The Edmonton Oilers are poised to make the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.
The record-breaking post-season drought has been tough on fans, but for the Oilers it has meant missing out on a lot of revenue.
“A Canadian team or large market team, when they make a deep run in the playoffs it creates all kinds of momentum for not just ticket sales but also other ancillary sales like jerseys,” said Dan Mason, professor at the University of Alberta.
“I think that the numbers, if I could estimate them for a Canadian franchise, might be upwards of three, four, five million dollars a home game on average.”
Mason said that the Oilers have an advantage because they’re profitable even without the playoffs. Some teams don’t have that luxury and are desperate for the extra dollars.
The playoffs are also a bonus for local businesses, like OilersNation, which started as a blog about this city’s favourite team, but has expanded to other initiatives including a clothing line.
A playoff berth is all new for a group that launched in 2007, a year after the Oilers last playoff run.
“It’s uncharted territories for us just in terms of events, marketing, clothing,” said director of business development Adam Mandryk. “It just opens up a lot more possibilities and opportunities.”
OilersNation is capitalizing. They’re currently selling a “Pray for Playoffs” line, but will also launch new merchandise to celebrate the end of the playoff drought.
“Everything is selling a lot more because as people get excited they start buying with their heart as opposed to their wallet.”