The NHL has struggled for years to make itself relevant in the US market. Whether it be moving or creating franchises in the sun belt, or signing long term television contracts with those they feel will give them the best exposure, the NHL has had a plan to expand the sport for the past couple decades and the results could decidedly say they are mixed.
One problem faced with the NHL, or any major brand for that matter, is how to you create 'cool' without overly showing that you are creating 'cool'? Well, the first thing is...don't try. Consumers are intelligent folk...and especially those in the 16 - 24 yr demographic. If the NHL tries to be cool, they will be spotted like a smelly turd on the sidewalk and avoided at all costs.
The best case scenario is your sport or activity or product inspires someone in the fashion, music or other influential industry to create product without your help and creates a buzz around your brand or product that can help generate and drive sales within your own brand. The NHL has, for years, tried to generate its own branded 'cool' fashion and have ended up just shooting themselves in the foot with it (pink womens jersey's anyone???). A great example of this is the John Bollwitt Johnny Canuck black and white t-shirt that is plastered all over buses in the city of Vancouver. That was not an official t-shirt...rather, it was created on its own. It was so cool...the Canucks came out with their own version of the t-shirt (in their colors...and its sold out too!).
So, here we have the ulta-cool sneakerhead shop from Los Angeles, Undefeated, creating its own line of hockey inspired shirts for its stores. If you are an Oilers fan...this t-shirt has got to be a must have. Available at Haven.