
Maybe I should just stick with the classics and get a custom hoodie to match the custom Tee I already have
Whenever they do get around to making girlie tee’s with player’s [last] names on the back, they should totally make matching pants. How cool would it be to wear my favorite goalie’s number across the seat of my pants [you know instead of “Pink” or “Juicy” they could write “Price” or “Crybaby”.