P.K. Subban’s brand has always been as enormous as his personality, so when the Predators defenseman moved from Montreal to Nashville, questions arose about the impact of his marketability in a traditionally non-hockey market.
Would Nashville welcome Subban? Not exactly, according to John Yorke, president of marketing agency Rain43. In an interview following the the trade that sent Subban to the Predators back in June 2016, Yorke questioned whether P.K.’s appeal would work in a limited market. (H/T Yahoo Sports)
“P.K. Subban’s brand has been so significant, especially since he signed with Gatorade, and now he’s got to move to Nashville as a market.”
“He’s not a forward; in the U.S., they tend to put the forwards and goal scorers up front,” said John Yorke, president of Rain43, in an interview with BNN.”
Yorke admitted it was going to be tough for Subban to break into Nashville and make a splash outside Canada.
“I think the limit to him is that he didn’t go to a New York, or to an L.A. where he could’ve had that Mark Messier on Broadway kind of view, or [Wayne] Gretzky in L.A…It’s going to be hard for P.K. Subban to break in to Nashville and really make a splash in the U.S.”
Not only has Subban openly embraced Nashville, but the feeling is mutual. The former Norris Trophy winner has the top-selling jersey of any Predators player according to the Tennessean.com, selling more than Mike Fisher, the captain who’s married to country music superstar Carrie Underwood. That’s no small feat. Meanwhile, Subban finished 31st overall in jersey sales during the regular season.
With Nashville going on a Stanley Cup Finals run and the team selling out games, Subban is a big part of making that happen. He’s a relevant, fun personality, who’s helped elevate Nashville’s marketing prospects. Who would have guessed? Not John Yorke.