The Vegas Golden Knights and first-mover advantages: Beating the NFL’s Raiders to market

Patrick Rishe, director of the sports business program at Olin Business School


There is no question the early darlings of the young NHL season are the Vegas Golden Knights.

Part of this stems from their unexpectedly hot start.  When they play their 10th game in franchise history Monday night in Brooklyn versus the New York Islanders, they will boast an 8-1 record … tied for 4th most points in the NHL and 1st in points per game played.

Within Las Vegas, their newfound popularity is partly attributed to the honeymoon effect that accompanies almost all new teams or stadiums in sports, partly because they play in a relatively new arena (T-Mobile Arena built by Populous), partly because they are playing so well, and undoubtedly, partly by how well the players and organization have attempted to buoy and galvanize the community responded as the city heals from an unspeakable tragedy.

Of course, in just a few years, the Golden Knights won’t be the only game in town.  The Oakland Raiders will be relocating to Las Vegas by either 2019 or 2020.  This would make Las Vegas one of 3 markets with only an NFL team and NHL team (Nashville and Buffalo being the others).

The question this begs, of course, is what will happen to the commercial success of the Golden Knights (e.g. ticket sales, corporate sponsorships) once the Raiders come to town?

Read the full piece in Forbes.

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