New York Islanders have been reported to be scouting out a new location for their hockey operations. A move that signals either immediate intent to move, or a desire to leverage their position with the Barclays Center. A recent hire by Barclays shows ownership has been heard.
When reports emerged that the New York Islanders were being courted by the New York Mets to build an arena in the immediate vicinity of Citi Field and had sought to build an arena in Elmont at the current site of the Belmont Park the possibilities seemed endless for the Islanders.
Finally, we might get a home that was made for us and made to suit a modern NHL franchise. No longer do we have to deal with blocked seats or with off center scoreboards or an arena that doesn’t really have our name anywhere permanently.
But let’s be honest with ourselves any such move isn’t going to happen for years. No deal has been formalized, no ground has been broken yet. These rumors don’t do much more in the immediate, other than put pressure on the Barclays Center to step it’s game up.
And step their game up they did.
Barclays Hire Kevin Gilmore to Help Out
Just three days ago Barclays Sports & Entertainment hired former Montréal Canadiens COO Kevin Gilmore to a short term contract. (Warning: the link is in french, so get your Google translate ready).
This doesn’t seem like much at first. But when you consider the nature of the deal between the Islanders and the Barclays Center this starts to sink in a bit more.
Gilmore’s role with the Canadiens was to sell the team. Market it to the world and sell the Canadiens brand. And so he did.
In his five years with the Canadiens, Gilmore was responsible for “a 12-year French broadcast agreement with RDS and an English broadcast deal with Sportsnet. He was also behind the concept and launch of the popular documentary series 24 CH as well as the creation of Club 1909 reaching out to 250,000 fans from around the world”
What Gilmore brings to the Barclays is creativity and success. He has the ability to sell the New York Islanders to a larger audience. Don’t expect to see a 24-hour documentary style program for the Islanders.
But do expect to see a better effort to sell the team by the Barclays. Which is the Barclays responsibility in the deal they signed with the Islanders. The Isles brought a competitive and attractive product, the Barclays would market it.
His first task will most likely be to sell the team to the local market. The Isles didn’t have a flattering attendance record last season. We’ve argued that the Barclays Center needs to match the New York Islanders aspirations. This move by Barclays does exactly that.