Sunday, June 24, 2007

From the Couch: Balsillie Behaviour

As a non-hockey fan, following the NHL's dithering over Jim Balsillie's attempted Nashville Predator purchase has been fun. At first I thought it would be impossible for the Board of Governors to refuse the RIM co-founder's offer, but increasingly it's looking like Skeelo's prediction that his in-your-face style, and the commissioner's bruised ego, may deep-six the deal. Hard to believe that hurt feelings are worth walking away from over $230 million, risking a possible lawsuit from Balsillie, and an anti-trust investigation.

This whole time, I keep wondering why, after almost twenty years, the NHL hasn't figured out what CFL learned in less than five - that sports, like food and toilets, is a tough cultural export.

4 comments:

Road Hammer said...

I am starting to wonder if Bettman isn't the Joe Clark of the US sports scene - stubbornly refusing to accept the irrelevancy of one's product outside of a very narrow audience.

David said...

That's a great comparison. They share the same charisma.

What am I missing with Bettman and expansion to the US south? What exactly is the business case for putting teams in these cities?

Skeelo said...

Putting the teams in the south may have made sense at the time because Gretzky had caused an increase in NHL popularity and owners were lining up to give it a shot. The problem is that they can't admit that it didn't work out. All good corporations admit to things gone wrong, but the NHL is not a good corporation as Bettman has proved time and again.

Your CFL comparison is bang on by the way.

David said...

I think it's because they don't teach the concept of sunk costs in law school.