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Drive to a Freebie


The Panthers new marketing ploy, one in which they give away tickets to anyone with a Florida's driver's license (and even those who don't), has been picked up by some national bloggers.

My early take: This is a good way to see the Wings without forking over that extra $25.

Or anything, for that matter.

Anyway, here's what folks are saying about it. PuckDaddy looks at the situation as a marketing ploy by the Panthers moreso than just a way to fill the building. James Mirtle thinks its just more of the same in SoFla.

Me? Whatever. The Panthers are trying to grow their brand down here, although winning will go a long ways toward that. I like that the marketing around the rink is more hockey-centric, and small things (like putting the words: Florida Panthers; on the scoreboard) is a good start. An out-of-town scoreboard would also be nice.

I still say the Panthers need to do more to grow hockey. Show other games on the many TVs in the concourse during the game; play old Panther games on the scoreboard during pregame; get more involved with the youth leagues outside of Incredible Ice (which they own).

Look at Dallas; the Stars helped build rinks throughout the MetroPlex knowing kids who grew up playing hockey would be season ticket holders 20 years later when they could afford it. Seems like the Panthers are selling their wares to the same group of people year after year.

And Saturday night, a stack of about 100 free ticket vouchers to Saturday's opener remained unused at the hostess stand at Quarterdeck. Listen, if you're going to leave those tickets there, at least ask the bartenders and servers to actually offer them to customers. Maybe then, someone would use them.