Puck Daddy - NHL

Tuffy from Sports By Brooks spotted the promotion above at a Phoenix grocery store. The Phoenix Coyotes, on their way to missing the Stanley Cup playoffs for the sixth consecutive season, are offering a tickets-for-booze promotion in conjunction with Smirnoff. From the Coyotes' Web site:

Smirnoff Vodka has teamed up with the Phoenix Coyotes to offer hockey fans a chance to catch the April 7th game against the St Louis Blues game when you purchase a bottle of 1.75l Smirnoff Red Label or Flavored Vodka at any participating retailer.

Fans have to send the itemized receipt to the "Smirnoff Power Play Ticket Offer"; there is also a limit of six tickets (for six bottles) for every e-mail address that enters. Brooks with the punchline:

What happens when you don't buy anything? You get two free tickets.

Well, at the very least the spirited incentive could give some lucky fan temporary vodka goggles, convincing him for a brief moment that Peter Mueller and Kyle Turris haven't been unmitigated disasters this season. Or that Gretzky can coach.

The NHL has never exactly shied away from hard liquor advertisers or sponsors; the League was light-years ahead of those puritans in the NBA when it came to accepting deals from labels like Crown Royal. But the marriage between booze and hockey tickets is a little rockier.

Please recall back in 2004, when the Tampa Bay Lightning had a brief promotion that allowed fans to put $100 down at the arena for next season's ticket plans in exchange for unlimited beer at that game. Despite providing free taxi service to fans that were tanked, the promotion still came under fire from organizations like M.A.D.D.

Again: Huge difference between a single bottle of vodka purchased by an adult at a liquor store and binge drinking at the arena. There's nothing wrong with the Coyotes becoming comrades with Smirnoff, and hopefully the teetotalers that usually get outraged over these types of relationships abstain from it this time.

But the business joint venture does beg the question: Is there a product struggling franchises won't be partnering with to push tickets during the next few seasons of economic suck?

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